Don’t Tolerate Cheating in a Relationship

The aftermath of cheating in a relationship Cheating in a relationship is inexcusable. To say that it’s justifiable is foolish.

Is cheating inevitable in a relationship? We all make mistakes. It’s inescapable because no union is perfect. Human as we are, we will have our slip-ups.

Even the happiest unions have rough patches.

However, here’s something that’s not a mistake: cheating in a relationship.

Cheating is a deliberate choice. When a cheating partner tells their lover they didn’t know what they were doing, it’s a lie and they both know it. They saw a chance, and they took it, despite being aware of the consequences. Don’t believe them when they tell you that they didn’t know what got into them.

The discussion around cheating is both animated and contentious. What are the rules? And are there gray areas?

For example, cheating is not always physical. Emotional cheating exists, and it stings just as much.

Or perhaps you’ve heard someone ask “is it cheating if you’re not official? “

You can argue that, technically, the answer is no. You may have something special, but you haven’t labeled your relationship yet. Yet, we can’t blame you for feeling jilted if the other person is seeing someone else while dating you.

But we must realize that cheating, as horrible as it is, is merely a symptom of what is truly wrong with both the cheater and to a lesser degree, the relationship.

Why Do People Cheat?

Why are there partners who cheat on their lovers? Let’s name a few reasons and unpack them.

The need for self-gratification is intense

It’s a given that partners need healthy compromise for relationships to work. However, some people simply cannot control their urges and are selfish beyond help, so they end up cheating in a relationship.

Cheaters cheat because they want to scratch their itch. They’ll do whatever it takes to satisfy their desires, even if it means breaking their lovers’ hearts. And for some, one mistress or paramour won’t cut it; they need more to stroke their desires and egos.

The thrill is gone

Every couple experiences a relationship lull at some point. What once raging blaze of passion and excitement is now a dull fire, now that the honeymoon stage has ended.

The lack of intimacy isn’t the only cause of boredom. Cheaters go behind their partners’ backs because they feel the relationship has gone stale. Adulterers in long-term relationships feel especially bored because they feel nothing excites them.

Girl bored in a car Cheating in a relationship happens when someone looks for the thrill in someone else.

This mistake is not (and shouldn’t) be a knock on people who’ve been cheated on. Why? Their actions say more about them than they do about you.

They want an escape

Some folks want to get out of their current relationships. They either feel bored (see above) or hopelessly stuck in undesirable situations. Seeing no other choice, they turn to cheating as their escape.

And it doesn’t stop at bored people. There are partners who, ironically, want to be rid of their happy and healthy relationships!

Why do they want to leave such a great thing, you ask? One possible reason is that they crave extreme emotions coming from high-tension relationships. Looking for passion isn’t wrong, but searching for it in toxic places is.

Another possible motive for leaving healthy relationships is that they feel unfamiliar with such an uncomfortable environment. And because of that, they believe that drama-free relationships are too good to be true. Since they’re not used to peace and security, they may end up looking for danger.

They feel lost

Some cheaters cheat because they feel something’s missing. More often than not, that missing thing isn’t in their relationships, rather, is a projection of their own unsolved personal issues. When they feel that void, they look to fill it somewhere else.

To be clear, none of these reasons is a valid excuse to cheat. No matter how much cheaters try to justify their actions, it won’t change the fact that cheating in a relationship is morally wrong.

Why do people cheat instead of breaking up?

You may have asked yourself this question at one point. Why not go for a clean breakup instead of a messy ending via cheating?

One, breakups are inconvenient, especially for established and long-term couples. Many cheaters only look for a good time—not a long time! They just want to fill whatever void they want in their already-busy lives.

Two, some want to avoid facing their relationship issues and just move on to the next person. They know they’ve hurt their partners, and they’re scared to confront that fact.

If you ask us, we view that as a cowardly move.

Third, some people don’t want to leave whatever convenience/safety net their relationship has. Their partners are good enough to pay off bills but aren’t enough for their loyalty.

Signs of Cheating in a Relationship

Does something feel off between you and your partner?

