I didn't say anything. I figured arguing with my brother wasn't worth it. But A.P. and I talked about it later. We both agreed that what Chester did to Precious Angel was pretty freaking lame, plus it was disrespectful to Precious Angel and his relationship with her. The question is, did he cheat?
Years ago, my other brother and I had a discussion about cheating. He confessed he'd cheated on a girlfriend of his that I had particularly liked. I couldn't understand why and he didn't seem to be very remorseful of his behavior. He told me that the relationship was basically over anyway and that things hadn't been working out, so he'd cheated. But then he asked me an interesting question and one I've never forgotten: Does it count as cheating if you never get caught? He phrased it under the same guise as the proverbial tree falling in the woods. If no one is there to catch you before, during, or after the act of cheating, is it really cheating? My answer was an emphatic yes, because, I asserted, every person has a conscious and in the end, you'd have to live with the fact that what you did was potentially incredibly hurtful to your significant other. He, of course, argued that it might technically be defined as cheating, but that the reality is that that behavior is only being unfaithful if you get caught.
The argument infuriated me and has stayed with me ever since. However, the older I get, the more I sort of see what he's saying. Let's be clear, I am in NO WAY advocating cheating (don't use me as your scapegoat, people. I don't dig it. Not at all.), but I think that the complications and subtlety of being an adult in a very sexual world (where flirting sometimes gets you everywhere) make this argument a little more convincing.
Let's go back to Chester and Precious Angel for some clarification. Let's say all Chester sent was a flirty text. Let's assume there was nothing sexual about it, just some flirty banter between Random Broad and old Chester. Was Chester cheating? I'd argue no, even though I'd probably be bothered by it. But it certainly wouldn't fall into the category of cheating, in my opinion. So, if Precious Angel hadn't found it, no harm no foul. But she did, considered it a form of cheating and an argument ensued. See? I don't agree with my brother's position, but now, as an adult, I get it.
What really makes his argument both true and irksome is that practically the same scenario works out if the texts were more than just flirty banter. If Chester had said something provocative and sexual to Random Broad and Precious Angel never finds out (and Chester never physically cheats), again, no harm no foul. It's neither fair to Precious Angel, nor is it right, but technically speaking, she goes on living in ignorant bliss and the text-cheating (or whatever you'd call it) disappears when he reaches his text limit and deletes them. Therein lies the rub.
Obviously, Chester has to live with what he did, but let's be honest. Men and women's definitions of cheating are often not aligned and Chester probably didn't think what he was doing was so bad. So, the question becomes what constitutes cheating? Obviously, if you have any kind of sex with someone else, you've cheated. I think we'd also all agree we wouldn't want our peep's lips on anybody else's, either. So, barring either of those two scenarios, what is considered cheating? Is what Chester did cheating in either scenario? Do you buy my brother's theory on cheating? And let's be clear, you don't have to agree with it; I certainly don't. You just have to, sort of, philosophically understand it. Chime in in the comments section!
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