What Goes Through Your Mind When You're Caught Cheating

From sex-club orgies to office flirtations, we hear from five philanderers who have been caught in the act by their partners.

by Amelia Abraham
Jun 21 2017, 1:38pm

Foto: från Silver Linings Playbook

According to the experts, there are many exciting new ways for our generation to cheat.

Recent studies say that dodgy social media behaviour accounts for one in seven divorces, which isn't that surprising when you consider 58 percent of people purport to know their spouse's phone and Facebook passwords. Meanwhile, another study found that 76 percent of women think flirty texts are cheating, compared to 59 percent of men. The verdict's in: liking someone's Insta pic from over a month ago is the new equivalent of deep-throating someone who isn't your boyfriend. But forgetting all that for a second, is good old fashioned cheating still alive and well?

We asked a group of young philanderers how they got busted cheating, whether social media played a part and what their moral attitudes to monogamy are.


VICE: What stage was the relationship at when you cheated?
Ben, 23, from Manchester: I'd been dating my boyfriend for a year-and-a-half when I cheated on him. The relationship had starting fizzling out – at least from my perspective. He was the personification of a gas-lighter, always telling me how I feel, criticising me, putting his opinion above my own. It was the first time I'd cheated on someone, but I was so over the relationship.

Where did you do the deed? Was social media involved?
Nope. Very much IRL. Two friends and I went to a big cool techno club in Berlin, whose name I'll leave out for anonymity's sake, but it was Berghain. I'm a gay man and they are both gay women. Anyway, we ended up having a kind of "best friend orgy" with a ton of other guys. Then myself and two of said guys skulked off and one thing led to another, and then they both fucked me in a sex sling. So I guess when I say "cheat", I don't mean a naughty kiss in a club; I mean a full on spit roast on a PVC sex sling in Berlin.

Did you enjoy it?
I loved the sex. But beyond that, it kind of sealed the fate of my relationship. It dawned on me that it was much more fun to get Eiffel Towered by these dudes than to constantly have my grasp on reality fractured by my emotionally abusive boyfriend. It was really the nail in the relationship coffin and I have no regrets.

How did you get caught?
I told the story really loud at a pub with my boyfriend and a few other friends, including those I'd orgied with. I completely forgot to omit myself. Probably subliminally on purpose, but I truly wasn't intending to tell my boyfriend about getting boned by two guys. It was quite unfair of me, really. I feel happy I'm not in that relationship any more, but feel fairly mean about cheating on him and telling him. In hindsight, that wasn't necessary.


VICE: Tell me how you cheated.
Nora, 30, south London: I was in a long-term relationship. First I had a fling with someone at work that happened over WhatsApp, over G-chat, over Facebook Messenger, in the office kitchen and at work lunches, after work drinks and after work parties. Then I also cheated with someone else a bit later, which was also a lot on Messenger Apps and IRL at dinners and bars and parties. My boyfriend was living in another country for part of this time, but there was a definite month-long period where everyone was in the same one-mile radius.

How did you get busted?
I can't believe I wasn't found out sooner. I was playing with fire for a period of six months. I was found out in multiple ways. With one guy, I invited him to a party that I was absolutely certain no "mutual" people would be at, and the second we walked through the door holding hands, my boyfriend's best mate was inexplicably there and was like, "Hey.... who's this guy...?" He immediately told my boyfriend. I claimed we were just friends, but he didn't believe me.

Do you regret it?
Actually no. I was going through a really traumatic time with my family, and my boyfriend was unbelievably shit and unsupportive, so the cheating was basically a "fuck you" for not caring. I didn't cheat with randoms; I cheated with the male friends in my life who were really supportive and who I cared about deeply. Maybe I shouldn't have made everything physical, but I was barely coping and I was taking a lot of drugs to escape. I needed it.

Would you be more careful next time?
I really don't think I'd cheat again. It was a symptom of my chaotic life. I'm much more together now and I'm in a blissfully happy relationship. The thought has honestly never crossed my mind and it's been three years. I definitely don't believe that "once a cheater, always a cheater" thing.

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VICE: So what were you getting up to that you shouldn't have?
Nadia, 26, Nottingham: I was in a long distance relationship and secretly reliant on Tinder (dating, fucking, free dinners), but I was always careful to delete the app prior to my boyfriend's visits. He was living abroad, I was in the UK, and he didn't know many people here, so I thought I was safe. Sadly I was wrong – he had the intuition of an Australian cattle dog.

