Is Cheating Worse When You’re Married?

Post-failed engagement, I’m not sure how into the idea of marriage I am. I think it’s great for other people and maybe I’ll really want to get married eventually, but for now, I don’t really see it as the end-all, be-all of my romantic future. That said, I’m all about commitment and monogamy, just without a legal document decreeing it so. But according to a conversation on “The View” this morning, this kind of commitment — the wedding band-less kind — is not as serious. The gals were talking about David Letterman of course, and Whoopi kept exclaiming that during the time that Letterman was schtooping his staff, he may have been with Regina Lasko for nearly 20 years, but he hadn’t married her yet. And based on all the clatter Whoopi has heard around the Hot Topics table over the years, that made his cheating not as bad. I think that’s ridiculous. When I commit to someone, I commit fully. I expect the same of my partner and if he’s not willing to offer the same level, then I will kick him to the curb. And if he does promise to be true, but then he goes and cheats anyway, I would be just as furious as if he had put a ring on it first. See, before I was engaged, I felt married to my boyfriend. And then when we got engaged, I continued to feel already married. Sure, when we broke up, it was easier to deal with because there wasn’t a mountain of paperwork, but the heartbreak I felt was what could be expected when a five-year marriage ends in such a heartbreaking way. Maybe the pain wasn’t as drawn out because we didn’t have to see each other on the regular in order to deal with a legal separation, but, emotionally, I was a grieving spouse.

And I’m not alone. Many, many people are opting to be in committed, monogamous relationships without putting their commitment promises on paper. Because, really, what does that piece of paper even mean in terms of the promises you keep? You can still break them and, unless you build specific punishment clauses into a pre-nup, you don’t lose anything substantial by going back on your word. Cheating is cheating, no matter whom you’re doing it to.