Dissecting a cheatin' heart

A friend of mine confided in me that he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him and he asked me what he should do.

I don't know why he chose me, I guess I just look like the kind of guy whose girlfriends cheat on him, but surprisingly it's only happened once.

I was in college and was dating this little skater girl from Omaha, until one night I was sitting at my favorite bar and the bartender asked me if I knew about this new guy she was seeing.

Since I wasn't aware she had stopped dating me, finding out that she had started dating someone else came as kind of a shock. I apparently spent the rest of the night drinking Rumplemintz, shooting pool and repeatedly playing twangy country music on the jukebox.

I say "apparently" because I have no recollections other than waking up with a faint minty taste in my mouth and billiard chalk on one butt cheek.

Since then, time and other girls have helped heal my wound, and now I can actually say I'm grateful to the skater girl.

Why? Because it made me realize that I never wanted to make someone else feel like that and now I know that if someone ever cheated on me again, she'd be gone faster than a pizza at a Jenny Craig meeting.

Don't get me wrong, I won't say that all people who cheat are bad or evil. After all they are just that, people. Flawed, imperfect people. However, just because I realize that fact doesn't mean I can't also wish for my skater girl to develop an STD only previously found in sharks.

Why? Because I'm complicated.

While I hope it never becomes an issue in my life, odds are stories like my friend's are only going to get more common because " as it was put to me by an elderly reader " monogamy is being slowly poisoned by the likes of MTV and those "Desperate Housewives."

Well, not exactly.

A recent survey by MSNBC found that 22 percent, nearly one in five adults, in a monogamous relationship have cheated on their current partner. Shockingly, that number was much higher for men than women.

Wait, what?!? Men are more likely to cheat, riiiiiight, and next you're going to tell me we pee in the shower too. Whatever.

The survey also provided some statistics and common scenarios of unfaithful behavior, including that fewer than 6 percent of cheaters admit it after being confronted by their partner.

So, what was I to tell my friend? I mean, if he asks her and she isn't cheating, now it looks like he doesn't trust her. If he doesn't ask her and she is cheating, it will only hurt more when he finds out later.

Maybe he should get proof. No, he's too poor to hire a professional and too clumsy to go skulking in bushes at night, trust me on that one.

No matter what, my friend deserved a definite answer which, I deduced, could be determined with one question.

Here's how that conversation went:

Me: "Is she significantly more attractive than you?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: "Yep, she's cheating on you."

Scoff all you want, but I turned out to be right, and they broke up. I know that even though it hurts now, he'll thank me in the long run.

Right after he washes the chalk off his butt.

Ever been cheated on? Tell me about it.


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