My Boyfriend Has One Cheat Pass But I’ll Never Tell Him That

There are a lot of things I won’t put up with in my relationship, but now that I’ve been with my boyfriend for seven years, I can honestly say that there’s one transgression I could probably cope with at least once. I could probably forgive him if he was unfaithful once, but I’ll obviously never tell him he has a free cheat pass.

  1. There’s no one way to cheat anyway. Cheating can be defined in many different ways, depending on who you ask. Whether it’s flirty text messages, secret meetups, or physical intimacy, cheating typically doesn’t fit into one specific category. Even mentioning the word is triggering for most people in a relationship and can cause lengthy debates on how it should be defined. For me, cheating has to include a form of sexual closeness or deception in the relationship. Once that line is crossed, you’re cheating.
  2. It’s conditional. There’s not an unlimited amount of passes allotted. It’s a one time, random, isolated “I screwed up” kind of thing—not a “my ex was in town so I decided to stop by” kind of thing. He can’t have known the person prior and it definitely can’t be a friend. The conditions give the “pass” boundaries and allow me to know it’s not just a free for all out here.
  3. I can change my mind at any time. How I feel today may not reflect how I feel tomorrow or even a year from now. This also plays a part with him technically not knowing about the “pass.” It’s not like bait I want to wave around, but an informed choice I have the option to make should the situation ever present itself.
  4. I’ve always trusted him. I’ve never had to question his integrity and he’s never given me a reason to. He’s always been upfront and I can’t help but respect that. This is something I’ve never had with any of my partners in the past and I value this aspect of our relationship. The pass isn’t meant to be looked at as a reward or “get out of jail free” card but a symbol of what transparency looks like in our relationship and how I’m willing to give a second chance when needed.
  5. Everyone makes mistakes. This one goes without saying. Granted, cheating is a huge no-no and it’s something not everyone is willing to look past. It’s something I wouldn’t want to experience, but I’m a firm believer in giving second chances. However, the cheat pass is because it’s something I’m willing to try and work through with this particular relationship and this particular guy.
  6. We’re committed. Through the good and the bad, we know we want to be in each other’s lives no matter what. We’re committed to one another and would do whatever it takes to make things work. Relationships are hard and no one is perfect. When you put those two together, you’re bound to have some hiccups along the way.
  7. No one else knows about it. It’s not something I flaunt or discuss openly. None of my friends even know about my feelings on cheating. It was a decision I came to on my own without anyone else’s input. I didn’t feel the need to explain my choice and I definitely don’t need validation. Outside input could cause me to second-guess my thought process, but I’m confident in what I believe.
  8. It’s not meant for everyone. Not everyone will agree with what the next person allows in a relationship and that’s OK. Some people are willing to put up with much more or less and they have that right. I don’t think the solution I’ve drummed up means I have all the answers or that it would even help rectify an already painful situation, but I do believe it provides an alternative to how cheating is usually handled.
  9. We’ve been through worse. From having nowhere to stay, no food, no money, no job, you name it. We’ve weathered the storm together and been through some of our toughest times as a couple and as individuals. Now that we’re both established, it doesn’t mean problems won’t arise, we’re just more equipped for what could come. The relationship battles we have under our belt have built up a resistance to things that potentially break other couples. We’ve come a long way and don’t plan on looking back.
  10. I’m confident he would do the same for me. Like I said before, we’ve never spoken about it but I know for certain he would do the same for me if there was ever a slip up on my end. In a way, this confirms that we’re past the cycle of shameless make-ups to breakups and on the same page when it comes to the terms of our relationship.
Ty Martin is a freelance writer specializing in women's health and relationships. She has written alongside many doctoral students during her undergraduate career, assisting in editing and research. Although she grew up in a small town just outside of Chicago, she's obsessed with everything New York and plans on living there one day soon.