Every single day when I am on the line giving relationship advice, 90% of my phone calls are from women that are involved with married men or men in some sort of committed relationship. They want to know where they stand and are afraid of the moral consequences of their participation. My advice to them is flanked in compassion and practicality: “Love happens, and sometimes we can’t help who we love but you must protect yourself in the processes.” My time has been well spent learning a lot about a subject that has so much validity in our world of choice. What I have learned is this: cheating is a complex symptom of a broken spirit. It is a passive aggressive action of one who has been taught to be a pleaser who truly doesn’t know who he is. When confidence has not been instilled in formative years, having felt rejection in his first serious relationship with his parents, he stands to make grievous relationship errors while standing on the pinnacle of indecision.
When I speak to the men who have cheated, they explain that it just didn’t begin with wanting to step out. They were aware of their decision to commit and wanted it. But along the way things had changed. Their wives stopped being the women they married and became unfaithful to them as far as their needs were concerned. Men have told me that they were so starving for connection that they sought it elsewhere. While there are slight differences between cheating and infidelity, they are intersecting causes and effects of one another. Infidelity begets cheating with little seemingly excusable infractions in a relationship. However if untreated, those little infractions become big divides that cause lovers to find comfort in the arms of another. Anytime you do not build on trust and intimacy, you are being unfaithful to your partner’s needs.
He called me one day to talk about why he was not in a relationship that was steady. He said that he was married for 10 years to a woman that progressively became less and less interested in him. She would emasculate him in front of others, tell him that he couldn’t do anything right, and would complain about his lack of sexual prowess. He couldn’t understand what had changed from when they first got together compared to their relationship at the time of their divorce. After she found out he was cheating, she took everything and he was spiritually and financially broken. The actions of his wife’s lack of support led him down the path to seek comfort elsewhere. She stepped away from the marriage and defamed it long before he had an extramarital affair. The underlying infidelity was unfortunately on the wife’s part.
So why not just get divorced, it seems so simple – right? Wrong. There is no divorce that is simple and with infidelity being a fear based tactic, facing the problem seems like the largest mountain to climb. Cheating is the easy way out it is a tangible expression of dissatisfaction that everyone faces in dysfunctional relationships. Facing this fact is the only way to truly cheat-proof your relationship.
If you have chosen to involve yourself with a married person, know that you are among millions of other people that are risking their heart on unstable ground. You are walking into a wasp’s nest that will most likely sting you. There is no guarantee that this relationship will be successful, however, some relationships do have success from adverse situations. Prepare yourself for the consequence. If you think you have met the right person in your life, set one another up for success by letting the married person rediscover themselves with time and proactiveness to change his/her life.