“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.” Samuel Johnson

Edgar cheated on me during our 12-year relationship.

Bill Clinton cheated on Hilary.

John Edwards cheated on Elizabeth.

Brad Pitt cheated on Jennifer.

Jack Welsh cheated on Jane.

Prince Charles cheated on Diana.

Elizabeth Taylor cheated on Eddie.

Meg Ryan cheated on Dennis, although he cheated on her, too. (see Lynn’s comment below).

Jennifer Lopez cheated on Chris.

Tori Spelling cheated on Charlie.

Many people cheat. Men. And Women. I’m sure you know many who have.

But Tim and FOF friend, Melanie, have never cheated on one another in their 32 years of marriage and never will. I would bet my life on it. If Tim could spend every hour of every day next to Melanie, he would. He wouldn’t cheat anyone, anytime, anywhere. And Melanie, who wants to please Tim 24/7, wouldn’t cheat if George Clooney wanted to take her away with him.

So when Melanie told me she thinks there “should be a little bit of mistrust” in every relationship, I thought she was bonkers. “Why should there be a single shred of mistrust?” I asked. If you don’t trust someone unequivocally who you’ve been with for 32 years, whom do you trust?

Maybe Melanie and Tim’s marriage has been so successful because each of them is always a little scared the other will leave. I couldn’t operate that way. Worrying “a little” that someone I love will leave me or cheat on me seems to be an awful waste of energy. It wouldn’t excite me. I worried about Edgar for 12 years and it didn’t make me want him more. It made me anxious. I don’t do well with anxious. I could have saved a lot of unnecessary anxiety if I had had the guts to leave.

But if a little mistrust excites Melanie and Tim, who am I to complain? I’ve never had a relationship as long lasting as theirs. And I never will.

Maybe they have a point.




0 Responses to ““It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.” Samuel Johnson”

  1. eleanore wells says:

    “A little bit of mistrust”. I get it. Everybody’s more desirable when they’re desired by someone else…or we just think they are.

    eleanore – The Spinsterlicious Life

  2. Geri says:

    Hi b,

    i am happy you like the subject and look forward to reading what you write. Also love what you said about people being married a long time being very much in love.


  3. Marsha Calhoun says:

    Like you, I know a happily (I think) married couple who seem to enjoy being jealous of one another. They find it complimentary. This puzzles me. I would find it insulting if my husband worried that I would cheat on him – because that would mean that he considered me an untrustworthy person who could not adhere to a promise, and who didn’t care enough about him to avoid behavior that would hurt him. I guess the enjoyment part comes after you feel taken for granted, and the interest of others (or the possibility that you might take an interest in others) shows your spouse that you are still alive and desirable. Not for me, but at least I understand it.

    By the way, the woman in the couple mentioned above also agreed many years ago with her now-ex-husband to participate in what we then called an “open marriage” (which I think corresponds to polyamory), and she described it later as the most miserable time in her life.

  4. Kate Line Snider says:

    They don’t all cheat.

    • Geri says:

      hi kate,

      agree, that’s why i said “many.” hope you didn’t get the impression i meant all.


  5. b says:

    I have been married for 50 years now. I still watch when my husband dances with another woman. I think he is strong and ruggedly handsome in his own way. I like that other women find him charming. Do I distrust him…not at all. I know he loves me more that almost anything. I know he love golf a lot…but still I am pretty sure he loves me more.

    Each marriage find balance but those of us that have been married this long are for the most part still very much in love.

    As for cheating…I have no patience with a person that would cheat! I don’t want to know about it ever. However, I do not think that Dennis Quaid or even President Clinton were or are less proficient at their jobs because they cheated. It is simply none of our business!



    (PS I will be writing about this soon…the subject is fascinating!)

  6. Duchesse says:

    What she might mean is that if you don’t worry even a little, you open the door to taking the person for granted.

    I am interested in the concept of polyamory, which some young people have adopted. They accept multiple partners, so the concept of “cheating’ is not present. I could not throw off 60 some years of programming but I am waiting to see if their framework is better. In the ’70s I saw plenty of open marriages and not one was happy after awhile. But maybe the time is right for people to let go of the ownership model.

    There are days when I think I could have entered a polygamous marriage if I was accultured to it young enough 🙂

  7. Lynn says:

    Put DENNIS QUAID on your list as CHEATER, not vice versa! He cheated on Meg Ryan for many years before she left him and he has also cheated on his current wife repeatedly!


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