The Age Old Question

So, why do we cheat?

Elephant Journal Why Cheat

It rambles at times, but this article from the Elephant Journal makes some interesting and debate-inducing points.

Take, for example: “Cheating is anytime we we would not want our partner seeing what we’re doing.” Well, it’s a touch more complicated than that.

Am I cheating when I pick my nose? When I spend two hours deciding what to wear for a night out? When I watch reality tv in my underwear while eating an entire box of kraft dinner straight out of the pot I cooked it in? (Okay, that last one we actually do together.)

But the nugget of value in that statement is the question: what are we hiding from our partner(s)? If it’s an occasional dive into your nose for treasures, not a deal-breaker. If you’re hiding attraction to other people, what’s at work there? Is it an inherent dissatisfaction with your relationship? Not necessarily. It could simply be attraction to other people, which I’d say is natural. But the hiding has begun and is that a potentially slippery slope?

The author also makes the point that no one wants to cheat. Well, I beg to differ. I think that some people are either fine with cheating on partners or even desire it. In the first case, if you are in a monogamous relationship with someone but simply don’t care about their feelings or the relationship, I would suspect you’re alright with cheating. In the second case, I think some people seek out a mistress/mister as a political move or with the intention to hurt their partner(s). While it may be sadistic, I think you can sincerely want to cheat.

Maybe more elaboration (or a clear antecedent) would better explain this gem:

There’s nothing wrong with it. Any of it. It’s just that when we’re cheating, it doesn’t feel good.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems to say there isn’t anything wrong with cheating. News flash: if you go beyond the agreed-upon terms of your relationship (sexually, romantically, emotionally, whatever), that is WRONG. It is deceitful and inconsiderate towards your partner(s). You shouldn’t not cheat because it doesn’t feel good. You should not cheat because you respect your partner(s) and value your relationship with them.

But there is still some wisdom in this piece:

The cheating stops because we start talking to our partners about what we’re feeling and what we’re going through.

They key to this whole debate: have open, honest conversations with your partner(s) about what you’re experiencing emotionally, and your relationship (faithful or not) will reap the benefits. That level of honesty can help to avoid cheating. It can help to repair a relationship post-cheating. And it can teach you a lot about yourself, your partner(s), and what it takes to make your relationships work.

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