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We have a lot of relationship conversations around here, and today’s discussion follows that tradition. I’d like to talk about one of the biggest obstacles in a productive relationship – CHEATING.
Human beings are raised with a sense of individual identity. Sure, most people have a family, and pretty much everyone is exposed to relationship dynamics from birth onward, but we still develop and evolve as singular beings. If you’re going to survive in the world, you have to learn to take care of yourself, first and foremost.
As you get older, you start to learn, and adopt, a sense of community; the tribe mentality starts to take hold, and we (hopefully) move past self-absorbed singularity, and begin to understand the benefits of sharing our life with someone else. Still, it can be extremely hard for us, as individuals, to shed the narcissism that we carry around with us through life.
We generally understand “being self-centered” as selfishness, and it certainly does come out that way at the worst of times; but it’s also self-centered for a person to believe that they are the reason for other people’s decisions. That extends to a partner’s reason cheating in a committed relationship.
There’s a new list of reasons that people give for cheating, and the #1 excuse was, “it just happened.” Maybe that’s a better explanation than assigning blame to the person who was cheated on, but I still think it’s a lame cop-out.
The #2 reason: “It was exciting.” Some people get a thrill from breaking the rules, and that sensation is probably doubled by the basic biological drive that governs our sexual identity.
At #3, we have plain old, garden-variety loneliness. If you’re lonely in your own relationship, maybe you’re in the wrong relationship.
“I was bored with the sex in my relationship” comes in at #4 on the list. Honesty is the best policy, and it does far less damage than cheating. Think about it, and talk about it.
It’s hard to make a perfect argument against the #5 reason, “I fell in love.” While I constantly make the case for complete honesty in a relationship, sometimes love comes out of nowhere. That being said, there is usually a warning sign, either on the failing side of a current relationship, or the exciting feeling of a new romance.
I have zero support for the terrible justification at #6: “I thought I could get away with it.” You know what? That’s never an acceptable excuse for a decent person to make in ANY situation. What would you like to get away with next?
The list ends at #7, with “I thought I deserved it.” If you think you deserve to have sex with someone else, then you need to get out of your relationship.
There are always extenuating circumstances and gray areas in every scenario, but there isn’t a single reason on this list that can truly justify cheating in a committed relationship. Cheating doesn’t ever solve a problem; it only adds to the existing ones. If you need more out of your romantic and sexual coupling, then you need to ask for it. If your needs can’t be met, then it’s time to hit the road. Better to move on with a clear conscience, don’t you think?