I wrote the majority of this in response to someone on another forum who was cheating on her husband and wanted the on-line community to tell her it was okay.
What follows is a slightly edited version of my response.
Wow - I missed a huge thread. I kinda wish I had followed it from the beginning to insert my pithy comments filled with the wisdom of my years.
But I will add some now - and not even so much on how I think it is always wrong to cheat (and for me that includes e-cheating as well - - - physical cheating, emotional cheating, online cheating - its all cheating)
Early on someone said that you don't choose who you fall in love with. I mentioned this in another post - but I think that's dead wrong. Love is a choice. Let me set that off in its own little paragraph:
Love is a choice.
See. Looks important there all by itself. We do not choose whom we have a chemical attraction to. We do not choose infatuation or lust. But love is not just a feeling it is an action - predicated on an intense desire to both be with a person, to be committed to that person, and to want what is best for that person. We choose to love - and when the rough times appear that choice carries you through them.
Cheating is not love. It is selfish and predicated on lust. It is dishonest to all involved parties and no relationship can be built on dishonesty.
(I guess I will talk about cheating after-all)
No one, unless certifiably mentally ill, does anything without thinking about it first. This is why Jesus said that to lust after a woman is to commit adultery in your heart. Even if you don't believe in Christianity, the essence is the same. You don't cheat on someone or with someone without first thinking it through. It is at this stage that self-mastery comes into play. If you can't learn to control your thoughts and your emotions then you are weak. If you learn control then you are strong. All forms of strength and weakness are derived from this.
Do people make mistakes? They surely do.
But if you cheat it is a hell of your own making. Am I perfect - we know that I am not. Being mortal entails fallibility.
But this goes back once more to why love is a choice. Make up your mind ahead of time that you will love a person. Decide what you will do when faced with situations which might disrupt or cause harm to your relationship or that person.
I am thousands of miles away from my wife, surrounded by Chinese girls who are attracted to Americans because they are American (especially if they are white). I am bored and lonely as hell - but I avoid any situations which I feel might compromise my integrity.
I made a choice. Does that make me self-righteous?
You are free to think so. I do not believe I am better than you (any who are reading this). But I do believe that I am correct in these assertions.
I do not believe that love is fate. Nor is it chemistry. Both of those can help a person meet and have initial attraction.
I believe love to be a choice. For some this seems like it would be coldly calculating (and maybe sometimes it is) - but I believe that most relationships fail because they do not realize that as the newness fades they never actually decided to love each other.
If you choose to love someone - behave in accordance to that love. When rough times come (and they will, and if you stay through them they go away . . . and then come back) you can be prepared with your choice to keep loving that person, even if sometimes you feel you don't want to.