Is it cheating?

Remember the movie "The Notebook"?
Do you remember how Noah lived in the nursing home with Ally because of his undying love for her?
How he would read to her everyday to bring her back to their love?
How it didn't matter that she had dementia because the love they shared before she got sick was enough?

What if that's not how it went down, though?

What if Noah and Ally still lived together in their home...Ally would be a little more self-sufficient but was still mentally ill.  She could take care of herself to a certain extent, but her relationship with Noah wasn't what it used to be.  It's not really her fault, it's just that she is deteriorating mentally.  Noah and Ally aren't physically intimate anymore.  They still love each other, just not in "that way".
Noah takes care of her, of course.
They still live together.
Cook together.
Keep house together.


They don't live as other married couples do.  Yes, there's a kiss on the cheek in the morning.  And "I love you"...and Ally is okay with that.  She doesn't know any better.  They are married, but more than anything they are roommates - housemates - companions.

Let's say because they don't live like other older married couples, they aren't intimate...
Noah starts seeing another woman.
Someone he sees when he's not home with Ally.
Someone he builds a relationship with.
Someone who understands that Noah will never leave Ally because Noah is all Ally has.
No one will take care of Ally if Noah leaves.
So that someone understands.
But Noah is having a relationship.
And it's not with Ally.

Is that considered cheating?
If Noah hadn't stayed true to the marriage but still took care of a mentally-deteriorating Ally...
If he said, "I still love Ally, but..."

Would you think Noah was wrong?
Would you feel sorry for Ally?
Is Noah cheating?
Or is he doing what's best for everyone considering the situation?

What do you think?



  1. Yes it's cheating. If I were Ally I'd be pissed even if he wasn't having a physical relationship with the other woman. Emotional cheating is just as bad.

  2. Love this post! It's so thought provoking. I believe it is still cheating but my heart still goes out to but of them. Its a difficult situation to be in.

  3. I guess I'm a crazy hippie who believes in free love, and had to watch couples in the nursing home. I think that Noah deserves comfort, support, and love just as much as Ally does, and in taking care of someone in that state, that level is no longer there, it can not be. No matter what existed at one time, that can not totally make up for the lack of what is there now. To seek comfort and love from somebody does not negate the love that you had for the first person. It improves the way he is able to care for his wife, because he does not feel so alone anymore... he has people that he can trust and count on to be there for him, and to help him meet his own needs. Is it cheating.... that depends. I hear people talk all the time about how they want their spouse to find love again if anything happens to them. Well, this is life happening to her. She is no longer herself. Something big has happened that took away his spouse. The person he lives with is no longer the person he has always known.

    Great job, lady!


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