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Is sex with someone while separated classified as cheating?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Cheating, Dating, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 April 2008) 16 Answers - (Newest, 6 February 2012)
A female age 36-40, anonymous writes:

is sex with someone while separated classified as cheating? i have been separated from my husband for 3 months and met a guy who i known from my past as a friend and colleague, he has a partner (but he has informed me that he no longer shared a bed together and just share a house.

He said there was always a connection with us and said he loved me the very first time he saw me but it took two years for him to tell me this, we have slept together about 4 times and then after i decided to go back to my husband (I would have never done something like this before and would never consider doing it while i am back with my husband) i told this other guy that i am back now in my marriage and want to give it 100%, so not to call me anymore. He has since emailed me just once and that was it. Your though and comments would be appreciated.

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A male reader, clint72 Canada +, writes (6 February 2012):

ummmmm, my wife and i seperated because she kicked me out. she told me it was over and there was no chance of us getting back together.......so i slept with someone else. is that cheating......no way. secondly, if someone says "then in the eyes of god you cheated".....get stuffed, nobody has the right to say that. nobody.

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A male reader, that's me United States +, writes (19 January 2011):

How do I say this..... YES. Separation is not divorce. I don't want an excuse, there isn't any. You were married and you had sex with someone other than your spouce. You are an adulter.

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A male reader, catfish777 United States +, writes (22 August 2010):

From reading the answers it seems as though the wife does the cheating most of the time in this situation. The other thing is that most of the men think it's cheating but the women don't. There has to be a connection here. And you can add me to the list of men whose wife cheated during a separation while we were actively trying to work things out. She says she is sorry it hurt me but doesn't consider it cheating. Although I decided to give the marriage another try for the sake of the kids, I will never forgive her and will probably leave her for good once the kids are out of the house.

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (22 May 2010):

Laura1318 agony auntIf you are only separated and not divorced yet, then in the eyes of God, it is cheating. That is because you are still legally married to each other.

But if you want to follow the world's standards, then you can say you have not cheated because you don't love him anymore and have separated.

It is up to you to apply the religious standards or the world's standards.

If you are a religious person , then you have committed adultery.

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A male reader, Stevenj United States +, writes (22 May 2010):

I just was told while my wife and I were seperated she had sex with another man.She decided to move back with me because we have a small child and I couldnt work alot because I was raising her alone.She said she doesnt think it was cheating because we were seperated.I dont really care if it was or not because it still hurt me. i want to truse her but it will be a hard go.we were in contact all through the seperation.I do not even care for any setails.Do not want to visualize this at all.I love her and do not want to be mean or try to hurt her.I just want to know if I will ever trust her?I know she wasnt a virgin when we married and i want eather.I just do not like the thought of another man with my wife.I do not know when I will feel confortable having sex with her again.I do not want to make her feel bad but it was a blow.It hurt.This happened today.I guess I will be able to get throught this.I just hope i can trust her word.Any thoughts would help,,,Thanks

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2010):

As a man who had this happen I knew logically it was not cheating but still the pain was intense and emotionally it felt like she cheated. To make it worse, I knew the guy and we still run into him in our neighbourhood. We are back together but it still angers me. She doesn't feel she did anything wrong. I think I would have felt better even if she just acknowledged that what she did has hurt me.

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A female reader, dee marie Ireland +, writes (20 July 2009):

well I hope not

I have been living with my boyfriend for 2 years he has been separated for 5 years. he is still very good friend with his ex which makes me very insecure I wonder does it get easier with time.has any body got any good advice for me on this subject?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 May 2008):

No, it's not cheating. You were not in a commited relationship at the time. You're going to feel guilty, but that's only because you hurt someone you love.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2008):

this exact same thing happened to me , but i am the husband in the story. i can tell you the pain i feel right now is huge.i feel betrayed by my wife.i dont know if the same level of trust will ever come back again.it has basically stuffed everything.hope this helps

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 April 2008):

I think common habits need a change on separations because of this. When couples agree to separate, they need to openly declare a position on this issue beforehand.

Too often it is left un-dealt-with, and then one partner sleeps outside the relationship and it causes a ruckus later. This question is a textbook example of it.

