Infidelity. It’s rough. And you would probably never even want to wish it on your worst enemies. But even though it’s such a terrible thing, there’s still no denying just how many relationships are infected with this unfortunate bug.
You may have even thought about cheating on your partner at least once (just thought about it – not necessarily actually doing it). But it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to know that cheating can cause severe emotional trauma and despair on the person who is being cheated on.
Cheating on your partner is totally not cool. It's a betrayal of trust and usually results in the end of a relationship. But are there any upsides to stepping out on a partner? Is there a way to put a positive spin on it? Well, the one thing that might be considered a silver lining is that it can be a real learning experience. And if the lessons people learned after cheating on their partners helped them become better partners and people in the future, well, that's a good thing, right?
In a recent thread, people, mostly women, who have cheated were asked what they learned from their experiences of being unfaithful to a partner. Their answers were, well… they were illuminating, to say the least. Here's what they had to say….
1. “A lack of trust and communication drove me to cheating.” – Rebecca, 26
There are very little things in a relationship that proper communication can’t fix. And that’s something that I didn’t understand until it was too late. If only I had made an effort to be more trusting and more communicative of my partner, then I wouldn’t have let all of the pressures of my insecurities drive me to infidelity. I regret it all and I wish I could have done things differently.
2. “The guilt that you feel after cheating is worse than the act of cheating itself.” – Jasmine, 34
Don’t cheat. It’s not worth it. You might think that you’re temporarily scratching an itch and that you’ll feel better once it’s over – but that’s rarely ever the case. All you’re going to feel is heavy doses of regret and guilt. And the act of cheating in itself just isn’t worth it.
3. “You really need to be honest about how you feel.” – Jennifer, 28
When you suppress your feelings or when you refuse to confront them, they’re eventually going to find a way to implode on you and your relationship. If you are having second-guesses and doubts about your relationship, then you need to bring these out into the open. That’s what I failed to do. And I resorted to cheating as some kind of coping mechanism – just because I was too afraid to confront my own feelings about my relationship.
4. “You need to get over your fear of commitment.” – Cheska, 33
It took me a while to realize this but it was my fear of commitment that drove me to cheating on my man. I was so afraid of tying myself down to this amazing guy; I was so afraid that he would end up hurting me if I opened myself up to him. And so I let my fears get the best of me. And I found a way to hurt him before he could hurt me – and that was a mistake.
5. “Once a cheater, not always a cheater.” – Ara, 30
I cheated once – and that was the end of our relationship with that man. And I felt horrible about it. I hated myself for so long. I didn’t allow myself to fall in love or get intimate with anyone else. I was so guilty that I thought I was never deserving of love ever again.
But then one day, I realized that I was going about it all wrong. I understood that just because I cheated once doesn’t mean that I’m going to do it again. I learned that that’s what our mistakes are for; they’re there to teach us about right and wrong in this world. And I’m lucky enough to be in love again – and the temptation to cheat isn’t so alluring anymore.
6. It wasn’t worth it. – McSeagull (25)
In retrospect, it wasn't worth it. The fleeting high is not worth casting aside the development of your existing relationship. If you are unhappy, work it out, try relationship counseling. While life is too short to spend with the wrong person, it's far shorter to spend jeopardizing relationships with the right ones.
7. I regret it – Selina Williams (22)
I cheated on my boyfriend, whom I loved very much. We had been in a long distance relationship for two years, and I hooked up with another guy (just makeout really, no sex) a couple years ago. I definitely regret doing it. The amount of pain I caused my ex was horrible and it was just a miserable experience for both of us. If I could pick a moment in my life to redo, that would be it. It's definitely something I would never consider doing again.
8. If they cheat with you, they will also cheat on you – Mirriam B (31)
What did I learn? You guessed it! If they'll cheat with you, they'll cheat on you. A year into our relationship, he started messing around with a co-worker. Suddenly, I became the "crazy ex" that was always texting and calling, until he broke up with me via text. I've learned that breaking up with someone is a million times better and easier for both parties than staying in a relationship that isn't working.
9. When you start considering to cheat, true love is already over – Linda (26)
I learned that by the time I start seriously considering cheating, the relationship is already over. The only way I could rationalize it was that I knew I wouldn't end up marrying the guy. I knew we would break up eventually. So I wasn't worried about ruining things, or carrying the lie forever. I should have just broken up with him instead of cheating.