Lately, I have found myself contemplating what makes someone a bad person. I have been thinking about how this more specifically applies to cheaters. Can a person do bad things but be good? Can a person do good things but be bad? Before you go dig out your copy of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, read on.
A cheater is a quintessential bad person. A cheater makes a promise to one person, and breaks it by doing something physical with another.
So, you cheat on your girlfriend and have sex with someone else. What if you still idolize her as your number one, your most important person? It doesn’t mean you like her any less, or that you aren’t attracted to her anymore, or that you don’t still think she’s wonderful… you just felt like shagging someone different for a change. This is BAD. You cheated. You broke the rule, you pay the price of being labeled “bad.”
Yes. I agree that if you simultaneously violate a promise and put your loved one at risk, this is bad. But while an agreement to be exclusive explicitly means “no sex with other people”, there is (almost) never a “no greater emotional closeness to anyone else than me” clause. But what about emotional cheating? You can share your wishes, accomplishments, and failures… essentially all the details of your life with someone who isn’t your boyfriend, and you’re in the clear. You can be emotionally closer to a number of people than your chosen one, and nobody is going to come around saying “Look at that bad person… sharing hopes and disappointments with people all over town! Shame on her! Shame…”
This is not defined as cheating. Our culture does not identify the emotional aspect of a relationship as equally important as the phyiscal. Can fidelity even be defined in abstract terms?
What is more disturbing to you – that your significant other slept with someone else, or that your other confides her deepest secrets in another?