If you're making out or having sex with someone outside of your committed relationship, it means you’re cheating on your partner.
Cheating doesn’t always have to be sexual. Sometimes cheating is on an emotional level. When someone shares intimate thoughts with a person who’s not their partner, it’s called emotional cheating.
Cheating of any form can cause a lot of sorrow in relationships and can even lead to break-up or divorce.
Find out more about cheating in our Cheating: top five facts.
Why do people cheat?
There are many reasons why people cheat on their partners. You might cheat if you don’t love your partner any more, if sex isn’t satisfying, if your partner has cheated on you in the past, or if you feel neglected or under-appreciated.
Lying to your partner about your affairs can be a stop-gap arrangement, but it’s very likely that sooner or later your partner will discover the truth. If you feel guilty about having cheated and don't want to end your relationship, confessing might be an option. You could also keep quiet about what happened, although the lack of honesty could put a strain on your relationship.
If you've cheated and decided you want to end it with your partner, there are two options – to confess your behaviour and say goodbye or to hide your infidelity and say you want to break up for other reasons.
Is your partner cheating on you?
If you know your partner well and have had a close, long-term relationship, you can often tell when something’s not right. You might notice that they’ve begun spending a lot more time at work, they have less time for you and your family, start taking calls in private, and seem less committed to doing things with you. Maybe they're paying attention to their looks, and they appear confused and detached. When you ask them if anything's wrong, they shrug off your question.
Finding out that your partner’s been cheating on you can be a traumatic experience. It can seriously damage the trust between the two of you and could even lead to a break-up, separation, or divorce. You might spend days, weeks, or months wondering what you did wrong and why this happened.
But don't blame yourself – take some time to calm down and think about your relationship.
Whether you want to stay with your partner depends on a number of things. Is your partner willing to go on? If they are, what will it take for them to regain your trust? Will your trust in them ever be restored? How can you start rebuilding your relationship?
The answers may not be simple, but give these questions some thought and it might help you decide on the right path to take.