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bicing

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The culture of cheating in relationships
« on: October 05, 2012, 08:35 »

The longer I've lived here in Romania the more stories I have heard about (mostly) men cheating on their long-term girlfriends and wives. It seems that it is RARE and UNUSUAL to be truly committed and faithful. Every week it seems, my wife is coming home from work with some ridiculous stories. Many of which, the man genuinely loves his spouse and would never ever leave her, yet he turns around and says to the affair girl "what we have is special".


We have come to the conclusion that it's cultural, because neither of us can rationally or emotionally understand how this could possibly happen. We've also observed that it is happening with a wide range of different personality types, characters, etc.


I'm also aware of other cultures and their attitude towards relationships: for example in Brazil you can kiss and bang anyone you want until you introduce the partner to your family - from that moment on it becomes exclusive. In France I've heard a story where a couple were married, before the wife cheated on him with the brother while they were living together, and now the brother and wife are together but she's still married to the other guy and they're all still living together and fine with it! And in Poland, you end up marrying your high school sweetheart, usually your first serious relationship.


My topics of discussion are:
  • How common is cheating in relationships in your community/culture?
  • What percentage of longterm couples do you think, have experienced infidelity?
  • If you're willing to share an experience, as a cheater, that might be interesting...
  • Why do people cheat?
  • And the mindflip for me: Why would a guy cheat when he's are perfectly happy in his relationship!!???!!!
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    L'arri

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 09:37 »
    Interesting thread. It's difficult to talk about the behaviour of the Romanians I know personally without sounding like I'm singling them out on grounds of nationality, but it is true that in every case I find their relationship ethics very strange indeed. However, I think the mutual bonds that join a loving couple can be made of different fibres that need not necessarily include strict notions of fidelity.

    One of my Romanian acquaintances - and I must add by way of parenthesis here that her extraordinary capacity for being economical with the truth has recently downgraded her from the epithet of "friend" - she exemplifies the point nicely.

    One day while working in a shoe store in Bucharest to support her studies, Oana met with a group of young men of similar age who came in to browse the footwear. Among this group, a small, chubby guy who closely resembles a balding weasel - I have seen the photos - apparently swept her off her fashionably shod feet. I cannot, of course, imagine the sort of aberration of chemistry required to foment this critical attraction, but at any rate she immediately noted the multidimensionality of Octavian. Presumably because, as I suggested, the shoe store walls were decorated with mirrors.

    Oana met with Octavian fitfully throughout a torrid summer in this city which embodies the term 'concrete jungle' with untrammelled relish. Octavian would drop by the shoe store or pick her up at a bus stop. They would drive somewhere derelict and reconsummate. The future - hers in public administration, his in barkeeping and fencing white goods - was rarely if ever discussed. Octavian had plenty of other outlets besides and he probably conducted his assignations with them in the same locations for he does not seem to have been a young man of great imagination.

    Eventually the nights grew shorter and the trysts fewer but Oana remained exclusively at the altar of Octavian. Her case was clearly serious. Then the inevitable happened: Octavian no longer came around. Oana seems to have found this neither surprising nor worrying and it certainly did not change her devotion to Octavian. Winter arrived along with an SMS from Octavian, the first in several weeks, in which he explained that he was in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was waiting tables and, though this was never expressly stated, sharking for rich old women.

    When I had once more gotten control of my jaw, Oana continued in the same, even tone of voice that she subsequently agreed to stay faithful to Octavian since he was understandably only interested in the opportunities for permanent or semi-permanent immigration. In default of a Master's Degree in public administration, she explained, his career path was obviously bedding rich old women.

    Octavian scored some minor successes in his career under the sparkling lights of Vegas but the big gamble never paid off: he could not seem to find someone desperate or careless enough to make a dishonest man of him. And the desert sands of time ran out quickly, since his visa for study and part-time work did not stretch to the profession of gigolo.

    Fast forward six more years and Oana is still somewhat devoted to her prince of thieves, but a note or realism has crept in. I can't wait forever, she says. And I don't expect Octa to wait forever. Wait for what, I ask. For each other of course, she replies incredulously, but there is nobody else for me.

    Not quite. Oana has a loose arrangement three nights a week. A British official comes to her tiny basement flat and she makes him dinner and relieves him of all the stresses of the day and he brushes his teeth and leaves in the morning. The British official is not Octavian, but he could be Brutus.

    I promised not to single out Romanians. So let me paint this with a broader brush. A particular generation of the expatriate community here in Brussels, of which I still find myself for work reasons a very reluctant member, certainly seems to be unwilling to commit to itself. This is not to suggest that the cheats are many or few - being rather a private person who has long since dispensed with the wafer-thin social scene here, I could not say - but it is probably true that long-term relationships forged in this community are few.

    Recently a new colleague joined us. He arrived in Brussels both single and resolved to be active and he has remained admirably so despite the drabness of the EU daily grind. He is gay and not long after he began working here, he moved into the (tiny) gaywijk downtown. The tales of his activities have been a rich source of amusement for the rest of us, but despite numerous encounters he has been thus far unable to make any stick. Having graduated from an Ivy League university, he seems to think it necessary to engage the services of an analyst on a weekly basis and this latter suggests that he may have, like so many others in Brussels, a problem with attachment.

