Can you cheat without getting caught?

Remember Quin, the girl who snapped at a guy for breaking up with her over text message while the whole Internet called her crazy? She’s now doing a regular advice column here at Guyism because you love her so. This week, she tackles cheating in relationship.

A few months ago, I met a great guy at a bar, as basically every romantic, successful love story goes. He was in town for Congressional meetings, with his own intentions of throwing his hat into the ring during the next election cycle. He lives on the West Coast, but with bi-weekly visits to the District and a rabid love for texting, it didn’t seem so difficult to conceive of this relationship’s success.

We’ll call him Tom. Tom is a romantic. After our first date, he snail-mailed me a framed photograph of us, coupled with a genuinely sweet love letter. Then it got to be a bit much, with gifts sent every other week and offers to fly me out West to see him in his element. And then came the selfies. Not the sexual kind, just really strange ones since old people rarely understand how social media works. In one bizarre shot of himself having a beer and reading a copy of my first book, I noticed something rather curious: a wedding ring.

That’s just sloppy editing.

A thorough Googling of him hadn’t returned anything of any interest, and though I didn’t make any mention of it myself to him, Tom called to congratulate me on my blog’s viral explosion. A married man running for public office getting involved with a lightning rod of a relationship blogger: What could possibly go wrong?

Wedding ring image by Shutterstock

When confronted about the wedding ring situation, the answers were almost worse. Apart from flat denial, which he tried for about 15-20 seconds before caving, there were the usual rebuttals: “We’re separated.” “We can’t get divorced until after the election.” “We’re doing it for our son.” Yes, there’s a child here, in addition to a very legally-recognized marriage.

And that was the end of that. In addition to not playing the part of mistress very well, getting embroiled in a tempestuous affair and political scandal just doesn’t seem tasteful. Following our discussion, Tom promptly thanked me for shedding light on his behavior. “If I get nothing else out of this trip to Washington, it’s that I now know that cheating on my wife is wrong.” Some people call those “vows” but whatever gets the message across.

This kind of brazen philandering — where the cheater is just assuming the other involved won’t say anything — needs to stop being an assumption. For many women (and men), the exact opposite holds true.

So we all grew from this experience, right? That, or he is more than just a little anxious about what his opponents round up on him in 2016.