Male Call: Are You “Secretly” Cheating?


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By James Roberts

As the junk mail envelope might say (if direct marketers sent relationship advice instead of funeral home solicitations and Publishers Clearinghouse coupons): You may already be a cheater!

Now, you’d think you of all people would know if you were doing the deed. But it seems there are people who kind of slip off the straight and narrow and develop cheating-like relationships without quite realizing it.

Case in point. A vivacious, charming woman in her 40s lives with a mean, crass, revolting troll of a man who calls her names, forgets to pay the phone bill and won’t let her play with her friends. (No…it’s not me. Grrr.) But they’ve been together for 20 years and she doesn’t know anyone else who’ll put up with her five cats.

She finds herself exchanging comments on Facebook with a friend-of-a-friend. Comments become instant messages, become texts. This goes on for six months, a year. They never meet, though their texting and Facebook messaging are incessant. Finally, they do meet for coffee one day. Nary a touch passes between them ─ not even a single brush of hands ─ but pricey Christmas presents are exchanged.

The man is, himself, married but separated.

Over the course of a year or so they manage to chastely text each other dozens of times during the day, talk on the phone, meet for coffee ─ but not a single word of romance is spoken.

“Just a friend”?

Those of us who hear the saga unfold think, “Sheesh, dump the diablo.” But that’s not really the issue here.

Next up: A married woman gets a phone call from a male friend every Wednesday at 8pm during which she pours out her various marital problems. Hubby knows about the calls and isn’t happy, calling it “a third person in our marriage.”

Finally, a few years ago, under conditions of what you might call “late night online anonymity,” a woman in Texas related how she conducted what you might call “intimate actions” over the Internet with a gent in California she only knew by screen name. When asked why, she said, “I was mad at my boyfriend.”

According to a secret poll of the Male Call Advisory Board™, if you’re telling your relationship troubles to another person, it doesn’t matter if you’re holding hands. You’ve got yourself a new beau (or beauzo).

Fess up. Do you have a secret beau or belle? We won’t tell…promise.

Need a guy’s perspective? Jot a note to Male Call at or check out the Male Call archives at



  1. Liked this article. Short, to the point, and addressed a subject that is of importance in our 2014 marriages and relationships. And, by the way, I agree that if you are discussing your relationship issues with a ‘friend’ of the opposite sex, you are cheating. If you disagree, tell your partner and judge by the reaction.

    • just caught up with this comment MM. Very insightful. But does just “talking about it” constitute cheating? So many times a woman asks for a “man’s opinion” and vice versa. Maybe the distinction has to do with how long (over how many meetings, e.g.) the dialogue goes on. If it’s a one-time “Hey, let me get your thoughts on this issue I’m having” that’s one thing; but if it’s an ongoing conversation over weeks or months, that might be a whole ‘nother situation.


  1. […] Are You “Secretly” Cheating? In “GET MORE” (June 2014) […]

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