    Let us consider the character of this expatriate community: individuals from 27 different cultural, linguistic and social backgrounds converge on a couple of square kilometres and they are expected to somehow reach a professional consensus. Presumably the same should apply to the personal domain, since our function is not solely devoted to labour. In that restless environment, I think it incredible that any relationship forms at all.

    There is an hotel not far from my office which even the guidebooks will tell you charges by the hour. I have passed it on several occasions and it is a discreet sort of place which bears witness to hundreds, maybe thousands of corporeal congressions both acknowledged and clandestine, both affirmed and fleeting. I think this hotel is a better symbol of the EU in Brussels than any many-starred flag.

    A consensus without any long-term commitment. In Brussels, this is our business. If we cannot expect any more from our work, the reason most of us are here, then how can we expect the people themselves to be hypocrites? Meanwhile Mrs L'arri and I, a couple forged long before we came here, we can only look on bemused, as do other pre-Brussels couples we know. And when you love someone, when you need them in your life, this town can seem rather desolate, a place and a populace with little time for emotions.
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    bicing

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 10:16 »
    Another culture's attitude to cheating:

    What I've heard about INDIA.

    It's absolutely unheard of. As a step before marriage, both families go through extensive reference and history checks, where investigators dig up all the goss and scandal. If cheating was a part of any family member's life, that family is essentially black-listed and it beocmes incredibly difficult for the members of that family to get hitched in the future. So it's a real curse!

    It probably happens but it is kept VEEEEEEEERY secret, and therefore looks squeaky clean.
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  • benotti69

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #3 on: October 05, 2012, 10:54 »
    I get the impression that cultures that had a long history of arranged marriages would have this history of cheating.

    My experience in Italy is that a lot of men subconciously view women as objects. The way men will obviously stare at women made me glad i was not a woman. Total undressing of them visually, especially 30+ doing it to any female from 13 onwards. Not nice.

    My wife's grandfather in Italy was made to marry a woman as it wa prearranged from when they were very young. Not a monied family, in fact quite rural. Total loveless marriage and it shows in their children and certain grandchildren.

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    ram

    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 12:01 »
    Another culture's attitude to cheating:

    What I've heard about INDIA.

    It's absolutely unheard of. As a step before marriage, both families go through extensive reference and history checks, where investigators dig up all the goss and scandal. If cheating was a part of any family member's life, that family is essentially black-listed and it beocmes incredibly difficult for the members of that family to get hitched in the future. So it's a real curse!

    It probably happens but it is kept VEEEEEEEERY secret, and therefore looks squeaky clean.
    They don't and they don't. Don't sleuth the whole family's sexual history and topography of which parts the genome has been spread. But cheating is not common.
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  • Zam

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 12:04 »
    I get the impression that cultures that had a long history of arranged marriages would have this history of cheating.

    My experience in Italy is that a lot of men subconciously view women as objects. The way men will obviously stare at women made me glad i was not a woman. Total undressing of them visually, especially 30+ doing it to any female from 13 onwards. Not nice.

    My wife's grandfather in Italy was made to marry a woman as it wa prearranged from when they were very young. Not a monied family, in fact quite rural. Total loveless marriage and it shows in their children and certain grandchildren.

     :)   O0
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  • bicing

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 12:23 »
    They don't and they don't. Don't sleuth the whole family's sexual history and topography of which parts the genome has been spread. But cheating is not common.
    OK so its not cultural - just for the families who I've attended the weddings of then.
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  • ram

    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 13:56 »
    You've met some right dodgy Injuns.
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  • bicing

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 11:01 »
    This thread is about understanding and learning culture in the context of relationships and cheating.

    I didn't offend Ram, I said something I had learned from Indian culture and learned that it wasn't culture it was an isolated case. Happy to have learned something!!
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  • « Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 17:55 by Dim, Reason: minor edit removing image »

    Dim

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 17:56 »
    :admin

    Ok. Guys, while this could be a very interesting discussion and thread can we please ensure we dont step over the line. I have removed one post that was walking a very dodgy line, and 2 that were in languages other than english.

    Consider before posting:
    + Could the comment be offensive to people from certain nations, not just members but guests who are visiting the forum
    + Remember that this is an english speaking forum.

    Thanks.
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  • « Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 20:05 by Dim »

    Xdout

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    Re: The culture of cheating in relationships
    « Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 01:13 »
    Very common in the Caribbean, but even more common is girls having children from different men, I.e they may have let's say 3 children and each one will have a different father. Or a guy having children with more than one women is also very common.

    In fact in Barbados they have a law that states that if a man marries a woman, or become their common law husband ( this is when you are not married but have lived together for more than 2 years) the courts can hold you responsible for all the children she has even if they are not yours.

    The really unfair part it is even after you and her split the court can still hold you responsible for the children that aren't yours along with yours. Admittedly the part about being responsible for someone else children doesn't happen often, but none the less the law is there and it is enforced in a few cases- very unfair.

    They should be going after the real fathers, but I guess between some of these girls not knowing who the father is and the many deadbeat dads, the are just looking for someone to pay for these children.
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