While you shouldn’t jump to conclusions, your intuition may be telling you something. Let’s say you’re a guy, and you’re dealing with a rough patch with your partner. All you have is a gut feeling she’s cheating with no proof to back that up.

How can you confirm your theory?

Here are some signs showing that your partner is seeing someone behind your back:

Explanations are inconsistent

Weaving a web of lies will only get a person stuck in a complicated position. If your partner’s lies don’t align, take extra caution and watch their patterns. If one lie (which is bad enough alone) doesn’t align with the previous one, you’ll know you’ve been deceived.

Their friends suddenly become awkward and uncomfortable

Two girls gossiping One of the signs of cheating in a relationship is the sudden awkwardness from your partner’s friends.

In some cases, your cheating partner’s friends discover their infidelity before you do… You’ll know they’re hiding the infidelity from you when they start acting weird around you.

They become defensive with their phones

Everyone has a right to privacy. However, being overly protective with a cellphone is enough to warrant some suspicion. Nowadays, cheating in a relationship mostly happens online, so make of that what you will.

They accuse you of being unfaithful

If your partner falsely claims you’re cheating on them, consider this a classic case of projection. They’re trying to shift the blame to you and provide a distraction from their mistakes.

If it isn’t a case of projection, their accusatory behavior may come from a place of jealousy. Is it another red flag? Absolutely! Why? Cheaters tend to display that attitude.

They keep their distance

Does your partner occasionally pull out the disappearing act? If so, chances are, they’re hiding something — or in this case, someone —you don’t know about.

The Types of Cheating

Remember what we said earlier about the different types of cheating? Yes, there’s more than just one kind. Let’s discuss each one to see how they play out:

Physical cheating

This is the most common form of cheating in a relationship.

Cheating generally comes to a head in a physical interaction. The physical entanglement can range from inappropriate touches to full-on sexual intercourse. Most people agree that any kind of excessive physical contact with someone other than your partner is crossing the line. Although its range varies, the point of this type is to cross a line physically.

Cyber/digital cheating

With the evolution of dating sites and apps, it’s no surprise that many people are looking for love online. Unfortunately, with that growth, some have resorted to digital infidelity.

Here, you don’t need an in-person meetup. You can still flirt or make romantic pursuits with other online users, and those still count as cheating. People who do this are usually glued to their phones and get defensive when they get questioned about it.

Emotional cheating

Distressed man on a couch Emotional cheating in a relationship unfortunately exists. Infidelity doesn’t stop at physical interactions.

There isn’t necessarily an issue with building friendships outside of your relationship.

Emotional cheating happens when you form a deep, or deeper, emotional bond with someone other than your partner.

When you are emotionally available with somebody, share intimate secrets with them, spend more time with them, and be secretive and dishonest about the situation to your partner, you are, in fact, cheating emotionally.

Everyone deserves to have their friend circles.

However, it’s a different story if one of you keeps some of those bonds in secrecy and adds romance/intimacy to them. If someone pulls the “nothing happened between us” card after getting caught, that lie is a tell-tale sign of disrespect.

Micro-cheating

Cheating doesn’t need to occur through big and dramatic acts. One can still cheat through small, subtle, and often unnoticeable acts. As long as they fit the definition, it counts as cheating.

Some commit micro-cheating if they gradually break relationships through seemingly small acts. One example is catching up with a friendly ex to fulfill emotional needs. If this behavior becomes consistent, trust fades, resulting in a relationship’s downfall.

The Effects of Cheating in a Relationship

Cheating is a form of betrayal. Even if some couples stay together after incidents of infidelity, the damage has been done. Here are a few unfortunate results of a person’s adulterous behavior:

Trust is broken

The moment someone gets romantically involved with another person behind their partner’s back, trust goes out the window.

Can it be rebuilt? Sure. However, it’ll be hard to earn it back. Even if that person swears to avoid that mistake, they can’t take back the pain they’ve inflicted.

Anger and resentment brew

People who’ve been cheated on are allowed to feel angry about what happened to them. Think of it this way: how would you feel if someone you trusted stabbed you in the back? It hurts, yes? Don’t be surprised if they make their anger and resentment known.

