Like I said, I've cheated and I've been cheated on. Cheating isn't exactly something I am proud of and when I have cheated it was a warning sign that I was unhappy, in a dysfunctional relationship or a combination of the two. The way I dealt with post-cheating is either to own up or end the relationship.
What is infidelity though? Is it the thought or the act? Is the act a touch, kiss, snog, sexual act or penetration or the intention?
I am, maybe unusally for a woman, able to distinguish between sex, making love and fucking and as such I think the emotional betrayal is worse than a physical one. If my partner said they were in love with another woman it would crush me more than if they had sex with someone else.
The first time
I was a teenager and the cheating was one (maybe four) snog(s) at a party. My boyfriend wasn't at the party and we had had a massive argument about me going to said party. Half way through kissing someone else I started to cry. I loved my boyfriend so why was I here snogging someone else? I called a taxi (which in 1997 amounted to three hours of wages) and went straight to my boyf's place, he was stoned and playing a computer game, he had never looked more innocent and lovely (God, I needed my head testing) and I admitted to kissing someone else. We spent the next 48 hours holed up in his bedroom discussing our relationship. He agreed that we were both at fault(?) and the rest of our time together (around six months) was great.
The second time
I had broken up with the love of my life and was in a rebound fling. Three weeks after the fling had begun, it was flung for me. Jerry had become attached very quicky, for reasons I found out much later, and I met someone I had instant chemisty with, spent the night with. When I say spent the night, I mean really dirty sex. Name calling, spanking, dirty. I went round to Jerry's house the next morning and ended it. Phew! Except the man I had cheated on Jerry with then stalked me for the next week. Head fuck, hell yeah.
The third time
It was the clincher that ended my relationship with Mr Maybe-next-time and the realisation that a) I needed sex, good sex, meaningful sex and b) I didn't love Mr Maybe-next-time c) I loved someone else (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and had done for over a year and an half.