Saturday, January 14, 2012

How not to cheat

Let me start off by saying that I am in no way an expert on such matters. However, I have taken many psychology and sociology classes in college and have studied the matter in the real world on relationships my friends have had. I think I have some pretty good suggestions, and would now like to share them with you all.
I believe that human beings have the capability of loving one person for their entire lives, even after many fights, losses, gains, possible infidelity, and any other situation that tries their bond. Some people may not agree with this statement, and I don't care. This is "how not to cheat", so if you need help with that, keep reading.

First of all, be in a relationship where you don't need to cheat.
Easier said than done, right? Well actually it is. That means that all of your needs and the needs of your partner are being met. When you have needs that aren't being met, you express them maturely and discuss them with your partner. You come to an agreement that suits both of you.
If for some reason, you feel the need to cheat or you are unhappy with the current situation, think about why that is before you act on your "gimme gimme" impulses. Once you know what the problem is (it might take a big fight, or a good discussion with your partner to get to the bottom of it), you can try to solve it. You might not get what you want, but you could just get what you need.
Or, get into a huge fight with your significant other over this bs because you're not mature enough to solve it like adults. Let's face it, if you can't learn to have DISCUSSIONS instead of FIGHTS, your relationship could be doomed. So, do yourself and your partner the favor of solving problems or getting out before you seek outside assistance from someone other than a couple's counselor. (Which at this point, I would highly suggest you use if you can't solve your problems together maturely.) (p.s. I hope that didn't come off as condescending, I'm just being brutally honest.)

Second, do not give into temptation, in any form.
At some point in your relationship I'm sure you've had a situation with a friend of your partner who has been a little "too friendly." For whatever reason, you get upset and they get defensive claiming this person is "just a friend", you don't need to read their e-mails or 100's of texts to this person, and there's nothing to worry about.
Now, let's turn the tables. You have a friend. Your partner doesn't like this person and suspects foul play because of the way you talk or act around them, the amount of time you spend with them or spend talking to them, or various other reasons. You are offended that they would even consider such a thing. You talk to this person more, out of spite! You learn intimate details about them that you really shouldn't know, you tell them things you don't tell your partner. (You will regret that later)You're getting too close. You start spending time with them and you don't tell your partner about it. You're withholding things from your partner which shouldn't even be kept secret, but they are because this person is a threat and you don't want your significant other to find out about them for whatever reason. This happens a lot. You're putting yourself in a bad situation and it could get so much worse sooo easily.
It's before you reach this point where you should be distancing yourself from this person. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a girl and in the past my bf has talked to girls without my knowledge and I'm trying to prove a point! That's actually pretty far from the truth. We could all avoid stupid fights over stupid people if we were all more open and honest with each other about the situation. That is a proven fact. I'm sure you've heard the stories, that's why every time your partner starts acting "shady" you automatically suspect foul play because of what happened to someone else. It's a nasty merry-go-round we play on, ladies and gentlemen. Put your feet on the ground and slow that sucker down!
When you're in a relationship with someone you deeply love and trust, you don't need anyone else (especially of the same sex as your partner) filling that space. (That includes your Mother, by the way. And not sexually, ew! What is wrong with you, Oedipus?)
If your partner has a creepy feeling about this person that you're spending a little too much time with, they probably are right. You don't have to stop being their friend, but you really shouldn't be besties with them either. Basically, what I'm trying to say is when this happens, and your partner gets suspicious of something fishy, DO NOT go on full lock-down. I realize that it's hard not to get defensive, but you have to try if you want to avoid fights later. Also, think about it this way. If there's nothing to hide, then you shouldn't keep your friendship with this person away from your partner. But if you choose to hide it, and be a little clamshell you're setting yourself up for failure.
It's also at this point where you'll have to pick sides. You either keep it going with your partner (and that means distancing yourself from said friend), keep it going with your partner and be shady with this mystery friend (I would advise against this, if you couldn't tell already), or you break up with your current partner and get with this mystery person you so desperately want to be friends with and share all your secrets with. Like I said, *booming voice* "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!"
If you have someone secret on the side, newsflash! IT'S CHEATING.