Self-esteem will dwindle

One devastating effect of cheating in a relationship is the victim’s loss of self-esteem. Victims of infidelity will think they aren’t enough for their partners, leading to self-blame. This causes them to lose their self-respect as they look for faults in themselves.

How to Confront a Cheater

Let’s say you’ve found out about your partner’s infidelity. You’re incensed and are tempted to have a dramatic confrontation to give them a piece of your mind.

Couple arguing in a hallway Are you lost on how to confront a cheater? Take notes from these steps.

While you may be tempted to scream at your partner, they aren’t the best way to go about confronting infidelity.

Look, you’re allowed to feel angry about the cheating. However, there’s a much healthier way to let your partner know you’re aware of their actions. Confront them by taking these steps:

Collect yourself

The moment you learn you’ve been cheated on can be absolutely devastating. You’ll go through a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that’ll leave you enraged, confused, and depressed all at the same time.

While you have the right to feel this way, it’s best to process your feelings before doing anything drastic.

Don’t repress your feelings! Give yourself time and space to process the aftermath. You’re only human, and it won’t do to bottle up your emotions and explode at the wrong time.

Figure out your desired outcome

What do you want out of your confrontation? Do you want to stay in your relationship or do you want to end things? As you gather yourself from this emotional roller coaster, ask yourself your preferred outcome. It will take time, so don’t rush this.

Gather proof

If you’re going to confront your partner, you’ll need to back up your words. Feelings can easily overrule logic, so you’ll need some solid proof.

Collect evidence that clearly points to their infidelity. You can use messages and pictures as your basis; just make sure they haven’t been edited.

Pro-tip: it’s best to present your evidence after your partner denies cheating. If they continue lying, it’ll give your proof more ammo. Once you confront them with the facts, they can’t lie their way out of their conundrum.

Maintain a calm demeanor

Keeping a cool head in a situation like this is easier said than done. No matter how much you want to burst into anger, channeling that in a calm manner will be much better in the long run.

Sure, don’t mince your words. Make your pain clear by being straightforward about your feelings. Just don’t play the blame game and point fingers.

Choose the appropriate time and setting

Couple arguing in a dining room If you want someone to admit to cheating in a relationship, don’t make a scene in public.

Any confrontation about cheating is a highly combustible situation. Avoid public settings (bars, cafés, etc.) and opt for more private locations instead. Timing is important too. Make sure that friends, family, and kids aren’t around.

Give them space to talk

Does this mean you should justify or excuse their actions? No. However, you should give them room to say their piece. Don’t interrupt them as they share their side. If they’re trying to gaslight you through their words, don’t fall for their act. It was their choice to cheat in the first place.

Make your choice

One confrontation won’t solve everything, but you have to make a choice after you two air your thoughts and feelings. Don’t rush this step because rash decisions will only make things worse.

Can You Forgive Someone for Cheating?

It’s tempting to punish them for their poor decision by hating them for the rest of your life.

Some even act on their anger by taking revenge. Why? For them, forgiveness is impossible after hurting them in a blindsided manner.

Ultimately, we can say that forgiveness is a path worth taking.

No, it’s not about forgetting about/absolving cheating in a relationship. It’s about moving past anger and resentment. Although it won’t be a pretty process, finding peace is a healing journey. After all, looking out for yourself is never a bad thing.

However, forgiveness is a personal choice. Should you choose it, make sure you truly understand what it means.

When to Know It’s Time to Break Up

Often when a partner cheats on you, that’s a clear sign that you should end the relationship. Why stick with somebody who stabbed you in the back?

However, you should only end things with your cheating partner if you’re 100% sure that you’re done with them. This means you’re done fighting for your relationship, especially if they constantly lie to you and dismiss your feelings with no remorse.

You’ll know walking away will be a good decision if your partner acts like the innocent party. When they continue their behavior with no apologies and blame you for their actions, it’s high time to cut them off for good.

Cheating in a relationship shouldn’t be tolerated. Know that infidelity isn’t and will never be a victim’s fault. To say otherwise is a lie.

If you want to read more helpful relationship advice, feel free to read our blogs. They aim to help anyone navigate the world of romance.

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