Today’s dating is not the same as fifty years ago. Most people are not obligated to marry their high-school sweethearts and make babies right away. It’s ok to have more than one, two, and even ten sexual partners throughout your life. Moreover, it’s fine to choose a date for the night judging by their photo and a short description under it (hello there, Tinder fans!).
But at least one thing remains the same – cheating will never be widely accepted. Most people will judge someone who cheated on their partner without even taking into account all the details.
In countries such as Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, adultery is not only a matter of conscience but a crime for which locals can be prosecuted and even killed. Cheating is a big deal there, that’s for sure.
But what about the stigma around the act of cheating in the western world? Why do we feel tempted to cheat? Why do we feel bad when our partners cheat on us? And how can we define cheating? Answers to all these questions you will find in the article below:
What is cheating?
Having sex with someone other than your partner is cheating. But what’s about people who secretly enjoy masturbation or experiments with anime sex dolls, like those from Siliconwives.com? They also satisfy their sexual needs ‘on the side,’ is it cheating?
And what about a person who secretly enjoys a cup of coffee with someone they find attractive (someone other than their spouse)? Some people only have sexual fantasies about their exes or colleagues, but they don’t act on them – are they considered cheaters?
As you can understand, cheating is subjective. For some, a drunken kiss is a betrayal, while for others, it’s not a big deal.
That’s why it’s important to set certain boundaries in the relationship and let your partner know what is not acceptable for you.
Cheating becomes real when you start hiding things from your partner – the fact that you had dinner with someone, for example. Yeah, enjoying a conversation with another person is not a crime, but if you can’t tell your partner about this, it means down deep you understand that you do something wrong.
Why do people cheat?
Ideally, we should be able to get a lot of amazing things within the relationship – support, sex, excitement, and a sense of intimacy. However, it doesn’t always look perfect, especially in long-term relationships where people don’t feel committed to their partners after too much fighting.
So, what does lead people down a path of infidelity?
People who don’t feel loved, appreciated, or committed to their partner are more likely to look for things outside of the relationship. In some cases, cheaters want to get some variety or enhance their popularity. Low self-esteem and desire for revenge can also cause this kind of behavior.
So, you cheated
Having an affair can be an exciting experience, especially if you feel bored in a long-term relationship. However, it would be best if you understood that you would not be able to keep your affair in secret forever. Dating one person can be challenging; dating two is even harder.
Also, let’s take another person’s feelings into account. Finding out that your partner cheats on you can be heartbreaking, so don’t continue cheating, hoping that no one will ever know about it.
Before you decide to meet your lover once again, ask yourself a question: what’s missing in my current relationship? It’s important to share your feelings with your spouse and try to save what you have.
However, if you feel that addressing relationships problems is a lot of work for you, it’s better to walk away now. Keeping secrets, hiding evidence, and your true intentions can be emotionally challenging.
So, you were cheated on
If your partner cheats on you, you should take your time to process this and decide what you want from this relationship. Some people can forgive their cheating partners; others just can’t.
Whatever you choose, you should not blame yourself for what’s happened. Some cheaters will not even be able to answer the question ‘why?’. All you need to know is that it was their conscious decision. So, it’s not your fault or their lover’s.
Enforce your boundaries and start loving yourself even more. You may also need to get professional help in order not to let this experience ruin your future relationships.
Is it possible to remain faithful?
It is possible to build a healthy relationship, but you should understand that it’s a job for two people. To make this happen, both partners should be mature, empathetic, and respectful. They should be honest with each other no matter what.
You shouldn’t hate yourself for falling in love with someone else, though. It happens. All you need is to have an honest dialogue with yourself and decide if you want to keep working on your relationship.
Cheating is nothing noble; it takes a lot of energy and may hurt way too many people. And it might be a big deal.
Maya Kinsley is a freelance writer based in London. She encourages her readers to explore their sexuality within a relationship and enjoy themselves. As Maya says, discovering your true sexual nature takes time, guts, and practice, but it’s worth it.