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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The choice is between (1) definitely not being miserable and probably keeping the positive parts of your status quo, and (2) possibly still being miserable and losing many positive parts of your status quo.

Not really, because cheating does not guarantee not still being miserable.

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Telecaster68
Just now, Grimalkin said:

I feel like you're either going to have a partner who tolerates cheating- at which point they either feel terrible about themselves or it's not really cheating because they are permissive- or one who would be devastated. I wouldn't want to risk my partner being the one who would be devastated.

Nobody would. But sexual partners are also devastated when it turns out their partner is asexual.

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anamikanon
36 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Many of those are definites to choosing to split up, where they're just possibles with cheating. That would make cheating a more rational choice.  

No, the impact also largely depends on the dishonesty factor. When married, you have made a promise of commitment to a person. Most marriages are implicitly monogamous. Cheating is a breach of that contract. A cheater is seen as a dishonest person. The "definites" are not at all the same. For example, the difference between losing custody of children and them hating you for breaking up the home. Or being seen as untrustworthy and professionally problematic in the workspace. Most workspaces don't like office romances and those romances being secretive in addition will most likely torpedo any goodwill or even result in losing a job - particularly if one of the partners directly reports to the other or is otherwise in a position of authority. On the other hand, most workplaces don't care about divorces - it is seen as a personal matter unless you're running for US president - I think those need to stay married for some reason.

 

Similarly friends are often accepting of divorces, but cheating is seen as a betrayal and deliberate hurt and the sympathy is definitely with the spouse and chances are that a cheater will face significant rejection from shared social circles. And so on.

 

The issue is not a mere breaking up, it is one of losing respect.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

Not really, because cheating does not guarantee not still being miserable.

Ultimately. But clearly there will be intense highs and presence of physical intimacy which you wouldn't otherwise have, and that has a huge emotional impact, not just in the moment.

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Because monogamous relationships, and explicitly in marriage, imply sex, unless otherwise stated, just as they imply emotional support, etc. When something as fundamental as that is unilaterally withdrawn, you don't feel you can trust anything else is permanent either.

 

This can equally apply to fidelity.  

Is that the usual model, where one partner abruptly withdraws sex in a vacuum and then gaslights the other partner about it?  Not saying that doesn’t happen but it doesn’t sound like most people here have experienced it that way.

 

In that case, to me, the trust issue would be the insisting that nothing is wrong/nothing has changed/no idea what you’re talking about, honey part rather than the sex itself.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Nobody would. But sexual partners are also devastated when it turns out their partner is asexual.

Asexuality, similar to late discovery of homosexuality in a het marriage, isn’t a choice.  It’s a discovery of an incompatibility (or at least a serious challenge to compatibility) that’s sad (potentially to the point of devastation) for both partners, if the relationship is otherwise a good one.

 

Cheating is a choice.

 

Not the same thing.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

When married, you have made a promise of commitment to a person. Most marriages are implicitly monogamous.

Which implies sexual commitment and monogamy, which an asexual has unilaterally ended. Isn't that breaking a promise too?

 

2 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

A cheater is seen as a dishonest person.

Most people understand that there are situations in which they wouldn't live up to their ideals, and a relationship where one of the fundamentals has been unilaterally changed by one person, who then avoids engaging with any consequences (which is the common situation in a mixed relationship though not universal) would be one where I think they'd recognise the choices are not black and white.

 

7 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

For example, the difference between losing custody of children and them hating you for breaking up the home. Or being seen as untrustworthy and professionally problematic in the workspace. Most workspaces don't like office romances and those romances being secretive in addition will most likely torpedo any goodwill or even result in losing a job - particularly if one of the partners directly reports to the other or is otherwise in a position of authority. On the other hand, most workplaces don't care about divorces - it is seen as a personal matter unless you're running for US president - I think those need to stay married for some reason.

I think this is mostly American culture. You can't be sacked for adultery in the EU. And if they find out.

