Once a cheater always a cheater is the oldest myth in the book.
Being open and honest is a great policy. We are not here to dismiss the devastating effects of infidelity/cheating and families breaking up because of it. We know why cheating is wrong but why does it seem so bad that it can cost a lot of people everything?
Here are some of the cheating myths and why cheating can be good for your relationship.
Let’s break down some myths about cheating.
- All men cheat/men cheat more than women. People are always curious about the mindset of a cheating man but women cheat just as much! I have a theory as to why people think men cheat more. It’s because women are better at hiding their affairs and can take secrets to the grave. Probably because they are least suspected. Men tend to be a little sloppy if we are being honest.
- Once a cheater always a cheater. Serial cheaters do exist and this boils down to self worth/self esteem from both/all parties in the relationship. If your cheating partner has a severe character defect, that has nothing to do with the relationship at all. And if you have little self worth yourself, it will happen repeatedly. But most people learn from mistakes and work hard to not make them again.
- The cheater can’t be trusted ever again. You will not like what I have to say here but sometimes cheating leads to stronger trust. Once the trust is broken, the time and effort it takes to rebuild can lead to much stronger trust than ever before. This only works when both/all parties are committed to rebuilding. You can trust again.
- Women cheat for emotional fulfillment, men cheat only for sex. No. Just no. Just like men, women have sexual needs too. There are plenty of men AND women out there in great relationships where the only thing that’s lacking is sexual satisfaction. Men also have emotional needs. People’s reason for cheating varies from person to person- male or female.
- That being said, the last myth is that people cheat only when they are unhappy. So why do people cheat on people they love? Some cheaters absolutely love their lives with their family and wouldn’t trade it for the world. But the only thing lack is the sex.
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Now that we went over the myths and we know infidelity can be devastating… is it ALWAYS devastating?
Most people marry because of cultural or societal reasons. Most don’t actually learn how to be together and communicate effectively. A lot of couples tend to try their best to avoid confrontation which causes resentment and problems to fester under the surface causing one to stray. Infidelity will shine a bright light on those problems and can be beneficial in two ways.
First, it can make a relationship stronger. YES, couples who come out stronger DO EXIST. It also depends on the circumstances of course. It will take a lot of work but this is where people LEARN how to be together, how to communicate, rebuild their relationship piece by piece and gather knowledge and skills that they did not have ever before such as how to be more open with each other. This only works when both/all people in the relationship are willing to do the work.
Another way cheating can actually be beneficial is that it can make a couple realize that they are actually much better apart. A lot of couples stay together simply out of habit. As mentioned above, people tend to sweep things under the rug to avoid uncomfortable conversations. If one marries for cultural or societal reasons, cheating will expose how much the people in the relationship DO NOT have in common.
So Is Cheating OK?
Is cheating wrong in the following hypothetical scenarios?
- Is cheating wrong when they will never find out? Is it true that what you don’t know won’t hurt you? What if you are completely happy with the relationship just need your sexual needs met? What if you can’t meet your partners sexual needs?
- Is cheating wrong when it’s in a different country? Is it OK when the fling is on the other side of the world and you will never interact with them again?
- Is cheating wrong when it’s a celebrity? Would you forgive your partner if they had a chance to hook up with one of your favorite celebrities? Or their favorite celebrity?
- Is cheating wrong when it’s a revenge cheat. Is evening the score worth it?
Is cheating ok sometimes? Do you believe people can be fully monogamous? Would you give your partner a hall pass? Why is cheating wrong? What about these scandals?