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LIFESTYLE / Mar ‘2019

Are you an unwitting cheater?

LIFESTYLE / MAR ‘2019

Are you an unwitting cheater?

It’s a universal truth: cheaters stink. They’re disloyal, dishonest and disrespectful. But… what if you’re one of them?

Words Sophie Phoon

Cheating is the universal relationship crime. And it is so common that Cameron Diaz reckons everyone will be cheated on at some point.

But let’s get something straight here: cheating is not just physical.

While cheating is generally defined as having sex with someone other than your partner, emotional infidelity is potentially even more damaging to a relationship.

In fact, one study shows that women are more hurt by emotional infidelity than they are by infidelity that is sexual.

Emotional infidelity starts small.

Thoughts and fantasies can quickly progress to flirting and sly hints with the other person. From there, most people assume you make the decision to cheat or not to cheat. And if you choose not to, then you’re innocent, and if you give into your fantasies, then you’re guilty.

But I’m going to go against the grain here and say that thinking – and I mean actively thinking – about cheating is just as bad as physically cheating.

As soon as you allow yourself to actively think about someone other than your partner in that way, you have taken the first step down the road of adultery.

Don’t get me wrong, we all have those involuntary thoughts that pop into our minds when we see an attractive-looking person. But there is a big difference between that and actively deciding to dwell on those thoughts.

Our thoughts are powerful, and what we think eventually affects how we feel. And how we feel has a lot of power over what we say and do in life. As soon as you allow yourself to actively think about someone other than your partner in that way, you have taken the first step down the road of adultery.

A bit harsh, you say! Maybe. But isn’t it true? Don’t you feel angry when you catch your bf checking out another girl’s backside? Isn’t that anger real? Isn’t it reasonable?

If it’s not a form of infidelity, then you shouldn’t be angry. But if it is, then your anger makes sense. Right?

Let me put it to you this way: would you rather your partner fell in love with someone else and didn’t sleep with them OR slept with them but didn’t fall in love with them?

Both are pretty awful, but potentially equally devastating to a relationship.

Let’s hear your thoughts! Emotional infidelity – is it just as bad as physically cheating?