 

8 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

imilarly friends are often accepting of divorces, but cheating is seen as a betrayal and deliberate hurt and the sympathy is definitely with the spouse and chances are that a cheater will face significant rejection from shared social circles. And so on.

If they know.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Ultimately. But clearly there will be intense highs and presence of physical intimacy which you wouldn't otherwise have, and that has a huge emotional impact, not just in the moment.

There’s also discovering that (your dissatisfactory sex life) wasn’t really the cause of your misery like you thought it was, dealing with added stress (and guilt, if you’re the sort who feels guilty), etc.  Like any other relationship an affair is an unknown.

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Telecaster68
6 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Is that the usual model, where one partner abruptly withdraws sex in a vacuum and then gaslights the other partner about it?  Not saying that doesn’t happen but it doesn’t sound like most people here have experienced it that way.

 

In that case, to me, the trust issue would be the insisting that nothing is wrong/nothing has changed/no idea what you’re talking about, honey part rather than the sex itself.

Partners and Allies is pretty much all partners of people who've realised they're asexual.

 

And to the second part, yes, absolutely. It's still a breach of trust.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

 Like any other relationship an affair is an unknown.

Less unknown than a divorce though.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I think this is mostly American culture.

Cultural differences could certainly account for a good portion of the disagreement here.

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Asexuality, similar to late discovery of homosexuality in a het marriage, isn’t a choice.  It’s a discovery of an incompatibility (or at least a serious challenge to compatibility) that’s sad (potentially to the point of devastation) for both partners, if the relationship is otherwise a good one.

 

Cheating is a choice.

 

Not the same thing.

Having sex removed from your relationship by your partner isn't a choice. 

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

Partners and Allies is pretty much all partners of people who've realised they're asexual.

That’s not what I asked, though.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Having sex removed from your relationship by your partner isn't a choice. 

If one partner realizes they’re not a compatible sexuality with the other, the options within the relationship are to continue to have sex regardless - which a lot of the sexuals here don’t seem to want - or to

stop having sex.  Couples in this situation have to decide between those options.

 

The cause of the limited options isn’t a choice either partner made.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Less unknown than a divorce though.

No, more unknown because it introduces another person(‘s feelings, demands, issues, behaviors, etc.).

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ryn2

Re: trust

 

When you get married, are you trusting your partner won’t eventually discover they’re gay?  Probably, but so is the partner (about themself).  It’s like trusting your partner won’t get dementia.  Those sorts of things aren’t willfully done.

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Telecaster68
12 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

That’s not what I asked, though.

True. I slightly misread, and I'm not saying conscious gaslighting. It's more like boiling a frog.

 

The common pattern seems to be this:

 

1. NRE. Asexual fine/enthusiastic about sex, probably hoping 'this time it'll be okay'.

2. Relationship beds in. Sex tapers off way faster than in non-mixed relationships. Asexual doesn't notice or feels relieved (it transpires later). Sexual starts to wonder what's going on.

3. A pattern emerges: sexual initiates and gets declined, on an ad hoc basis, but nearly every time. Sexual rejections are now hugely the norm. Asexual doesn't notice this pattern, or has vague qualms but doesn't think about it too much beyond hoping their partner isn't getting too pissed off. Sexual meanwhile is desperately trying to figure out what's going on (affair? some other discontent? no longer attractive? some other left field thing?), and feeling the absence of connection intensely.

4. Sexual finally raises the subject. Asexual says they're blindsided, says sexual only wants them for sex, sex isn't important, thinks they have sex far more than they do. Eventually realises this is potentially a dealbreaker and says they'll 'try'.

5. Nothing changes. Sexual tries to figure out what 'trying' means. When they ask the asexual, they can't explain, and feel pressured. Sexual backs off.

6. Nothing changes.

7. Repeat from stage 3, a few times until the threat of the relationship ending becomes real and immediate, or the sexual discovers asexuality is a thing. 