Thirdly, don't put yourself into situations where you could cheat.
Working late at the office again? I hear you. Working late with your somewhat attractive assistant... ehhh. Alone? RED ALERT! You shouldn't let that happen. Decide to go out to the bar for a few drinks after work instead of going home to your lover first, bad idea. That hot blonde across the counter checking you out, major ego boost! Buy them a drink? That's probably not a good idea... Invite them over, double no! That guy on the dance floor that decided to girate on your badonkadonk? Tell him to bark up someone else's tree!
It's okay to be flirty, as long as you don't follow through with any actions or lead people in the wrong direction. That being said, it's okay to be friends with people, it's okay to hang out with them alone, but you have to be a good person and think with your head and NOT your privates! Sometimes when people get the wrong impression, they will linger behind hoping to get some time alone with you. Don't let yourself be caught in this situation or any others that arise. Know your limits, know who you're attracted to (if anyone at all) and don't spend as much time with them. Or at least do your partner the decency of breaking up with them first.
It's at this point where you're probably saying someing along the lines of, "but Kelsey, it's not hurting anyone if I make friends... blah blah blah defensive bullshit blah blah." Look, I hear what you're saying, no really I do, but do YOU hear what you'e saying? You're making up excuses to continue putting yourself in those bad situations. You secretly enjoy it, you crave it... hey, how's that working for you so far? I bet your significant other hates it. I bet you fight over it frequently. There's nothing to hide, right? I call your bluff, blog reader!
Or, maybe they don't know what you do secretly behind their back. Well, things just got a little more interesting. You are a whole nother breed of evil. I would even go so far as to suggest that even if you haven't physically cheated on your partner, that you've done something pretty darn close to it.
Bottom line, If it feels wrong, you're probably right, so stop.
If it feels good in a "forbidden/sexy" way, you're wrong and should stop and run as fast as you can away from the situation.

A friend of mine wrote this and promptly deleted the post because of all the drama and backlash it recieved, but I thought it was fitting:

If you are doing anything or withholding anything that you don't want your significant other to know about, you're kind of cheating.

In healthy relationships, we don't keep secrets from each other.
We don't share things with people outside of the relationship that are only for those in the relationship.
You break that circle of trust between two people, and you're on your way to cheaterville.

There are ways you can stop it though. I hope that my post has been helpful or at least somewhat eye-opening to potential cheaters. To the rest of you I hope it was somewhat amusing and less drama-inducing than I think it will be. That was obviously not my intent.

And thus ends the collection of my obvservations on cheating.
I'm sure one day I'll write a much more formal paper (maybe a book) and share all my thoughts with the world, but until that day...

Thanks for reading


  1. I completely agree with all of this. I think you are quite the expert because this is all expert advice. Especially the last one, it amazes me how many people put themselves in the situation where cheating comes easily. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  2. I completely agree with your post and especially when you say "easier said than done." All of this can be easier said than done especially since a lot of us have been taught all our lives to lie to people we love to "protect" them.

    My husband and I are completely open and honest. We do not choose each others friends and if said friends make one another uncomfortable, we listen to each other on it. We keep the communication going which is the key to having a happy relationship. People cant read minds and so they do not know what we need. Sometimes one person thinks they are meeting the other ones needs and the other person just thinks their partner doesnt care. Thats not right! We have to be able to communicate.

    I have been married twice. I was accused (wrongly) of cheating on my first husband. I had every excuse to cheat considering he did nothing to meet any of my needs, yet I did not. If you are to the point you are ready to cheat, either tell the person your needs arent being met and try to fix it, or tell the person you want out. Everyone deserves that much respect.

  3. I really loved this post, and it's lots of really really great advice, I agree wholeheartedly.

    Personally, I believe there's such a thing as emotional cheating, when you, like you described, are sharing things with a person, that you should only be sharing with your partner - or even things that it's okay to talk to other people about as well, but that you are still not sharing with your partner.

    I remember reading 'Committed' by Elizabeth Gilbert, a year ago, and the passage on cheating made a huge impression on me. She writes about how a relationship is like a house, with walls to the outside world, and doors and windows for proper communication. Well, if you suddenly start sharing these emotional things with someone on the outside, it's like making a huge hole in the wall. Then in order to protect your partner, you lie to them, and in doing that, you build up walls inside the house, between you and your partner. Before you know it, there's holes and walls where there shouldn't be, and one day, when you and your partner have had a fight, you might tell this person on the outside, and before you know it, you're kissing and in love "without knowing how you got there". And it might not be on purpose, it "just happened", but it happened, because you didn't have proper boundaries in place.


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