Disabled and Unfaithful

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

People have such huge assumptions about the disabled community. They think we sit home, watch soap operas and live vicariously through the characters.

How wrong they are! Disabled people can be just as twisted and melodramatic as the women on Desperate Housewives or as needy as the doctors in Grey’s Anatomy.

It is amazing to see the way people react when they see two disabled people as a couple or when one is disabled and the other one is not. They smile, their eyes shine and they usually say something quite stupid, like “Aww, how cute!”

Little do they know the drama that lives within the lives of these “cute” people.

Audacitymagazine.com readers have jammed our email with relationship questions and feelings of guilt over what they call minor incidents of infidelity.

What are minor incidents and why are they occurring much more frequently? Or maybe why are people with disabilities willing to discuss their infidelities with others?

The answer might be so simple that it insults our intelligence. Sex and relationships are now becoming less taboo than ever before and to add icing to that cake, the disabled community is becoming increasingly visible and accepted by the rest of the world.

Sure, it might not be the way we want it.

But, there are more disabled people in the media and in books and in the news.

By why do we cheat? Why does anyone cheat? Are our reasons the same as the abled community?

According to some of our readers, they cheat because they want to see if they can. They want to know if they are still attractive to another person or are they prone to be with the one they are with because they can’t get anyone else.

To some, the biggest challenge is to cheat with an able bodied person. Some men have stated that if they can still get the attention of an able bodied woman then they feel they are still a good catch. This is their way to reaffirm their value.

Women aren’t too far from that belief. One woman wrote that she is a thrill seeker and her biggest thrill is knowing that an able bodied man wants to have sex with her even though she has her own able bodied man at home.

Ironically enough, one man wrote that he doesn’t see cheating as something wrong as long the person doesn’t get caught.

To be exact, he said, “You live once and you shouldn’t taste vanilla forever when there are endless flavors to choose from. Vanilla is where you find your comfort.But man can’t live on vanilla alone.”

Our reasons for cheating vary as much as our definintions of cheating. Typically, people want to say that any sexual or physical interaction between two people is defined as cheating.

However, one quadriplegic male stated that to him it is not so much the physical contact as it is the emotional attachment to the other person. He finds himself in a relationship with a woman on the internet because the woman online seems to “listen” and “understand” him better than his wife. He didn’t see it as cheating at first but then he began to think about the online woman when he wasn’t online and was anxious for their next online encounter.

One woman with spina bifida said that her body wants more and her disabled partner can’t always give her that much time and attention so she finds people who can fulfill her needs.

These are called “friends with benefits”.

So when does cheating cause pain in the relationship? Is it when the person gets caught and hurts the partner’s feelings?

According to some devout partners, the hurt begins when the unfaithful partner is no longer giving 100% to the relationship.

A kind woman married to a disabled man said that she would be heartbroken to find out her husband was unfaithful. “It doesn’t matter if he is disabled or not, if he cheats I would kill him!” Spoken like a true woman!

Another woman with multiple sclerosis explained that she has very little time to enjoy the body she has and as long as her boyfriend doesn’t find out and she was careful of sexually transmitted diseases, then there was no way she was going to let her time here on earth go to waste when there were many, many, many men to experience. Hmm…also spoken like a true woman?

What do you think? Let us know. Email us atnathasha@audacitymagazine.com or join the Online Forum and discuss this topic with other people.