Can cheating save a relationship?

Dear Relationship Gurus,

Whenever someone cheats, friends and family are always quick to say: “leave him/her!” or “He/she will do it again!” This usually comes after they say “aww” or “I told you so.” Cheating is often viewed as the point of no return in relationships. However, people often take cheaters back. Feelings are hard to cut on and off so even when someone hurts you and betrays your trust, you may still want them in your life. Second chances are given to the cheaters in the hopes that they’ll realize the error of their ways or that the whole cheating episode will make the relationship stronger. But is it possible for cheating to make two people grow closer?

Cheating is one of those slippery terms that means different things to different people. I know what you’re thinking, “no it’s not! Cheating is cheating!” But actually, I feel like it’s hard to define across the board. Some women might think their man is cheating if he performs any physical act with another woman, i.e., kissing, oral sex, and of course sex. I like to define cheating as any act with a person (or people depending on how you like to get down) other than your significant other that would lead your significant other to feel betrayed. Sometimes physical acts don’t mean anything or even half as much as the emotional connection your partner has formed with someone else. After all, a one-night stand is one thing but if your partner repeatedly cheats on you with the same person it usually means there’s something there. And of course I’m not just painting the picture of cheaters as solely being men. I actually believe women cheat more than men, we just get caught less because we’re better at hiding it…it’s in a lot of women’s nature to be shady. Also, women tend to have emotional affairs more so than physical affairs, so their partner may not even consider it cheating.

I’ve never been cheated on—to my knowledge at least, and I don’t ascribe to the belief that all men cheat, so I cannot really say how it feels. I’ve only been there for my friends when they’ve felt betrayed. And while I was advising them to walk away from the situation, deep down I knew they wouldn’t…well not immediately at least. There’s always so much there that they don’t want to throw away so quickly. So they give out the second chance (or third or fourth), and all the while I wonder when enough is enough. I wonder if cheaters can actually change or if it’s just a matter of time before it happens again? I know the level of the indiscretion matters and how strong the relationship was in the first place but I do wonder how much it factors in. What if the cheater cheats because they feel something is missing from the relationship and the indiscretion brings that missing piece to light? Could that save the relationship and make it stronger? After all, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. We grow from our mistakes, so is it possible for cheating to help us grow in our relationships? I think so, if kept a secret…

xoxo

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This work by bellereveur.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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4 Comments

  1. If you’re in a committed relationship or marriage and you have an affair without the consent of your spouse. Karma is created; spiritual debt… someone will return the act upon you, not a good thing. Even if you resolve the issue. When one betrays our trust, it shakes us to the core. So much so that that shock wave shatters our spiritual physique. Most people will say that they forgive, however, if you pay attention to how they use their words and how they react when their emotions get stretched, it will show itself.
    The weight of a vow registers in our spiritual physique in the same reflection that God is absolute; that your spouse is absolute. So when we get shaken to the core, this is what’s being affected.
    Only the ego wants to make this act ok. As far as I’m concerned cheating starts with a thought in the mind. When in a long term relationship, love is a state of mind and it all hinges on how we feed that attention. If you communicate like friends, where you can talk about the sticky things as well. Don’t stop talking and you have it made.
    Cheating is not a mistake, it’s a choice… he didn’t trip and his dick fell into her, no it’s a choice. And it happens for reasons from insecurities to afraid of commitment. And the way back is simple, “what is it that I can do today that is different from yesterday?”
    Blessings…

  2. This post brings up a really great point about cheating – that even though it is a terrible thing to do to someone, something positive can in fact come from it. I recently interview Dr. Gilda Carle, author of “How to Win When Your Mate Cheats,” & her belief is that being betrayed in the form of a cheating spouse is really an opportunity to either get out of a bad relationship or make a shaky one much stronger. If anyone’s interested, the interview can be found here: http://bit.ly/pIJI8g

  3. This post brings up a really great point about cheating – that even though it is a terrible thing to do to someone, something positive can in fact come from it. I recently interview Dr. Gilda Carle, author of “How to Win When Your Mate Cheats,” & her belief is that being betrayed in the form of a cheating spouse is really an opportunity to either get out of a bad relationship or make a shaky one much stronger. If anyone’s interested, the interview can be found here: http://bit.ly/pIJI8g

  4. The speedy red

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