8. The asexual finally takes on board avoiding the issue won't make it go away, and implicitly or explicitly embraces asexuality, and expects the sexual partner to be fine with this.

9. The sexual has no idea what to do, and finds AVEN.

 

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Telecaster68
19 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

If one partner realizes they’re not a compatible sexuality with the other, the options within the relationship are to continue to have sex regardless - which a lot of the sexuals here don’t seem to want - or to

stop having sex.  Couples in this situation have to decide between those options.

 

The cause of the limited options isn’t a choice either partner made.

'Couples' don't have to decide. Sexual partners have to pick from whatever options the asexual offers.

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Telecaster68
15 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Re: trust

 

When you get married, are you trusting your partner won’t eventually discover they’re gay?  Probably, but so is the partner (about themself).  It’s like trusting your partner won’t get dementia.  Those sorts of things aren’t willfully done.

Yes, I am trusting my partner won't discover they're gay, and they hardly ever do. Everybody gets old and ill - you expect it, just like you expect sex to be part of a relationship.

 

None of the formerly-married gay people I know assumed their gayness wouldn't be an dealbreaking issue in their relationship or were in the least shocked that the relationship ended. Most of them initiated the break up.

 

There are groups online for partners of people who discovered they were gay, and those partners are mostly traumatised. Partners of asexuals are in exactly the same boat (apart from maybe the sexual infidelity). 

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anamikanon
55 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The choice is between (1) definitely not being miserable and probably keeping the positive parts of your status quo, and (2) possibly still being miserable and losing many positive parts of your status quo.

Sorry boss, still not able to see merits to using a spouse for the positive parts of a relationship with them while knowingly betraying them. This isn't rational for a lot of people, because it would cause guilt even without being caught. And getting caught causes the kind of deep pain to both that makes sexual deprivation look like a picnic. I have no idea where you see this as rational, but infidelity invariably causes long term trauma to a relationship - if it survives at all. What you are saying makes no sense and given that most of your stands come from personal experience, I don't know whether you are talking on the basis of one successful case, but it is simply not worth it.

 

If someone can deliberately betray their relationship, they don't get that "moral high ground" over someone not meeting their needs due to inability. For that matter, deliberate dishonesty cannot be respected or recommended. It is basically like saying "You know that irritating old lady who insulted you? If you catch her on a lonely street, you can easily get away with snatching her purse. Just wear a mask and she won't know it was you and she can't chase and catch you." It may be possible to execute successfully and is probably the modus operandi of countless pickpockets and the old lady may indeed be one of those irritating ones, but it will trouble most consciences and is very hard to recommend, regardless of the chances of success. And snatching a purse deliberately does not become an appropriate response to her being irritating or insulting.

 

I don't know how to explain this. Either you get it or you don't. 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

still not able to see merits to using a spouse for the positive parts of a relationship with them while knowingly betraying them.

That's pretty much what asexuals are doing isn't it? The betrayal here isn't asexuality, but refusing to engage with the issue because it's 'pressure', etc. 

 

2 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

they don't get that "moral high ground" over someone not meeting their needs due to inability.

I didn't say they did. I said that someone who refuses to addresses their partner's pain in a relationship doesn't get the moral high ground over someone who cheated.

 

I'm not arguing that infidelity is morally okay. I'm arguing that it's uniquely vilified to the point that the non-cheater's failings are ignored, however much they contributed to a relationship flawed enough that infidelity happened in the first place.

 

 

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anamikanon
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm arguing that it's uniquely vilified to the point that the non-cheater's failings are ignored, however much they contributed to a relationship flawed enough that infidelity happened in the first place.

That is because of the "appropriate response" factor. There are things that are appropriate responses to failings of non-cheaters. Separation, divorce, open conversation to pursue another sexual relationship, suing for abuse and mental cruelty, whatever. Deceiving them to enjoy the positive aspects of their relationship isn't one.

