A heart shaped lock and three keys to it on a red background
Shutterstock

Cheating and infidelity

Cheating means breaking the rules you have agreed on in a committed relationship. Usually cheating refers to sexual infidelity or adultery.

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.

Did you learn something new?

Comments

Hello Mercy, so sorry about happened to your relationship. It is not possible to accurately predict the future, whether you will feel better after moving back in. You may want to start by forgiving him for what he did before you even consider going back. Take sometime and think about whether you are willing to put in effort to make the relationship work, trust was broken and it takes time to rebuild trust when this happens. It  is possible for a relationship to be restored after a cheating incidence but both partners must be willing to work together to make it work out. Have a look at the following article for tips on what you both can do to make it work;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/tips-to-recover-from-cheating-in-marriage 

Dear Freddie, I am not sure you can make her do anything she doesn't want to. All you can do is reach out to her and apologize and hope that would be enough to get her to want to get back with you. Remember, she may or may not be willing to get back with you and whichever decision she makes you will have to respect her choice. Have a look at the following article for more tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-can-i-get-back-my-ex 

Hi, i had a bf but we broke up...recently another guy has been after me and every time he calls or txts me he wants me go sleep over at his place...also he whatsups me his private picture of himself naked n ask me to do the same I have refused since he is stranger to me...he claims to love me dearly. should i trust this guy??

Hi Jayne, I am not able to tell you if you should trust him or not. However, if he is asking you to do things that you do not wish to do, let him know. If you are uncomfortable with him sending you photos of himself do ask him to stop. It is important that you decide how you want to proceed and then let him know. Take sometime and think about whether you are ready to get into an new relationship before making a decision. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Nikita
Mon, 02/04/2019 - 02:12 pm
I am currently in a relationship and my bf doesn’t trust me at all. What should I do, we have talked about this with him, but there is still no trust. He is a younger than me. Can this kind or relationship work and what can I do to make him trust me?

Hi Nikita, first, such a relationship can work. When it comes to relationships, age is just a number as long as you are both mature to be in a relationship, want to be in that relationship and you are in love. Secondly, trust is an essential part of any relationship. It is important that you find a good time and talk with your partner to find out what is the reason for the distrust. Find out what is causing it and then agree on how to address the issues. Have a look at the following articles for additional information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/does-age-difference-matter

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems 

I have a girlfriend who doesn't want to introduce me to her family members, is she really inlove with me or she is just faking it?

Hi Tobby, have you talked about this with your girlfriend? It maybe useful to talk with your partner and get to know what makes it challenging for her to introduce you to her family. This will help both of you make a decision on how to move forward. There is no way to tell if this means she is not in love with you. 

Pls I want to ask a man who proposed to marry you yet not ready to let go of his girlfriend wen ever you talk to him about it he says you insults him that you are not loyal tall just to feel good he blames you for everything thing and never accept that he is wrong always delight in accusing you pls is this marriage worth continuing with thanks

Hello Chi, first marriage is a commitment and to get married means to let go of all other relationships and commit to the one you proposed to or the one you are married to. If he still wants to hold onto to a past relationship it may mean he is not ready for such a commitment. Also, sometimes a person who isn't loyal is likely to blame the other person in the relationship and accuse them of being disloyal. Relationships are two and they will have challenges from time to time but how partners choose to address the issues when they come up is what makes the difference. Communication is an essential part of addressing such problems when they come up. It is important that you find a good time and talk about the issues going on your relationship before making a decision on hoe to proceed. Check out the following article;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems

I feel like my boyfriend is cheating on me. When we are together his phone is off and he frequently changes his password. I don't want to offend him, so how can know without any doubt that he is cheating?

Hi Doris, have you talked to your boyfriend about this? There is really no way to know for sure that your partner is cheating on you other than walking in on them. If you have however observed changes that are concerning find a good time to talk about this. This might  be a difficult conversation to have and it is important that as you have this conversation you let your boyfriend know what you have observed as opposed to accusing them of cheating on you. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/signs-of-a-cheating-boyfriend

Can a person who has cheated on you more than ones really change? I love him but I am afraid he will do it again I dont know what to do?

