A healthier way to Cheat
Have you ever been tempted to cheat on your partner? I certainly have. That’s only because I’m a human being.
Though there are people out there who claim that it’s never even crossed their mind, I believe that monogamy often poses a challenge to our most basic human instincts. It’s only natural to feel tempted by someone other than your partner from time to time, and some struggle with the desire to engage in affairs more than others.
According to the Institute for Family Studies, men (20%) are more often the culprit of infidelity than women (13%). It’s interesting to note, however, that this is a general, overall statistic. In some age groups, women were slightly more likely to cheat.
I don’t bring this up to cast blame on anyone specific gender. The point is, no matter what your gender, cheating runs rampant in today’s modern relationships.
Why Do People Cheat?
If you find yourself tempted to cheat in your relationship, and especially if you’re seriously considering following through with it, chances are there is something fundamentally broken between you and your partner.
Here are some of the common reasons someone might give in to the urge to have an affair:
You feel unfulfilled by your relationship dynamic because you and your partner are incompatible in a variety of ways.
Your partner’s libido has become non-existent or close to it, and you yearn for a physical relationship, so you start looking elsewhere.
Outside circumstances become so stressful(work, kids, financial problems, etc.) that you and your partner let intimacy slip to the bottom of the priority list.
Your significant other has physical or mental health issues that impact their ability or desire to be intimate with you.
You’re addicted to sex and feel like you can’t control your willpower when it comes to cheating.
You feel bored in a long-term relationship and you can’t seem to resist the thrill of that new relationship energy.
Before You Cheat
Making the decision to cheat on your partner and keep it hidden from them is one of the most harmful things you can do in your relationship. It’s a betrayal of trust, a risk to the physical health of both you and your partner, and it robs your significant other of informed consent — meaning, they continue to be with you when, if they knew you were cheating, they would make the choice not to be.
The answer to the problem isn’t to go behind your partner’s back, but to approach the issues in your relationship head-on, as a team, with honesty and communication.
As difficult as it sounds, the best route is to work on the things that are causing you to want to cheat. Between you and your spouse, that will take hard work, communication, and brutal honesty.
The following are some healthy actions you can take as an alternative to cheating.
Tell your partner how you feel. No relationship is perfect, and sometimes you have to have hard conversations. The “I’m not happy with our relationship, and here’s why” conversations. As stressful and inconvenient as this dialogue can be, it’s far worse to let the issue fester, making you both unhappy and miserable in the long run. When you’re comfortable in your routine, it feels scary to rock the boat. But, if you care about getting your relationship to a healthy point, you’ll need to start rocking by approaching your partner and letting them know why you’re unsatisfied. Whether the issue is with you, your partner or both of you doesn’t matter. The point is: admitting the problem is the first step to solving the problem.
Date each other again.
Once you’ve communicated that things are falling flat for whatever reason, consider the idea to start dating again. I’m talking about all the romantic, fuzzy stuff we all get lazy about doing once we settle down and start focusing on careers, mortgages, or kids.
Spice your relationship up again, in whatever way that appeals to you. Set aside some time to focus on each other, the way you did when you first started falling in love.
It’s not easy to date during a pandemic, so something as simple as cooking dinner together, lighting candles, playing soft music, and actually talking to each other about topics of interest (not the career, mortgage, or kid stuff) can be a welcome way to reconnect.
Cheat on your partner — with your partner
This can be a fun one for the creative couples out there. It all comes down to role play, which can be a healthy way to express fantasies that might not actually be healthy in reality. If your fantasy is to cheat, then try meeting at a planned location and pretending you’re total strangers.
Take it as far as you’d like. Create a script, dress up, use wigs — whatever floats your boat. Silly as this may seem, having fun together and playing out your fantasies is a great way to practice open and honest communication. Being able to talk and play together will make it easier to connect when relationship issues come up.
Consider opening the relationship
It’s my belief that some people just aren’t made for monogamy. Some love being monogamous, and some find it completely unnatural and outright miserable.
Opening your relationship to dating other people is a possibility. If you do it in a safe, healthy, and honest way, you are practising ethical non-monogamy. This means you’re setting your own boundaries as a couple and adhering to them.
Of course, this option isn’t for everyone. But there are plenty of resources out there for couples who are considering this path. The important thing is to do what feels right and healthy for you, as a couple, and not adhere to traditional rules that might not work just because society places them on you.
Go to couple’s counselling
This one is hard work. You both have to search for a therapist, do the research, and find someone who will be a good fit. Then, you have to move things around in your busy schedule and actually take time to sit in sessions and talk about the difficult things in your relationship.
A therapist is a good idea for a relationship at any point in time. You don’t have to wait until you hate each other’s guts to try and make things better. If your relationship is okay, going to couple’s counselling will make it even better. If your relationship is in danger of ending due to infidelity, the guidance of a neutral third party can help you and your partner learn how to work through it.
Keep the Spark
Relationships are new and exciting at first. But the longer you stay together, the more it takes effort and communication to keep things hot. Don’t let yourselves get so bored that you begin to neglect each other’s needs. Be playful, pay attention to each other, and make an effort to keep that spark crackling. And, before you cheat, ask yourself how you can make things better in your current relationship.