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Is Cheating Ever OK?

Would you tell your friend if you saw their significant other on a dinner date with another?

Q: Is cheating ever OK?

At the very least, cheating means you don’t value the relationship you’re in. If you cheat once, think about what this means about your relationship with your partner- you have taken a risk that they could get hurt, they could get an STD, they could be embarrassed- so that you could have a short-term positive experience. If you continue cheating, consider ending your relationship, because you are clearly not committed or fulfilled.  Instead of taking that as an excuse to cheat, be honest with your partner and stop seeing them.

If you think you’re “just the cheating kind”, consider not having relationships.

If your partner has cheated on you, it will hurt, but you should ask if they’re interested in staying with you or if they’re shopping for other partners. Try to be honest about what you expect from them. Almost everyone cheats during their lifetime- it doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship but it must be addressed.

If you accept a partner’s continued cheating even though it hurts you- this lets the partner know that you don’t value yourself and that anything goes. This is not a good place to be for your emotional health.

Cheating hurts people in a very deep, sometimes irrational way.  Think about a relationship of yours that ended without infidelity, and about one that ended with it.  Do you feel differently about them?  Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.  If you are cheating “on your way out” of a relationship- consider ending your relationship first. You and your partner will have a better experience and nicer memories of each other if infidelity doesn’t color the end of your time together.

Q: Would you tell your friend if you saw their significant other on a dinner date with another?

I would not. I would tell my friend if their significant other was sending out pictures of his dick to other people. Even then, it doesn’t change anything. Usually, it just makes my friend upset.  It’s very difficult to give someone information that they don’t want, even if months later they recognize it was probably true.

Q: How do you feel about infidelity in celebrity relationships, like the rumors about Brad, Marion Cotillard, and Angelina?

If we assume that the thing that ended Brangelina was, in fact, cheating: I think that a mature relationship could have survived infidelity- so I suspect that this is not the first time, but the last that Angelina could deal with.

When infidelity is public, I think that changes things. It’s one thing to work on issues at home, see a therapist, try to communicate- it’s another when everyone on the street and everyone you see knows that your partner betrayed you and hurt you. Think about being at Ralph’s (or, let’s face it, Whole Foods or Gelson’s) and seeing people’s faces full of pity for you, when all you wanted was an organic wheatgrass juice.

That being said- I don’t think a marriage is a failure just because it ends. Because our society has changed to value the individual over the couple- everything is stacked against long marriages. You can learn a lot from marriage and grow as a person, even though that union didn’t last until death did you part.

All in all, the reason we call it cheating is that it’s a betrayal of what you have agreed on in your relationship.  If you don’t want to be monogamous, don’t be.  Cheating on your current partner as a trial for a potential relationship is a poor use of everyone’s trust.  If all of your relationships end in infidelity, consider doing the brave thing and ending the relationship before stepping out.