Most people who are in a relationship assume that both sides will be completely faithful to one another, just like in a marriage. But sometimes people cheat – and that can lead to a big crisis in a relationship.
Whether it’s kissing another person, a one-night stand or a long-term love affair, infidelity usually really hurts the person you’re in a relationship with. For some, even becoming too attached emotionally to someone else feels like being unfaithful – they see it as ‘emotional cheating’.
Although cheating on your partner is so often so painful for them, it happens more than you might think. For example, 34 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women in the USA say they’ve been unfaithful to their spouses at some point. But the fact that it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not a risk for your relationship. In fact, cheating doubles the chances of divorce, a study found.
But some relationships survive even if one partner has cheated on the other. You might agree that even though one person has made a mistake, you value your relationship enough to stay together. But even then, don’t expect things to be back to normal straight away. It takes time to build up trust again.
There are lots of different reasons why people cheat. They might be unhappy in their relationship or unsatisfied with the sex. But some studies claim that wanting to cheat can also have genetic reasons. People with a certain ‘cheating gene’ variant are more likely to have casual sex and one-night stands – and to cheat on their partners.
Some sexperts even claim that the entire idea of being faithful to your partner all the time is absurd and like a ‘sexual jail’. After all, they say statistically for human beings cheating is more the exception than the rule, and monogamy is a myth.
But of course, there’s no need to follow through on the impulse to be unfaithful: even if all humans were genetically predisposed to cheat, it doesn’t mean they have to do it.
So what about looking at porn while you’re in a relationship? There are different opinions about whether watching porn means cheating. Most people think it’s okay. But if you lie to your partner, feel guilty about watching porn and do it in secret, it’s probably not a good thing for your relationship.
It’s even more complicated when it comes to online flirting and cybersex. For some, it’s totally fine to have a flirt with someone else online while you’re in a relationship. Others would consider it cheating. Again, honesty and openness are probably the most important things when dealing with this question, but it’s definitely a sensitive topic.
Clearly, to avoid heartbreak it would just be the best option to get together with someone who definitely won’t cheat on you. But is there a way to tell if someone is a cheater? Well, apparently there is … just listen to them talking!
What should you do if your partner cheats on you: dump them or forgive them? Leave a comment here or join the discussion on Facebook.