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Talking about cheating

Talking about cheating

     How to begin talking about cheating: Whether you’ve cheated or been cheated on, cheating is something we should discuss with our partners, rather than avoid until it has happened. We know women and men have different understandings of cheating, as explained in cheating is a tuff topic. Dr Walfish views serial cheaters as having a low recovery rate, living up to the saying: “Once a cheater always a cheater.” I don’t believe this is true: I believe the boundaries of relationships are changing and individuals need to be open and honest and work together to meet each other’s needs. I’m not saying that people should cheat because their partner and they have some troubles at home or they aren’t satisfied. I’m saying people should talk about cheating to ensure they know their boundaries, limits and what they consider respectful behaviour from each other. 

     When discussing affairs, cheating or the boundaries of a relationship it is important to ask, is my partner able to remain faithful to me, or I them? If we have cheated, can we reset the clock or has something been undone the cannot be set back in place? This is a tough question alone - paired with a series of questions it can help suss out what a couple should do next. So let's discuss how you can begin talking about cheating with your partner!

  • Do you want to act as though nothing has happened? Or has this changed everything and leaves you unable to get back to how you thought and felt before this happened. 
  • Clearly there is a problem within the relationship. Without pointing, fingers or judging assess the relationship to decide if you are the problem or if it is your partner. 
  • Is the problem worth fixing for you? Not is it “fixable” or “worth fixing” but are you invested enough to input time energy and effort? 
  • Has your level of investment diminished since the act or you finding out? 
  • Do you and your partner need individual counselling or even couples counselling? 

These questions aren’t designed to stop your partner from dwelling on the behaviour, instead, it is getting them to start thinking about what brought the action on. 

  • Did you feel able to discuss desires with your partner? 
  • Did you feel you had to hide them?
  • Now that you have crossed the line, do you feel as though it is acting out? 
  • Are you ready to face the consequences of your actions
  • Are you willing to talk about what happened?
  • Do you just want to run away?

     Cheating is a breach of trust. No matter if it was, kissing, hand-holding, texts or an orgy. Once you’ve climbed over that fence you have crossed the expectations you and your partner have established with each other. Cheating should be framed as a breach of trust rather than a deal-breaker. Or even more - a breach of trust that was not defined clearly. Make sure to uncover what your partner expectations are and check in with them as these may change throughout times. If your action would cause betrayal it’s then up to you to calculate the pros and cons. Its never a matter of “what works” but instead “what works for us.” The only way to understand is to start the conversation: talking about cheating with your partner makes you both aware of your boundaries.

Read more on cheating:

Lexi, XX

Tags: cheating, talking, discussion, infidelity, Talking about cheating

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