Hi Njesh, it is not possible to predict with certainty that a person won't cheat again in the future. On the other other hand people are capable of changing and committing to a relationship. The important question is whether you are willing to forgive him and give him another chance. It is important that you take sometime and think about whether you can trust him as before or not. Trust is an essential part of a relationship and if you are unable to trust him, it maybe time to break up. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

I cheated on my girlfriend I feel very guilty I think the only to get over the guilt is to confess to her. Should I confess or die with the guilt?

Hey Boaz, you need to think and weigh carefully the consequences of each choice, to tell or not to tell and then choose the one you are prepared to live with. I can't tell you to confess or not but you need to take sometime and decide what consequences you are prepared to confront. Sometimes a relationship can survive such, other times it may mean the end of the relationship. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine how your partner will react to this news. All the best. Check this out;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/tips-to-recover-from-cheating-in-marriage

lurvly
Wed, 04/17/2019 - 02:08 pm
My husband cheated on me last year and he blamed me for it,he really gave some stupid excuses,so this year we decided to work on our marriage but he still cheats and pick's his phone when we are together, i am trying to hold on an its hard,the worst of all I can't cheat

Dear Lurvly,so sorry about this. Your husband chose to cheat and this was not and is not you fault. If you have spoken about this but he still cheats on you it may be time to break up. Take sometime and think about your options including staying in the relationship or breaking up with your husband and then make a decision that you are willing to leave with. Lastly, cheating will not make you feel better and it may make things worse in your relationship. Have a look at the following articles;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/tips-to-recover-from-cheating-in-marriage

 

Anonymous
Wed, 04/17/2019 - 03:57 pm
Hiwe broke up today...i have been unfaithful to him but i stopped immediately bae realized,,,he has been giving me chances but yesterday he told me that his heart is tired...is there any hopes of winning him back again cz he claim to love me soo much and i do love him too

Hi, I am not able to tell you if you can get back together with your ex, you may have to talk with him to find out whether he is interested in giving you another chance. Try reach out to him to see if he would be willing to to give the relationship another chance. It is important that you also think about why you have been faithful and make a decision to commit and remain faithful to your partner should you get back together. We wish you all the best. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-can-i-get-back-my-ex

Hey Debbie, sorry about this. Trust is essential for any relationship and if you are unable to trust your partner it will be challenging for your relationship to work. If you can no longer trust him, it maybe time to breakup and move on. Have a look at the following articles for more information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/cheating

I don't think there is anything more painful than being cheated on in a relationship. It took me time but I finally got out of the depression.

Hey Adora, so sorry about this. You now have to decide how to proceed. You need to think about whether you want to remain in this relationship or it is time to break up. This is a decision only you can make, take sometime and think about what you want moving forward. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

Adanna
Tue, 05/28/2019 - 05:02 pm
My boyfriend don't trust me He feels am cheating always when he sees aw intimate am with other guys He said it could lead to us breaking up one day

Hey Adanna, it is important that you talk with your partner about this so that together you can agree on how to proceed. Trust is an important part of a relationship with out which it can lead to a break up. Find a good time to talk about the issue he has raised and get to know what exactly makes him feel you could be cheating and reassure him of your trust and commitment. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems

Godfrey
Tue, 07/09/2019 - 03:14 pm
I have tried to stop cheating on my girlfriend but I have failed. Every time I see a beautiful chick I cant help but pursue her. The girl I am dating is really good to me I love and I know she loves me too but I keep doing things that will hurt . I am scared of loosing her please help me?

Hello Godfrey, being faithful is a decision you have to make and choose to every single day. This is a choice and decision that only you can make. If you do love her and don't want to loose her, you will have to make the decision of choosing her daily and not anyone else. If you keep cheating on her, you are likely to loose her. Choose well.

Marion
Fri, 07/12/2019 - 03:16 pm
I cheated on my guy with his friend. It was my birthday which he didn't show up and I was feeling agree and lonely. I am now feeling guilty. I should I tell or not?

