Can You Forgive Being Cheated On?

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Cheating, in the context of romantic relationships can simply mean being emotionally or sexually involved with someone other than your romantic partner. While cheating is very commonly classified as wrong and hurtful to the person who has been cheated on, the question of whether or not cheating is enough to initiate a breakup has always been an interesting point of discussion. For that reason, today we will be looking at the question:

Is cheating enough to end a relationship?

A few months ago I wrote about deal breakers in a relationship, and I asked you the readers what your deal breakers were. Today, we will be taking a more specific look at cheating in relationships. Do you consider cheating enough to end a relationship? Does cheating furnish a sufficient deal breaker?

Cheating appears to be one of the biggest sins to commit when in a relationship. It is considered the highest form of betrayal, and for some people, a deal breaker. However, whether or not cheating is enough to break up is not a question that can be answered in a straightforward fashion.

Because there are no laid down rules for relationships, people have very different actions or inactions that could constitute a deal breaker. However, how much is cheating a deal breaker?

To answer this question, one must consider that the nature of the relationship plays an important role in deciding the question. While most relationships have a strict rule for exclusivity, some relationships are defined to allow room for third parties. For the latter, being emotionally or sexually involved with someone other than your partner may not be considered cheating. However, this question is mainly addressed to the most conventional form of romantic relationships, the type that dwells fully on mutual exclusivity.

So, the question again, fashioned more elaborately: When you’re in a relationship with someone, and you both have agreed to be strictly exclusive to both of yourselves as in the way most relationships are fashioned, and your partner comprises with someone else, do you consider that enough to break up immediately?

The reaction to cheating can vary from one individual relationship to the other. While some people breakup immediately after finding out about their cheating partners, others are willing to forgive and give another chance. However, there are people who don’t even consider cheating a deal breaker at all. The question now is, which one of these people are you? What is your reaction to cheating, and do you consider cheating enough to end a relationship? Your responses will be very much appreciated.

6 Comments

  1. In my opinion, cheating is deliberate and contrary to the generic apology of “I did it by mistake/I did not mean to/I did not plan to/It just happened,” no one ever cheats ‘by mistake’. So that tells me that you had time to think about it, talk yourself out of it and not do it. But, you didn’t

    It is very simple, if we do not agree that we are both allowed to see other people, then do NOT do it. It is disrespectful to your partner and even to yourself.

    The worst form of betrayal is the emotional cheating and I think this is the most difficult to forgive because you can actually cheat on your partner with someone sexually and not any have feelings for the other person.

    Like you rightly said, these days more people are embracing the possibility of having an open relationship/marriage. However, it is not child’s play and is certainly not for everyone. But that is a topic for another day.

    Cheating is a deal breaker for me and I will not look back. No doubt, I will admit that in the past I have forgiven cheating severally. Even when it was happening right under my nose, I chose to look the other way, even when I was ‘dying’ inside and outside from the pain, shame and embarrassment it was causing.

    I recall an ex that was a serial cheat and I nicknamed him “olosho oniru” because it was that bad! !! Christmas day 2015, I caught him red handed and his feedback was the lamest and most pathetic I have ever heard. He said “honestly, I do not even know why I did it because I was not attracted to her. I did not enjoy it.” Then I said “but you had an erection and an orgasm, right?” to which he answered “yes.” I think I was upset, amused and shocked at the nerve. Obviously, that was the last straw for me because the place he took the girl to was our secret getaway spot.

    For me, staying with a cheating partner (male/female) is unhealthy, and mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. It also translates to you not loving yourself enough to know that there is better AND you deserve better. I always say that I will rather walk away from a relationship that is not working/making me happy than cheat on my partner.

    This is why I do not encourage couples in the courtship stage to have sex without protection even after both parties have done comprehensive medical tests. I do not believe in trusting anyone blindly because we are human and we can/will slip up. You can only vouch for yourself and what you are doing with your body because you cannot be with your partner 24/7.

    You may ask what if he/she only cheated once? If they do it once, then they will do it again. I think I know of only one man that cheated on his wife (my friend), got caught, was genuinely remorseful and almost lost his family and his home. But, he was lucky because after a long time, she forgave him and they worked it out. Her reasons? Love and/or because she is a ‘christian woman’ and does not believe in divorce and they had 2 children at that time. Who knows really.

    Finally, you can forgive cheating, but you will never forget. So what really is the point of staying on? It is not the act itself that kills the spirit and the relationship, it is the memory of the act(s) that will never be erased.

    1. The narratives on cheating in relationship is changing rapidly as more people are leaning towards the idea that cheating is inevitable and the likelihood of it happening is over 90%. That being said, this is not to justify cheating, make it norm or part of a relationship.

      Personally, my idea about cheating is way different and wide. Cheating can be seen as a weakness, a deliberate act or just an act in itself. It depends on the context in which the person is carrying out such act. Some guys cheat not because they don’t love their spouse or partner, its just this sheer idiocy that we can do one and it doesn’t matter. For some, its a habit, they just want it from different women. While some, they just can’t hold themselves or be have a coping mechanism when they are excessively horny and their partner is not close, or yielding to opposite sex advances at them.

      Forgiving a cheating partner is hard, but the general view and ways people are handling the issue had made it normal.

      1. @Sheer idiocy, I agree.

        For some it is also an ego trip when they know that they can have multiple partners, cheat, get away with it and not be held accountable.

        There is always the option of not getting into a committed and exclusive relationship, ride solo and have as many partners as you want or can afford. Choices.

        Like I always say, women do not cheat as much as men do not because we cannot, but because we choose not to. It is a choice. The fact is that women are better at these silly games than men and if we do cheat and the man finds out, it is only because we wanted him to.

        How easily are women forgiven for cheating? Hardly. But they are expected to always forgive a cheating man.

  2. One last point: For married couples, if your partner cheats on you constantly and you still have sex with them without protection, then you will have yourself to blame. These days people throw caution and common sense to the wind once the clothes start coming off and hormones are raging.

    Married/Single couples: If you are going to cheat, have the decency to protect your partner by first protecting yourself.

  3. Most men cheat out of lust. And that’s understandable. Sometimes, they are pushed to it. If your partner denies you sex, angers you, and frustrates you, you might just wanna relieve all those emotions. And that is not because he loves you less, just that he succumbed to temptation. And if he is really sorry, then I will forgive. Work on our relationship to see where things went south for him to cheat and fix those.

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