How did he catch you out?
I was scrambling eggs for us one Sunday and he meanwhile somehow managed to unlock my phone. He locked himself in the bathroom with it and re-downloaded Tinder, at which point matches started popping up in their droves. But he didn't stop there. Instead, he decided to impersonate me to various past dates until he could present an ironclad case and confront me.

What happened when he confronted you?
I was in such a state of shock about his flagrant disregard for my privacy that I could hardly register what had happened. Normally I'm quite mouthy, but suddenly I found myself speechless. I suppose there wasn't really any defending myself by that point anyway. The evidence was there in his hand. We broke up on the spot.

How do you feel about it now?
Well, it later transpired that he was a pretty loathsome cheater himself, which totally explains his astute intuition. It takes one to know one, right?


VICE: What was your relationship like, how long had you been together and was it going well?
Emily, 20, north London: We were 17 and we'd been together for two years. He was "a really nice guy" and also super hot and 6'4''. But quite dumb. And wrapped around my little finger. And had erectile dysfunction. But I loved him a lot and he looked after me when I got out of control, and my family adored him. My mum loves tall men, and he was an army cadet, so she approved, and my grandma used to give us both money to spend on dates. Which mostly consisted of drinking in the park. I mean, we were 17.

How did the cheating come about?
I took loads of pills one day in the park with a group of people I didn't really know, post-A Levels, and I kind of fell in love with this other boy. He was weird and really beautiful. He still is, actually. At the time I felt like I didn't have a choice, really. It was just such a strong feeling. I can still feel it now. He came back to my house and he never really left.

How did you get caught?
The army cadet came over to surprise me – he had been away and got back a day early. I also think he was trying to catch me, maybe? He had seen some mysterious texts from time to time. Pills boy was at mine and wearing only boxers. I think it was quite obvious?

How did you get out of it?
I said that pills boy had been kicked out by his mum and so needed a place to stay and also suffered from similar "issues" to me that army cadet just wouldn't understand. I used mental health as a crutch and kind of beat my boyfriend with it, which wasn't fair. I insisted nothing was going on and he believed me. A week later that was all a waste of time anyway 'cause I broke up with army cadet to be with pills boy.

Have you ever cheated again?
Yes. I can't seem to help it. I swore I never would after seeing my dad do it to my mum over and over and over. But yes, I have. Not always drunk, either. "Sins of the father..." seems too easy a get-out clause, but whenever I cheat I always think immediately of my childhood, so maybe it's linked?

Source: Sliding Doors


VICE: What led you to cheat on your partner?
Amy, 25, Brighton: I don't have a good excuse. The relationship was going well at that point; I was totally in love and I wasn't even romantically interested in the person I cheated with. All I can really put it down to is the fact that we were doing long distance, I hadn't had a snog in four weeks, someone went in for it and I didn't say no.

So what happened exactly?
I was out having drinks with a friend. It was one of those balmy summer nights where everyone's acting quite wild and you can tell something is going to go wrong. We drank way too much, went to a shit party, flirted with each other for entertainment then decided to get out of there and get food. On the way to the restaurant, in the taxi, she kissed me and I kissed her back.

How did your girlfriend find out?
The minute the bill came I told my friend I needed to go home, and that the snogging had been a bad idea. She insisted I stay and we go out, but I literally ran off. I was wasted. I then called my girlfriend and told her what had happened. I'd like to tell you how that phone call went but I can't remember it. The next morning, I woke up with a terrible headache. My girlfriend had called me a bunch of times. When I phoned her back she said, "We need to talk about what happened," and I was just really confused. How did she know? She sensed my confusion and worked out that I couldn't remember telling her. I think that might have worked in my favour because she definitely switched from angry to slightly concerned about me.

Did you stay together?
Yep. For quite a while. But it definitely put a seed of doubt in her mind about whether she could trust me, and a seed of doubt in my mind about whether I could trust myself. I'm with someone else now and behaving a lot less idiotically. I wish I could look back on that relationship and say I gave it my best shot, but I think I only gave it 90 percent, which makes me sad. But hey, long distance is hard.

*Names and minor details have been changed