Debate Relationships

Readers’ Debate: When Does Extramarital Flirtation Become Cheating?

At what point does one cross the line, and what does the other partner do about it?

I have been watching Season 2 of The Crown recently (Season 3’s awesome reviews made me want to quickly catch up on the previous episodes), and I happened to find one of them particularly interesting.

It’s when Prince Philip joins a men’s club, and then goes on a long tour to Australia, and, in his absence, Queen Elizabeth hears all kinds of rumours that he may have been philandering with his buddies.

Now, we all know that couples around the world often face this problem, especially at a certain age after a certain number of years of a too-comfortable marriage.

Up to a point, one may put up with a spouse’s roving eye or penchant for talking a bit too much or enjoying the company of the opposite sex. However, if things go on too long, and when that partner goes beyond mutually accepted boundaries, it can definitely lead to feelings of betrayal, pain and conflict.

They may continue as a couple (because marriage is about so much more than just love and happiness). But once trust is lost, things will never be quite the same between them.

Yet, there are many grey areas between point A and B. At what point does a bit of harmless flirtation with other people other than your spouse become cheating?

Is it okay for a husband to meet a woman acquaintance outside for dinner and wine without the knowledge of the wife?

Is it okay for a wife to have long intimate WhatsApp chats with her husband’s best buddy, who now happens to be a very good friend of hers too?

Season 2 of The Crown is tactfully ambiguous about whether Philip actually had affairs while on his Australia tour or with the waitresses in his men’s lunch club.

But in a real-life situation, would a wife consider it cheating and what should she do about it?

What would you do about it?

3 comments on “Readers’ Debate: When Does Extramarital Flirtation Become Cheating?

  1. You remember this phrase spelled out often:
    ” Dill Lagga Gaddhi per, Pari kya chij hai ”
    Loyalty and respect combined with mutual admiration is needed !

  2. Each couple is different. For some, the attention one’s spouse receives serves as a source of pride, maybe even a feeling of acceptance in a social group they aspire for, etc. It may also serve as a source of enjoyment for the couple, in a playful sense. Whereas, at another point in life, the very same couple may feel that it has aggravated an already-strained relationship. I’m a big supporter of the grey:) Relationships are tricky:) And trust within it, is trickier! It can be lost at any point in a relationship and won back with the smallest of kindness shown to us at the point of our need.

  3. Maitreyi Mohan

    Yes all those situations are definitely cheating . I am not married but I think it would be a deal-breaker for me if my husband did any of those things . It means there is no relationship left….there is no trust or intimacy . So why stay married in such a prison?

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