Halloween is upon us everyone, which for dude means it's time to half-ass a costume (oh, look at that, you're wearing your old fraternity t-shirt and dressing up like a frat boy... how clever,) and drink as much as possible. For ladies, it means finally being free of that cumbersome dignity you carry around the rest of the year and put on your finest "Sexy ______" costume. This holiday, boys and girls, is a recipe for disaster - especially if you have a significant other. What better day to cheat on your honey boo boo than one where everyone is plied with alcohol, and wearing masks (if not clothes.)
Experts estimate that as many as 60% of men have cheated on their partner, and while women aren’t quite as apt to stray, about 50% of them are cheaters. While we may understand why someone would cheat on Halloweekend, the rest of the year is a little more complicated. We may never know what drove Kristen to cheat on Rob or Brad to cheat on Jen (oh wait, that one's easy: Angelina Jolie,) but we can look at a few of the common reasons why people do.
Some excuses for cheating are just idiotic (Doesn’t count in a different area code, bro!,) but some situations are actually pretty nebulous, and can make us question the gut reaction that “All cheaters are bad I hate cheaters; Team Aniston, Team RPatz, Team Sandy Bullock,” and maybe, actually, just a little bit, sympathize with the cheater.
On that note, allow me introduce our five panelists for the day, each of them a big, fat cheater. But wait! Don’t hate them yet, listen to what they have to say first. Everyone has a story to tell, so let’s let these sex-crazed egoists terrified of commitment, umm, I man fine ladies and gentlemen who have made mistakes, like all of us, tell theirs. (Names, for obvious reasons, have been changed.)
PANELIST 1: JEN
Hi, my name is Jen and I cheated on my boyfriend because he got fat.
Look, I just wanted to get it out there to start with because I know what everyone thinks when they find out I cheated on Samuel because he got a little thick in the middle. The thing is, that it’s not that he was fat that bothered me (I’ve actually dated dudes who were heavier than Sam in the past, and never even thought about cheating on them.) What bothered me is that he stopped trying. I get that when you’re in an LTR you can get a little lazy -- I’ll be the first to admit that by the time I cheated on Sam there was a whole section of my closet that was so laughably tiny, I actually wondered how I ever managed to fit into them.
But it wasn’t just about the fact that we were both a little bigger, sure, we were. Sam took it a step further. We used to go get drinks and chat at a new bar -- or even just the bar across the street, we’d go to dinner, the movies, concerts, he’d surprise me with stupid, little presents. When I’d suggest doing any of those things Sam would just say, “But, babe, we have HBO and I just bought some PBR, why would I want to go out?” I started feeling really taken for granted, and THEN when he started getting even fatter, I couldn’t bear it anymore. I was attached to a man who wasn’t physically attractive and who also wasn’t treating me the way I thought I deserved.
Sooooo, when a hot (and decidedly not fat) guy on the 5th floor of my office building started paying attention to me - surprising me with lunch, and taking me out to happy hour... well I just melted. So yeah, I’m the office slut who cheated on her fat boyfriend. But you know what? After I did it I realized that all of the things that were wrong with my relationship were fixable (seriously, how hard is it to go to a bar once in awhile and not be fat?) and I started actively asking for what I wanted instead of just being passive-aggressive and mopey. And you know what? It worked. Sam and I are engaged now. And sure, he’ll never know about the 5th floor affair, but why would I hurt him like that?
PANELIST 2: JORDAN
Hi, my name is Jordan and I cheat because women let me.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet: I have cheated, and will continue to cheat, simply because I can get away with it. Even when I have come clean, all guilt-ridden and apologetic, expecting her to lash out at me and tell me what a disgusting, unfaithful, ungrateful pig I am, usually all I am met with is a quiet headshake, and then... forgiveness? If you don’t want me to cheat, then stand up for yourselves ladies, otherwise I don’t really see the point in not having my cake and eating it too, ya know what I mean?
