Horrible Serial Cheating A**hole Explains How He “Respectfully” Cheats On His Fiancé

Jesse James (and Sandra Bullock) attend the 2010 SAG Awards.

“There’s a right way and a wrong way to be a piece of shit.” Jesse James (and Sandra Bullock) attend the 2010 SAG Awards.

Yes, sure, there’s an exception to every rule but, for the most part (and we’re pretty comfortable making this generalization) cheating on your significant other makes you an asshole.

Why?, those among you who cheat may be wondering.

For one, lying to your partner is always a shitty thing to do–to say nothing of the danger you put them in each time you have sex with another person. Let’s leave it at that.

Of course, few should be surprised that liars have a knack for lying to themselves, which brings us to this: New York Magazine’s The Cut ran an unfiltered exegesis yesterday called Confessions of a Serial Cheater, in which an about-to-be-married philanderer explains how he tries not to be an asshole while being a huge asshole.

First things first, we don’t know much about our serial cheater, other than that he’s engaged and wants to start a family. We also know he doesn’t remember the first time he cheated on someone–though he does remember the first time he cheated on his fiancé: “How many people have I cheated on her with since?” he wonders, “More than ten, fifteen, maybe twenty.” Nice!

So, while we don’t know his age, economic status or background, we do know that this guy is The Worst. For example:

There is such a thing as respectful infidelity. That’s one of the things that I always think about. As much as I’ve been unfaithful at times, I’ve tried, as respectfully as I could, to do it without hurting anyone’s feelings and getting caught. You keep your phone history clear or blacklist numbers from being able to call you or text you. Also, don’t shit where you eat. Sure, it’s much easier to go and have sex with your secretary than it is to leave town and go somewhere and meet someone randomly, but New York City’s big enough where you can meet someone who you will never see again. Anybody from work, those people have to be off-limits. And I’ve never been with a married woman.

But perhaps the most delusional aspect of this guy’s beliefs about himself? To cheat respectfully, he suggests, is to always go home afterwards:

There are things you reserve for the person you love, like spending the night in that person’s arms. I’m not going to be unpassionate with someone I’m cheating with, but I won’t spend the night. Everybody draws the line somewhere, and that’s where I draw mine.

We usually find printed cheater confessions (or prostitute-filled bachelor party exposés) to be a little too fear-mongering, but what’s fascinating–and deeply unsettling–about The Cut’s piece is not that some people are perfectly content with cheating on and lying to a person they plan to marry… but that some of them have even convinced themselves there’s a “right” way to do so. Just to clarify, that it not a thing that exists.

Of course, he does deal with guilt:

I do deal with guilt. The guilt is always looming. One of the biggest problems with being a cheater is that there’s some level of intimacy that I can’t have with my fiancée. If I get a call from her and she’s crying, my heart will stop because the first thing I’ll think is that she’s found out about what I’ve been doing. I initially have this selfish reaction, which is horrible. But then she’ll say, “Oh my God, I failed this exam,” and I’ll breathe a sigh of relief before saying, “That really sucks.”

So at least he has a soul, right?

Go read the rest over at The Cut.

(Photo via Getty)

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    • Charmless


      Even if there is a mythical “right way” to cheat on someone, this guy isn’t doing it.

    • LindsayCross

      There are lots of predictable internet pieces that I really hate. (I’m pretty sure Jen had a list of the lady-flavored ones recently…) But the cheating justification/appeal for sympathy/”We’re not made to be monogamous” crap has to be my least favorite.

      There is no respectful infidelity. And it’s not worth arguing with anyone who has performed the ethical gymnastics necessary to believe such bullshit. I’ll simply be thankful that I’m not a committed relationship with such an asshole.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Agreed. Like, I think it’s a-okay to not be monogamous and to feel like you cannot be monogamous as long as both parties are totally down with that situation, as long as everyone is informed, as long as all feelings are considered.

        In this case, dude is just a total asshole.

      • LindsayCross

        Definitely! I guess I should have qualified there. I have no problem with people writing about a choice to not be monogamous, as long as they’re talking about being honest and open with their partners about the situation. My issue is the people who use that line to excuse cheating, as if there was simply no other option for them but to deceive their partner.
        There is an option! State from the very beginning that you aren’t interested in monogamy.

    • pattya

      it sounds like the writer is suffering from a commitment conflict and therefore an intimacy issue. the cheating is the way that it is manifesting and it is terrible. some people avoid commitment by working late, hanging out with friends, etc…his brand has larger and more dangerous implications, even if he is practicing safe sex.

      this problem will not go away because he wants it too, it will go away when he addresses it in therapy. he will resent his wife (although states he hopes not too) and he will continue cheating even if he stops for a while. he is not equipped to handle the intimacy which comes with a ltr that is why he always has created this out – a slice of freedom that allows him to be “himself.”

      it is a really sad thing, for both him and her. he should cop to it and get help. usually people who suffer from active commitment conflicts partner with people who have passive commitment conflicts, it most often a combustible combination. it will not lead to happiness for either. if they marry it will be come a hostage situation for both of them.

    • Cee

      There is no respect when you are constantly lying to someone.

      • Jud

        It is if you work on Wallstreet or are a politician.

    • Alexis H

      When I saw that this was about respectful cheating, I was expecting something more along the lines of how this guy has an “agreement” with his wife, but not this. This is just regular cheating. I like how this guy equates covering his own ass and not getting caught with respect. Cool story, bro.

    • anna

      ugh ugh ugh.
      The thing is, she probably knows. I was with the perfect boy (refuse to say man) from age 16 to 21. For 3 years he was perfect, then he started doing drugs and having mental issues and his behavior changed.
      You can tell. If you’re with someone that long, you can tell. I could tell the slightest variation of his tone. I knew for so long he was sleeping around and refused to admit it to myself. You always know on some level.
      I hope she dumps him soon.

    • Hudson Valley Chronic

      Biff’s relationship advice, with appropriate musical accompaniment:
      Not much good will come of this. Try not to breed and fill the future with more whining, self-involved crybabies. Anyway, here’s a sextet (how appropriate!) of songs our serial cheater can use as a soundtrack to his upcoming dramatic arc as it is sure to unfold:
      1) I Know You Want Me. This is for your current cocksure state, in which you think you’re all that: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/running-out
      2) The Madman. This is for when you can’t help yourself and go out for another sleazy night of drinking, drugging and sleeping with self-loathing women: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/the-madman
      3) What Did I Do? This one’s to convince you that you did the right thing when you actually settle down and marry the poor wretch for about two minutes: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/what-did-i-do
      4) Running Out. This is to make you feel better when you realize you screwed up and have to rationalize leaving her: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/running-out
      5) Crawl To Me. This one’s for the remote possibility that she’ll manage to ditch you first, and you feel the need to get all hurt and vengeful: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/crawl-to-me
      6) To Keep On Living. And this will help you cope in the not inconceivable event that she kills herself when she finds out what an absolute shit you are: https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/to-keep-on-living
      Good luck with all that, and happy listening!