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anamikanon
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

That's pretty much what asexuals are doing isn't it?

No. Inability to enjoy sex cannot compare with deliberate deceit unless you are implying that they deliberately choose to be unable to have sex. Which we know is not true.

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ryn2
19 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

True. I slightly misread, and I'm not saying conscious gaslighting. It's more like boiling a frog.

 

The common pattern seems to be this:

 

1. NRE. Asexual fine/enthusiastic about sex, probably hoping 'this time it'll be okay'.

2. Relationship beds in. Sex tapers off way faster than in non-mixed relationships. Asexual doesn't notice or feels relieved (it transpires later). Sexual starts to wonder what's going on.

3. A pattern emerges: sexual initiates and gets declined, on an ad hoc basis, but nearly every time. Sexual rejections are now hugely the norm. Asexual doesn't notice this pattern, or has vague qualms but doesn't think about it too much beyond hoping their partner isn't getting too pissed off. Sexual meanwhile is desperately trying to figure out what's going on (affair? some other discontent? no longer attractive? some other left field thing?), and feeling the absence of connection intensely.

4. Sexual finally raises the subject. Asexual says they're blindsided, says sexual only wants them for sex, sex isn't important, thinks they have sex far more than they do. Eventually realises this is potentially a dealbreaker and says they'll 'try'.

5. Nothing changes. Sexual tries to figure out what 'trying' means. When they ask the asexual, they can't explain, and feel pressured. Sexual backs off.

6. Nothing changes.

7. Repeat from stage 3, a few times until the threat of the relationship ending becomes real and immediate, or the sexual discovers asexuality is a thing. 

8. The asexual finally takes on board avoiding the issue won't make it go away, and implicitly or explicitly embraces asexuality, and expects the sexual partner to be fine with this.

9. The sexual has no idea what to do, and finds AVEN.

 

Raising the issue way back at step 2) and discussing it then avoids - whether by compromising or splitting up - most of the subsequent steps.  I get that no one wants to outright ask those questions and here the potential answers but the long-term outcome is only the worse for stalling.

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ryn2
21 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

'Couples' don't have to decide. Sexual partners have to pick from whatever options the asexual offers.

Again, the cause of the limited options is not a choice.  No amount of choosing to want the other partner sexually is going to make that happen for the ace.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

No. Inability to enjoy sex cannot compare with deliberate deceit unless you are implying that they deliberately choose to be unable to have sex. Which we know is not true.

It.

 

Is.

 

Not.

 

About.

 

Sex.

 

It is about choosing not to engage with a fundamental, painful issue in the relationship. 

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Raising the issue way back at step 2) and discussing it then avoids - whether by compromising or splitting up - most of the subsequent steps.  I get that no one wants to outright ask those questions and here the potential answers but the long-term outcome is only the worse for stalling.

Raising it at (2) just jumps to (4) more quickly. 

 

But that wasn't my point. My point was that sexual partners mostly don't know what they're getting into, and asexual partners tend to be avoidant, going by posts on Partners and Allies.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

Again, the cause of the limited options is not a choice.  No amount of choosing to want the other partner sexually is going to make that happen for the ace.

Doesn't matter. The point is that neither partner have much of a choice.

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ryn2
18 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

None of the formerly-married gay people I know assumed their gayness wouldn't be an dealbreaking issue in their relationship or were in the least shocked that the relationship ended. Most of them initiated the break up.

What about the still-married ones?

 

My point wasn’t that it’s not a huge problem when a partner discovers they’re gay; it’s that it isn’t a breach of trust.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

 

 

1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

What about the still-married ones?

 

My point wasn’t that it’s not a huge problem when a partner discovers they’re gay; it’s that it isn’t a breach of trust.

It's very much felt as a breach of trust by their straight partners. It hurts the same.

 

The only married gays I know are married to their gay partners.

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