PANELIST 3: SHAUNA
Hi, my name is Shauna and I cheated because he cheated first.
Fair’s fair, am I right? When my (yes, now ex-) boyfriend came home one night at like 3am, reeking of booze and looking disheveled, I of course had my suspicions. When he immediately got in the shower because he “smelled like the bar” I was pretty sure I knew what was going on. When I heard his text message alert while he was still in the shower, of course I looked and of course my suspicions were confirmed: “Nxt time i’ll come to yours xo.” Angry doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. Hurt. Betrayed. Humiliated. Broken. And yeah, angry, out for fucking blood angry.
We had one of those screaming fights that you think only happen in movies and make you glad that you don’t have roommates anymore, and I made him sleep on the couch (I know, I know so cliche.) But, when I woke up in the morning he was all apologies and niceties and oh-my-God-I-was-so-drunks that I ended up forgiving him. At least for a bit.
A few weeks passed and I couldn’t get the whole incident out of my mind, I just kept imagining him with another woman, going back to her apartment, having sex with her, and then coming home to me. The whole thing felt so sleazy and awful and I realized that I actually didn’t ever really forgive him. I was still furious, and I needed to find a way to express it... Cut to a few hours later, in some age-inappropriate outfit, one martini too many in my system, and a vendetta in my heart. It’s really not hard to have meaningless sex if you’re a woman, so once I had set my mind to it, there wasn’t much else to do. “Oh sure I’ll have another, haha,” “Oh what’s that, you say you’re a banker, wow you must have a really nice apartment,” “Oh I would love to come see your rooftop, that’s so cool that you have such a good view!”
And just like that, I became a cheater. You can’t really blame me, can you?
PANELIST 4: ROBERT
Hi, my name is Robert and I cheated because my wife didn’t put out.
My case is really a simple one, before I married my wife, we were having sex all. the. time. I couldn’t keep my hands off her and she couldn’t keep hers off me. We had this insane physical connection that I had never experienced with anyone else before. I mean, obviously I’m a guy so I like sex and always have, but with my wife it was different, it was unbelievable. When we started dating more seriously and I got to know her better, it became pretty clear to me pretty quickly that this was not a girl I was going to let get away. How many hot blondes who love baseball, actually enjoy cooking, and will watch Old School with you on repeat do you know? Probably not many. I don’t mean to belittle my wife, she wasn’t just a horny blonde with great tastes (but she was that,) she was also kind, and smart, and hilarious, and seemed to really, really like me.
So, I put a ring on it. And while our relationship stayed really strong for a year or so, after a while the sex just kind of stopped. First it was just a couple times a week (fine,) then once a week (not great, but I could deal,) then every other week, until finally it was once a month, if I was lucky. I still loved my wife for everything that she was, I didn’t want to, and still don’t want to leave her, but I was really unsatisfied. I mean, wouldn’t you be? I’m not asking for her to be the nymphy 24-year-old she was when we met, but I gotta count on getting laid more than 10 times a year, right?
PANELIST 5: LINDSEY
Hi, my name is Lindsey and I cheated because I’m an opportunist.
Sometimes you just have to seize the day, carpe diem, ya know? (Or are we saying YOLO now?) Anyway, I have a boyfriend, yes, and I love him, of course, blah blah. But is he Ryan Gosling? No he’s not. He’s just not. So when actual real life Ryan Gosling walked into the bar, started chatting me up, and then asked me to go home with him, well, I fucking said yes and I would do it a-fucking-gain. Please, like you wouldn’t.
Alright, fair Insticators, what do you think? Are you buying any of these excuses? Have you ever cheated -- and if so why? (If you don’t feel like disclosing that you’re a cheater, feel free to use the age old trick: “So I have this friend who...”)
Alternatively, have you ever been cheated on? And what kind of excuse were you fed? Did you forgive and forget orrrrrrrrrr did you fuck their best friend?