The cheating started out innocently enough. One episode here. A few more there. Betrayal. Deceit. Before I knew it I was a full-blown Netflix adulteress.
Back when I was in the throes of baking day and night, I needed a distraction and my music playlist just wasn’t cutting it anymore. So when, on our anniversary four years ago, my husband gifted me an iPad, it was like the heavens parted. Since then, Netflix has been my steady late-night companion and I have been maniacally binge-watching ALL THE THINGS.
But it was my husband who cheated first.
“She was all, ‘Once a Cheater, always a cheater.'”
In the famous Friends scene between Ross and Rachel after they were — quote/unquote — “on a break”, we laughed until we cried. And while it may seem innocent enough, in the realm of binge watching, cheating, my friends, is more common than you’d think with a whopping 48% sneaking screen time behind their partners’ back.
It was during what I’m sure was one of my cake-pop-dipping all-nighters that I discovered the aptly titled House of Lies. It was fast-paced, crass, sexy and laced with humour of the grown-up kind. Three episodes in I convinced my husband he should watch it. He was hooked and soon it became one of our shows. The same thing happened with Episodes. (Both are fun watches, by the way, so go check them out!)
But things went too far.
I’ll never forget the moment. Things had been busy — per the status quo — and, during what had become a rare moment where we actually sat together to watch TV, I suggested House of Lies. Except my darling husband was a season ahead!! What in the actual frick? Of ALL the shows in ALL the land you had to cheat with ours?
It was like the beginning of the end. We stopped watching other shows in our repertoire like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards together. While he went his way, I went mine, usually long after he had gone to sleep.
As I toiled away into the wee hours, whether on a cake or at the computer, I began watching new-to-Netflix series like Suits and Scandal. I got caught up on old faves I’d abandoned like The Good Wife and Gilmore Girls and ate up the new-to-me medical dramas House and Grey’s Anatomy.
I demolished the Netflix original, Stranger Things, and jumped right into new series like The OA, Riverdale and Santa Clarita Diet without so much as a sideways glance. I was all,
“Eat my Netflix dust.”
But, we compromised. Sort of.
To be fair, Jeff did his share of dabbling, too. Really, what did I expect? The interesting thing is we’ve reached a sort of unspoken understanding. Sure, at first I was annoyed. But then I realized I had a sort of freedom. I could watch what I wanted when I wanted, including catching up on episodes of our shows that he had already seen. And he could do the same. We’ve found our happy place. No judgement. No finger-pointing.
Ironically, we still have a couple of select programs we will only enjoy together. One of these is The Crown, an absolutely fabulous series which we are woefully behind in watching. The other is the family favourite Trollhunters which we only tune into when we are all together.
But how do you survive the cheating?
To survive a Netflix indiscretion, you need to be on the same page. Either you’re committed to watching together or you’re not. Otherwise you’ll live in constant scrutiny of each other.
Or, you could just hit pause and, as painful as it might be, wait to watch with your main squeeze. However long that might be.
Oh, boy. When you’ve royally messed up the best thing you can do is come clean. This might mean offering to re-watch an episode — or seven — with your love until they are caught up.
Or, you could admit that you are dying to watch with them and that this was just a small slip-up.
You stepped out. You hit ‘play’. And now you feel dirty. Apologize and move on.
Chances are, you’ve been cheated on. Now, be honest: have you cheated with Netflix lately?