Hey Liza, there is no way to predict how a relationship will go based on how soon you choose to have sex. Some people will choose to wait until marriage but even then a relationship can still fail. It is important to only have sex when you choose, when you feel you are ready, you are with the right person and you feel it is the right time. This is different for everyone, think about it and make a decision based on what you feel is right for you. Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/making-love/how-soon-is-too-soon

Anonymous
Fri, 07/19/2019 - 02:40 pm
My boyfriend is cheating on me but every time I raise issue he turns it around and accuses me of the same. I just feel like breaking up bcz we are not Making any progress...

Hi there, this is one of the signs of a cheating boyfriend when they constantly accuse you of cheating when you attempt to have the conversation. It is important to think about what you want moving forward, considering communication is important for any relationship toward making your relationship better. Check out the following article for more information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/signs-of-a-cheating-boyfriend

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

Silvya
Tue, 08/06/2019 - 03:43 pm
My husband has been distant from the time I got our first baby. I though he was just giving me time to heal after delivery but nothing has changed and it has been months. I have tried to initiate things (sex) but most of the time he says he is tied or we do it but I feel he is not there with me. I don't know what is going on, is it the baby weight I have gained that now turns him off? Pleas help.

Hi Silvya, so sorry about this. It is difficult to say what could be going on with your husband. Having a baby can bring about changes in a relationship but it doesn't have to negatively affect your relationship. It is important that you find a good time to talk with your partner to get to know what could be going on. Let him know the various changes you have observed to get to know what could have caused this. A relationship works when both partners participate in making it work, this is not your fault. Have a look at the following article for additional tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems

Jackie
Mon, 08/26/2019 - 02:43 pm
My husband has been cheating on me the woman called me to tell me that they have a child together who is now 2 year. I am very hurt I don't know what to do.

Hello Jackie, this is heart breaking news. Have you talked to your husband about this? It is important that you speak to your husband about this to get to know his side of the story. This will help inform the decision you will make next. You need to begin to think about your options moving forward. Have a look at this article for additional tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/tips-to-recover-from-cheating-in-marriage

I am with this guy for one year but I don't know any of his friends or family. He says he is serious with me but I feel he is just playing me. I don't whether to wait or remain open to another person just incase. Any advice because I don't want to waste time or for my time to be wasted.

Dear Maria, it is difficult to know whether he is hiding something or he just doesn't feel it is time yet. Introducing a partner to family and friends as well is a big step forward. You need to talk about your concerns with him, let him know how you feel about this and then agree on how to proceed together. Remember, opening up to another person means cheating and this will hurt what you have even further. Find a good time to have this conversation before making a decision on how to proceed. 

Olajumoke
Sun, 09/22/2019 - 10:44 pm
Hello, please would like to know what's I can do to ease the pain & emotional trauma am going through, Am married with two kids, my hubby is cheating on me and don't feel remorseful about it nor want to talk about it, his being posted to the east, he will be back home soon, feel emotionally detached from him, but I love him dearly & don't want divorce because of my kids. What's do I do?

Dear Olajumoke, we are so sorry about this. You have two options, to either accept this and continue with the relationship as is or break up and walk away. This is because your partner is not remorseful and refuses to talk about what’s going on so that together you can find a solution. It is important you take sometime and think about what you want moving forward. While breaking up will affect the children, you can both agree on how to participate in raising your children with minimal negative effects on them. Spend sometime thinking, look at all your options, you can even consider speaking to someone close that you trust to help you make an informed choice. We do wish you all the best. have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/tips-to-recover-from-cheating-in-marriage

Genesis
Tue, 10/15/2019 - 05:58 pm
My girlfriend is cheating on me with an older man when I asked she said she can't leave because he supports her and I cant support her the way he does. She said she still loves me I am confused?

Hello Genesis, it appears you have two options to accept the current situation where your girlfriend is with you plus the older man or to break up with her since she has made it clear that she can't leave the other relationship. This is a choice you have to make, think about what you want now and in the future and then make a decision based on what you want. Have a look at the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

My girlfriend usually gets calls from guys veery late in the night, sometimes late as midnight. I've always had an issue with this and we've fought severally because of this but it doesn't seem to end. She claims that those are her friends and that there's nothing going on. I however told her that we should come to an agreement that no one calls past a certain time but she says she can't tell them when to call or when not to call. How do I deal with this
Add new comment

Comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang>