Cheating is one of the biggest betrayals but it’s a lot more common than you think, especially since even emotional connections with another person could fall into the category. If you feel tempted to cheat on your partner, here are nine things you’ll want to remember before you act.
- There’s no coming back from this. Even if you only hook up with someone else once, it still counts. You might regret it, but even so, your partner has the total right to break up with you if you decide to come clean. No matter how much you plead and tell them it was a mistake, it will tarnish your relationship forever.
- The grass isn’t always greener. Fighting with your S.O.? Well, then the next charming guy or gal who smiles at you may seem like a much better option. When we disagree with our partner, sometimes our brains get flooded with all of their bad qualities and it’s almost like you’re trying to give yourself permission to cheat. Just know that this feeling probably won’t last long. Unless they did something major (like, say, cheat on you) you’ll probably be less heated at them tomorrow. However, you will be feeling the guilt pretty hard about straying.
- They will find out. It may not be tomorrow, but eventually, the truth will come out. Even if you don’t tell a soul about the new encounter, they’ll be able to tell that something’s up based on your body language. Unless you absolutely can’t stand your partner, you’ll be feeling the burden of your bad decision on a daily basis. (And, really, if you can’t stand them, why are you still with them?)
- Breaking up is a more respectful maneuver. If you’re really feeling the temptation, do the right thing and end things the right way with your partner. Obviously, it’s not working out for you. The person you want to hook up with will have no problem if you tell them you’ll meet up tomorrow instead of tonight. Sure, it doesn’t look great to sleep with someone else just hours after a breakup, but it’s much more honorable than hooking up while you’re still officially attached.
- You’ll be putting your partner’s health at risk. You may plan on using a condom, but things can still happen. Even if your partner is awful, it doesn’t mean that they deserve to be unknowingly exposed to herpes or any other number of infections because you wanted to sneak around behind their back. You’d hate it if the tables were turned, so do the right thing and officially end it before making a big mess of the situation.
- Regaining trust is very hard to do. Say it was a complete accident and you tell your partner right away. Even if they choose to forgive you, they’ll always have a lingering doubt. They may feel the need to double check and make sure you’re being truthful about where you’re going and who you’re with. This type of relationship is hard to maintain, and even if both of you try really hard to get it back to normal, it’ll never be.
- You’re probably much unhappier than you think. Maybe you’ve been sticking to your relationship because you’ve gotten used to it. Relationships require a ton of maintenance to be successful. If you’re actually thinking about cheating, something is broken. These things might get better with relationship therapy, if you feel like you still may have a future with your partner.
- Not many people can cheat without remorse. The ones who don’t feel bad never wanted a relationship to begin with. Either they were forced into it or they just can’t naturally adhere to one. If you find yourself not even feeling a pang of guilt for considering cheating, maybe you should just be single for a while. There’s nothing wrong with the lifestyle, and you’ll give yourself the freedom you never knew you needed.
- It won’t make you happier. You may feel like you’re getting it out of your system. Or, maybe you’ve talked yourself into believing that cheating is normal. No matter what your reason for doing it is, you won’t feel more complete when it’s over. In fact, you may feel more lost than ever before. If you’re trying to seek happiness in life, it won’t come from a sexual conquest. Instead, you may want to book an appointment with a therapist that’ll help suggest healthy ways you can improve your confidence and overall satisfaction with life.