Recently I read an article about a Reality Star advocating if you cheat once don’t tell. Is this personal philosophy, a simple cop out? Isn’t cheating, whether once, twice or a thousand times still cheating? Whatever happened to personal commitment in relationships that includes integrity, honesty and respect for the relationship and each other?
Once upon a time, when a man or woman became involved with someone else in a committed relationship, society frowned on such behavior. The term “other woman” for example was used in a belittling manner because of this woman’s relationship with a married man. Such behavior was not condoned, and often if this woman managed to get her man to divorce and marry her, her social position was precarious filled with social condemnation.
How many times have we read or heard of a relationship that was destroyed because of a child created by these actions? How many people do we personally know who have “lost” husbands, wives and partners because of cheating. Whether the person is a high profile celebrity, politician or the woman who worked in your local grocery store, the end result is the same, the loss of trust, self-respect and the demise of whatever relationship shared between two committed people.
Whether the cheating occurred once or a million times, damage to the relationship has occurred. The cheater is filled with a sense of guilt once the euphoria of the cheating has worn off and reality returns. Advocating dishonesty with what has occurred is to live a lie. The cheater already made choices and as painful as the outcome maybe, choices have consequences. The justification of not wanting to hurt the other person for some momentary lapse of judgment is meant to silent the nagging internal voice called a conscience. People must realize they have not only cheated with another person for self-pleasure, but they have cheated their partner of respect and honesty.
Unfortunately cheating involves our most basic instinct, sexual gratification. Whether the cheating is a simple kiss or an intimate rendezvous, reason has been replaced by desire. Desire overpowers logic as to the possible consequences of these poor choices, and once desire is satisfied, what next? Can a person return to their current relationship as though nothing occurred? Perhaps some people have this ability, but again they are living a lie and if they promised open communication and trust, they have broken important promises.
Perhaps promises do not have the value of the past. Perhaps some people who say “I love you” and enter into relationships are not satisfied with the love found and end up seeking this “love” in affairs or cheating. If a current relationship is going through tough times or lacks some element important to a partner, then honesty and communication is essential to fix this relationship or to terminate the relationship, but cheating will neither fix it nor fill a void that exists. For people to have enduring relationships, commitment and communication are essential. To cheat, even once, creates more stress on these relationships and people must remember, cheating destroys trust and once trust is gone from a relationship, may be impossible to rebuild once more. Is one moment of pleasure worth the high price many people pay?