Have you ever cheated on your relationship? Did you tell? Do you think you should tell? And how does your relationship recover from cheating? These are the questions that have occupied my space for the past week.
Cheating it would seem is more common that even I can believe. There are websites dedicated to it and both men and women are very open about being in a relationship but looking for a bit on the side.
Let me be clear, I have cheated and I have been cheated on and somehow my cheating was of no consequence but being cheated on was heartbreaking and humiliating, something that I don’t think I have ever recovered from.
Let’s start by defining what cheating is. If you are married and step out of that relationship to have sex with someone else, that is defined as adultery. If you are in a monogamous relationship but not married and you step out sexually, that is defined as infidelity. Cheating is a bit more elusive. I know what cheating at cards is but cheating on a relationship?
Cheating is something that is defined by the parameters of your relationship but very few of us actually talk about it with our partner. You are allowed to do X but not Y. Have you had that discussion? I’ve been chatting to some people about it and everyone has a different opinion.
In a different time cheating was up close and personal but with modern technology it has got a lot more complicated. Computers, websites, chat rooms and social media have changed the game.
If you are in a monogamous relationship but send saucy messages or sext and flirt with someone else on ‘whatsap’, but you have never ever touched each bother physically, is that cheating?
If you have sneaked away to have lunch with someone and you discuss everything from books to biltong and then kiss goodbye, is that cheating?
If you go to a function without your partner, dance the night away and maybe have a snog with a delicious man, but don’t have sex and then go home, is that cheating? If you gave him your number, and hope he’ll call, is that cheating?
It can be argued that it is all just innocent flirting and fun (who doesn’t like to feel special) and should have no impact on your relationship. No sexual transaction has taken place even if it has been hinted at and is therefore not worth declaring. That is until it is!
If you are the partner at home and find out – how would it feel? Would you feel that you have been cheated on?
When I was young and bullet proof, I was in a relationship where we were both allowed to flirt but at the end of the evening we went home together. When we travelled, which we both did extensively, there was an unwritten rule that what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas. You didn’t ask as a result of which there would be no lies. This worked perfectly until the first lie was told. There was no turning back.
There is a saying that it is all fun and games until someone breaks a bone and then it is hysterical!
Hearing the lie and understanding the consequence is bone crushingly painful. When you realise your partner is cheating it’s a betrayal like no other. What hurt the most was that for me it was the emotional betrayal that shattered my world. It was the emotional disconnect that I couldn’t deal with. It was the lie.
In the early stages I was accused of being insecure and mad. I tried not to be insecure and mad and so it was allowed to fester. In retrospect I should have just owned up to being insecure and mad and put a stop to what I knew in my water to be true.
When your partner wants to be texting or talking, to their ‘friend’, more than they want to be with you, it says something. I choose to call it cheating.
Having been on both ends of the cheating game here is my 10c worth.
If you are hiding a text, discussion, meeting, party or social network page from your partner chances are you know what you are doing is wrong and know that your partner will consider it cheating. It doesn’t matter if you think your partner is insecure or mad, you know.
If you think your partner would be hurt by your behaviour, you are being disrespectful to your relationship and I believe you are cheating!
If someone else makes you feel sexier, cleverer and more exciting that your partner, if you cannot talk about it, you have a problem. Sort it out before an innocent flirtation goes too far.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is cheating on their partner, I know you think you are different. You are special, you understand him, he was sent to you and believe the million stories we tell ourselves, know this it may be true for now but as Oprah once said – ‘If he cheats with you, he will eventually cheat on you!’ So, buyer beware!
Let me know what you think cheating is by commenting on my blog, www.blog.lolamontez.co.za