I have long since held the position that someone who truly loves and cares for you, will never cheat on you.
My personal belief is that cheating should be the end of a relationship – I know there are other writers and speakers out there who may advocate for giving a second chance for whatever reason, but to me, cheating is the ultimate way to break the bond of a monogamous commitment.
Some things are just too hard to forgive. Again, this is me personally speaking, but, continuing a relationship after being cheated on, for me, would be something like this…
- You get shot (cheated on)
- You get stitched up and heal (forgive and stay with the cheater)
- Turns out there is bullet shrapnel in your now healed wound and every time you rest on that area it hurts and reminds you of the time you were shot. (Your trust has been severely afflicted; every time they don’t answer their phone, text back, leave the house or make any sudden moves you worry that they are cheating again.)
They say time heals all wounds. Who knows…
That being said, I think a lot of people place cheating into its own silo as if it is a stand-alone problem.
“Why do men cheat?”
“Why do women cheat?”
It doesn’t work that way.
Most people don’t wake up one day and simply decide they’re going to cheat on their boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other, whatever.
Unless they just have a pattern of cheating in every relationship (in which case they have a problem, had it before you and will probably continue to have it after you), there is probably a series of events that lead up to someone’s breaking point.
Let me reiterate – there is no excuse for cheating on your partner.
The reasons, however, could be varied.
Odds are, you’ve been heading down a path of miscommunication or mistrust for quite some time. Perhaps one of you has been frustrated about something but hasn’t properly expressed it to your partner. The core here would be communication and is generally at the root of most affairs – it typically begins here and starts to unravel and expands into different territories.
Or, perhaps you have expressed it to them, but they don’t put in any effort to change. Somebody who doesn’t feel like they have a voice in their relationship or rather that their partner doesn’t respect or appreciate their concerns will soon start to act out on their frustration.
Maybe there is an illness or physical challenge that has cut back on your physical intimacy. You are probably thinking ‘wow, that is low – that person clearly has no morals’. Indeed. That is low and to be honest they probably feel low about the whole situation too but the frustration the scenario is causing could lead to them cheating.
In my research of dating apps I actually learned that sites specifically for affairs are a thing… I know, wow. It gets worse, though. In the app reviews, one reviewer stated that his wife was extremely ill but he would never leave her and so here he is, seeking an affair!
Maybe one of you has had to travel for a while and you’ve been apart from each other. Or one of you has a job that requires you to be away from home. Again, no excuse but the distance factor is usually added pressure on any bond.
These sets of circumstances would fall into the category of the actual issue – cheating is simply the result that comes out of it.
Let’s assume we are dealing with just a standard relationship where the couple sees each other frequently and there are no extreme circumstances with regards to distance etc.
I was recently asked what my advice would be to one of the partners if the other cheated – should they stay together, or go their separate ways?
For the reasons stated above, I think the relationship is toast.
People will say “but, can’t you fix communication issues? Can’t you try harder? Don’t they deserve a second chance?”
Maybe if they had actually put in the effort to extinguish small fires along the way, before the entire thing went up in flames, I’d be more willing to give some wiggle-room here.
Remember, cheating begins the second you start hiding things from your partner. It really is that simple. We all have choices and we make them every day. They may not seem to have immediate effect sometimes but start to build up over time. We are too grown to be acting as if we do not overstand this.
The fact of the matter is that if someone allows things to get so bad in their relationship that they decide their only option is to betray the very thing the relationship is defined by (monogamous commitment to you) then there are far bigger underlying problems than communication issues.
A mature adult has absolutely no excuse for needing to take such extreme actions to escape a problem, or avoid a discussion – they should have the dignity and respect for themselves (and you) to sit down and either communicate their frustrations or simply end the relationship.
Is it going to suck?
Is this part of being an adult?
This is another issue with our lack of communication.
Not only are we losing the ability to build a relationship with another person, but we are also subsequently losing our ability to maintain that relationship.
It’s one thing to find a somebody to commit to – but it’s a whole other thing to be consistent with them over time and put in the effort to make things work and last.
Yes, it takes effort. Relationships aren’t a part-time commitment. You’re either in, or you’re out.
Do not cheat for the sake of saving someone’s feelings because you don’t want to break up with them.
10 out of 10 times, they will be hurt, but at least you’ll be able to walk away with your dignity and the knowledge that you did the right thing.
If you are trying to end a relationship, cheating is the coward’s way out – and lack of communication or physical intimacy is no excuse.
We need to learn to communicate with each other consistently so that things never get to the point where cheating even crosses your mind. It seems as though people seriously underestimate how much goes into a successful relationship and the weight of the responsibility that is commitment. I recommend reading this post for a refresher: 10 Promises You Need To Fulfil To Your Future Spouse
And if this is genuinely too difficult of a concept to grasp, there is one simple solution: