By Kari DePhillips
We all make mistakes, and cheating can be one of them. Cheating can ruin relationships, destroy trust and make you look like a first-class a-hole. If word gets out that you’re a cheater, you can develop an unsavory reputation that can be hard to shake. That said, is cheating ever okay?
No, not really.
A Symptom of a Larger Problem
If you’re tempted to cheat, it could mean that your relationship is headed to Splittsville (Population: 2). Being tempted to stray is usually a symptom of larger problems – and you should take an objective look at yourself and your relationship, and then figure out if it’s something you want to remain committed to. It’s important to remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (sometimes, it just looks greener because it’s been fertilized with bullsh!t).
What’s causing your desire to sow other oats? If it’s lack of chemistry in the bedroom, try spicing things up with a new toy – battery operated friends are the gifts that keep on giving. Sexual compatibility can wane over time, but there are lots of things you can do to get back into the swing of things. A waning emotional or intellectual chemistry is more of a challenge to fix, and could signal that it’s time to move on.
How Big of a D-Bag Are You?
If you’ve cheated, you’re pretty much limited to four options:
1. Keep your mouth shut and continue your relationship (until you get caught, at least)
2. Keep your mouth shut and end your relationship
3. ‘Fess up to your partner and try to stay in the relationship
4. Come clean to your partner and leave
If you’re ready to leave, #2 might be the best option – it’ll at least keep the misery to a minimum. #4 is pretty much the meanest alternative available, if you’re going to pack your bags and leave. Otherwise, I suggest going with option #1 and resolving to never do it again. From what I’ve seen on TV psych shows, admitting that you cheated will only clear your conscience, it won’t benefit your partner at all.
Try Opening Things Up
If cheating has been a recurring theme in your life, you might want to consider talking to your partner about opening up your relationship. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it could be a good compromise for the forward thinking and adventurous. Besides, cheating is only cheating if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
A survey of people aged 18-39 by Washington State University’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center showed that although 95% of couples expect monogamy, 18% of women and 27% of men admitted to having sex with at least one other partner in their latest exclusive relationship. If more than 1 in 5 people are going to cheat anyway, why not give an open relationship a try? You’ll be in good company: Brangelina, Will and Jada and Justin & Jessica are all reported to be in open relationships.