Let’s get into a place where we can talk about cheating in relationships.
Let’s not talk about all the cheating that other people are doing, or all the times that we’ve been cheated on.
Let’s talk about something we are less alright with: talking about our own cheating.
Because if we really sit down and are honest with ourselves, we know that everyone cheats.
We are cheaters.
We can lie to ourselves and say, no that wasn’t really cheating because of this reason over here…
(Cue sarcastic brain-voice) Yeah, okay, us—before we start squaring our thoughts and behavior away into labels that aren’t as scary, let’s be honest with ourselves about what cheating is.
Relationship cheats are one of the worst kinds of cheats. Whether we are being dishonest about how we spend our money or who we are spending time with, there are many ways to mislead a partner. Do you claim you can’t pay for dinner and then your friends out for drinks the next night? Or worse, did you tell them you were working later at the office when you were really on a date with someone you met at the gym? Of all the types of cheating a person can commit, relationship cheating is one of the most damaging and once discovered, can lead to a breakup. If you’ve been cheating, are you prepared to handle the consequences if and/or when you’re caught?
But—if we’re cheating, then we’re in a relationship where we’re fucking cheating, and cheating feels like shit.
Cheating feels like shit even if we come home from banging our mistress (or mister) to crawl into bed with our wife (or hubby), and high-five ourselves in the mirror during clean-up. The high-five is just a cover-up, a justification to go to sleep tonight like this and wake up tomorrow and let this be reality for one more day.
Because we know–somewhere inside of us—that when we start even just thinking about cheating, that’s when the cheating starts, and we haven’t quite mastered the ability to control our thoughts yet, so it’s not as if we are asking for this.
We would definitely rather have a relationship with someone where those thoughts never pop up. That would be splendid.
But sometimes the thoughts do pop up and we don’t know how to control that–because we’re not enlightened all the time—because we don’t know the secrets of the universe—because we aren’t perfect–because, because.
We’re just becoming ourselves. That’s all we’re doing.
We want to figure out how to make our lives feel good when we’re not cheating.
Just How Serious is the Cheat
To be human is to be imperfect! Despite the honesty that most people strive for in their lives, few of us are exempt from committing some common, little “cheats.” Some of these are more harmless than others, though! Let’s look at some ways most of us cheat in everyday life.
There is one agreement we must make with ourselves to cut the internal tie between us and cheating. We must agree with ourselves when we say: cheating doesn’t feel good, I no longer want to be cheating.
That is the agreement. We must make that agreement with ourselves, otherwise the cheating continues to happen.
That is the only resolution. It’s not changing our partner (although we may find that we want to cheat on some partners more than others. That’s okay.), or changing our friends, or not going to bars.
It’s that one simple internal agreement.
When we make that agreement, cheating begins to stop in our relationships. It stops making sense. Maybe we cycle through a few weird relationships while we’re going through this conversation with ourselves, but eventually, the cheating stops.
Oh, the diets and exercise regimes! Most people have personal goals with weight and fitness that look plausible on paper, but in reality can be hard to maintain given the demands of everyday life. Perhaps you snuck a few cookies or a piece of pizza when you swear to all who are listening that you’ve been on a strict diet all week. Or perhaps you have a set workout routine but you skip a few sessions even though you claim that you are working out five times a week. And let’s not forget those few beers at the end of the day that you may have guzzled but refuse to acknowledge, even to yourself! These are just some of the ways we can tell ourselves and others that we are on a more straight and narrow path with our health goals than we actually are! Though in this case, the person we are really cheating is ourselves!
Especially when it comes to women, there can be a lot of pressure to be attractive, and yet no one wants to own up to all the little things they’ve gone through to achieve great results. Perhaps you tell everyone your hair color is natural when it’s not. Maybe you spend more time and money on makeup than you would ever admit. Or perhaps the age you claim to be is more than a little stretch of the truth. The reality is, these are all common claims people make that aren’t quite truthful, but telling them doesn’t really hurt anyone
We love cheating because it helps us grow.
And what a beautiful thing: that we are given things to outgrow; obstacles to overcome. And we get to be ourselves the whole way through.