First of all, I’d like it to be abundantly clear that cheating is not okay, is never okay and never will be okay. The rare circumstances I would believe it to be acceptable is if it is your only option (perhaps you’re in an abusive relationship you can’t escape or something). I myself have been cheated on in all but one of my relationships. *Update 2014* My most serious, over two-year relationship consisted of me being cheated on twice, at different times.* So I speak from first-hand experience, however I have never been unfaithful myself. I also want to make clear that I am not condemning anyone who does cheat – I know people that do, and although I disagree with their choices, I still consider them good people etc.
The main thing I find so disgustingly baffling about cheating, is how unnecessary it is. I simply do not understand why someone would cheat. If you care so little about your partner that you’re going to cheat, then why not simply break it off? If you care that little it could literally be a text right in the moment (I’m obviously not saying this would be nice, or even really ‘okay’, but still). If however, you do care about your partner, then why are you cheating? Perhaps you just suddenly have a new attraction, okay, but still – talk to your partner first! I don’t understand cheating because to me it is so black and white – you choose to cheat, which means it is always your decision and your fault.
Another thing I despise is when someone uses the ‘I was drunk’ excuse. Chances are, you know that when you’re drunk you’ll not be in control of yourself – therefore, if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you either a) tell your drinking companion ‘don’t let me cheat’ or b) don’t drink to the point where you lack self-control. Being intoxicated, whether it’s alcohol or drugs, is never, never a reason for being unfaithful. It is simply an excuse.
Opinions on being unfaithful vary in the sense of responsibility. For example, if a girl cheats on her partner with a man she meets at a club, some people believe that man is equally responsible; whereas some believe only the girl is. This is a blurry area of morality, as sometimes, the second (presuming there are only two) person may not know the other’s committed. I myself feel that that is the only time they are not responsible. The old ‘well they’re not my boyfriend/girlfriend’ response doesn’t mean you’re any less guilty or responsible, because you still ultimately participated in someone betraying someone’s trust.
The negative effects of cheating are countless. After discovering this betrayal, the victim’s world will crumble. Especially if they were in love with this person. Being cheated on validates everything bad you have ever thought about yourself – all the ‘I’m not pretty enough’ or ‘they’d prefer someone skinnier’ – they all become more true, whatever the cheater says, they will always feel more true now. In addition, it makes it harder to trust again, it makes you question what else this person has lied to you about – did they ever really care? It changes the entire way in which you view love and relationships, yourself and that person. It makes you feel like you never really knew them, and they never really cared about you. Because if they cared, how could they do this to you?
The worst thing about cheating is that it will always hurt. The victim will never fully get over it or forget it, especially if it was a serious relationship. It will always be in their mind, even if it’s hidden. If they stay with that person, it will always make them constantly question them, make them uncertain about whether they’re being faithful. It will always be in their thoughts and when they let themselves think about it they will still have that stabbing pain of when they found out and their heart broke, when they lost everything they thought they knew. It will always haunt them and taunt them that they weren’t enough and that they weren’t even worthy of the truth in that person’s eyes.
Cheating destroys everything. One simple decision can ruin everything.
Is it really worth it?