Can cheating save a relationship?
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…
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