Do you know when you’ve crossed the line? Apparently, it’s a question a lot of people have: what is cheating in a relationship? How do you know whether or not you need to have a very serious conversation with your significant other? Unfortunately, there aren’t always clear cut answers in this issue. Cheating can easily end a good marriage. However, not every instance of infidelity ends in divorce. So, what is cheating in a relationship? And what do you do if you have cheated?
It Depends on the Relationship
Every relationship is different. Some people would have no issue with their significant other having extramarital relationships. Others couldn’t handle their significant other even having a friend of the opposite gender—or same gender, depending on the relationship. Since each relationship has different boundaries, it may be difficult to make blanket statements regarding what behavior is cheating and which behaviors are not. Human beings are all about pushing the limits and, unfortunately, some people are asking what constitutes cheating because they’re interested in pushing the boundaries as far as they possibly can without actually cheating. If you have concerns about where the boundaries are in your relationship, it’s probably best to discuss these concerns with your significant other instead of attempting to push the boundaries to the limit.
A More Definitive Answer
When in a committed relationship, you can determine whether or not you’ve crossed a line by asking yourself how your significant other would feel about your conduct. If you wouldn’t do it in front of your significant other, you shouldn’t be doing it at all. If you’re deleting your texts, messages, and other forms of what you could call “evidence,” you’ve likely already crossed the line. You shouldn’t have to hide your conduct or communication from your spouse. If you haven’t already begun a physical affair, but you’re hiding things from your significant other, or conducting yourself in a manner they wouldn’t approve of, it may be time to distance yourself from the person who’s creating a potential temptation for you.
It’s very common for affairs to begin as emotional affairs. In some sense, this is good news because, if an affair has not turned into a physical affair, it can usually be nipped in the bud before the affair gets more intense. However, even emotional affairs can be difficult to end. A lot of people are unwilling to give up the relationship with the person they’re having an emotional affair with. Also, it can be difficult for a person to admit to themselves, let alone others, that they’re having an emotional affair. The affair will be easier to nip the faster it’s caught. So it’s probably in your best interest to be honest with yourself when you’re feeling tempted. This way you can take intentional steps to avoid the person who’s tempting you. This may mean changing jobs or even moving. However, the sooner you squash an emotional affair the easier it will be for you to recover.
As previously mentioned one of the best ways to prevent infidelity is to stop it before it starts. It may also have an open and honest conversation about where the boundaries lie in the relationship. If you’re feeling tempted to cheat because your significant other isn’t meeting your needs or expectations, it’s a good idea to openly discuss your concerns with your significant other. If your significant other is unwilling to change, or work with you to meet your needs, it may be time to end the relationship or figure out ways to cope with having unmet needs and expectations. Whatever you do, do not begin having an affair. Affairs can harm families and make divorces more difficult.
When It’s Time to Leave
Though cheating can often mean that it’s the end of the relationship, it doesn’t have to mean that it’s the end. If your significant other has cheated, but you feel as though you’re willing to work through the marital issues and save the marriage, that is possible. There are some signs that you may have a better chance of saving your marriage. If you feel as though you can forgive your spouse, and you’re willing to work through the issues that have been caused by the infidelity. If you intend on saving your marriage after infidelity, it’s imperative that both you and your spouse attend couple’s counseling sessions to help facilitate effective and safe communication, and maybe even individual sessions as well. If infidelity has damaged your marriage and you’re considering filing for divorce, contact CoilLaw today to find out what your rights are.