It's my gut feeling that the woman is liable to stray first in the greater percentage of cases like this.

I attribute it to the fact that women don't have to actively seek out other partners as much as men. A newly separated man usually won't be in a good position to stray unless he makes an active decision to go out & work at it. Whereas the woman can end up in a position to stray by just failing to turn down every single new man who makes a move.

(And to the original poster - tell your husband. If this gets left unsaid, it won't go away and it will only create a divide that never stops growing for years to come.)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

Follow up my question:

Thanks to everyone for their comments. Yes we were separated, i had a trust issue to deal with in that, my husband walked out on me after a few months of marriage, it broke my heart, but he ask me to come back and i did as i loved him, however the trust was gone so we broke up again, I got counselling to deal with this when i was living in separate countries and we had discussed legal separation as you have to wait five years to divorce in my country. I was totally confused at the time, i have never cheated in the past and just needed someone to lean on for a bit support. I never set out to have an affair and would never intentionally hurt someone, so i feel if i tell my husband it would break his heart and i could not bear it as i would beat myself up over this stupid mistake.

Thanks deejuliet, everything you assumed was correct.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

I was on your husband's side of this situation a little over a year ago. My wife left and had a sex with another man during our separation. That went on for about two months of our 3 1/2 month separation. This was without a doubt cheating. She at first tried to justify it, saying we were not together and she had planned on getting a divorce. No of this helped. We had a very hard time getting through it. There are days when I had wished she hadn't told me, but these things have a way of coming up later. Since I have forgiven her and we have moved on. The most helpful thing she did was, admit it was what it was and showed remorse for it. Not to say this made everything better overnight, but it helped to put it behind us. As hard as it was to hear and deal with, I think if she tried to keep it from me and I found out later, I would not be able to forgive that. I would never be able to trust her again or believe anything she told me. I think you should be honest with him, yes you stand a chance of losing the marriage, but what type of marriage would it be if you are living a lie? It will be hard for a while, but in the end you will know you are both moving forward with a clean slate and a fresh start. I view my own marriage in two pieces, what was before we separated (which was broke or none of this would have happened) and what has been since. A year later, I know it is a much better relationship, much stronger, and both of us happier. We both have learned to communicate better and both learned from our mistakes. Also, do not be afraid of consoling. It does help. If nothing else, it is a neutral third party. Best of luck

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A female reader, deejuliet United States +, writes (11 April 2008):

deejuliet agony auntYou were separated from your husband. Am I right to assume that the 2 of you were pursuing a divorce? If that is the case than I would not consider what you did cheating. You had effectively ended your marriage, but because of legal issues where not actually divorced yet. Divorce can take a long time (mine took almost 2 years!) and to say that you should not move on with your life during that time is patently unfair. I asked my lawyer when I was divorcing and he told me that legally I can date all I want and it would not be considered cheating once you have filed for divorce. You were living separately and intended to make that permanent. Then, for whatever reason, the two of you decided to make another go of it and are back together. If you had thought this a possibility you probably would not have moved on by dating/sleeping with this other guy. I commend you for giving your marriage another shot and for giving your all to that shot. Dont feel too guilty about what happened though. Just give your all to the here and now.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

I think you have done the right thing in keeping him away from you so you can make a go of it with your husband. You might want to think about whether to tell your husband what happened.

This man says he no longer sleeps with his wife, but are you sure he is telling the truth? He could be saying what he thinks you want to hear, when you are quite vulnerable, or it could be that he is telling the truth.

In either case, if you want to make it work with your husband you are better of staying away from this other man.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

Have you been to his house to see where he sleeps? I am not totaly convinced he`s been truthful to you. If you are back with your husband,then you never ended in the first place. Consider this a mistake as i dont think you did it deliberately with bad or selfish intention. You are in a sticky situation because owning up could end your marriage. To write here you must be feeling guilty,so within yourself you feel you have cheated.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

Hi Annalisa,

Thanks for your comments. I feel if i tell him, we will be finished, i am not sure what to do, maybe i should tell him, if i dont, do you believe that our marriage is over anyhow, i just dont know what to do?

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