Is it possible for a relationship to withstand one partner cheating? If you’ve ever been in this kind of situation before, the answer might be clear to you. But in some cases, that relationship was over before the cheating occurred. What do I mean by that? Well, often a person cheats for a very specific reason. They don’t usually cheat because there is some temptation in front of them, although that’s been known to happen. Usually, someone will cheat because they’re looking for some kind of need to be fulfilled. And usually, that need isn’t getting fulfilled by their partner. I know that this isn’t always the case and there are times when things happen. But my question is whether or not a relationship can make it through when one partner cheats?
I don’t know if I have a good answer to that, but my goal is not to tell you what you should do if your partner cheats. My goal is to give you some food for thought in case you’re in that kind of situation. Or even to help you think about it rationally to give advice to a friend. When a partner cheats, we often look to ourselves to see if we’ve done something wrong. And that’s always a good start, but it’s not always the answer. Sure, maybe your partner feels that you didn’t give them enough of something (love, sex, attention etc.), but that in itself isn’t always a reflection on you. It’s possible that you were meeting their needs, but the struggle was theirs.
If your partner has cheated, is it possible for you to forgive them? Again, I’m not sure that I have an answer for this. If we see a woman (yes, I’m being gendered) forgive her husband or boyfriend for cheating, we assume that she’s getting walked over and that she needs to get out of that relationship immediately. In today’s society, I think we throw away relationships too quickly. Infidelity is a huge issue and maybe it’s not one that can be forgiven all the time, but if you’re committed and invested in the relationship, it doesn’t hurt to make it work.
While I’m not an expert in relationships, I have been in a situation where my partner cheated on me. Do I think I played a role in his actions? Absolutely. But I think in my case the answer would have been to break up long before we did. Also in my case, the relationship was over long before he cheated so maybe the role I played was enabling it? Every relationship is different. There isn’t a yes or no answer to my original question. On the other side of the spectrum, there are people who purposely open up a relationship in order to stay with their partner. The difference is that both partners are aware that one partner (or both) are getting some kind of fulfillment from another person. And in those cases, it’s not cheating as both parties consent.
When it comes to relationships, I think it’s naive to think that we are able to get everything that we want and need from just one person. I think it’s hard for us to think that way because we want to believe that our partner is Super Man or Wonder Woman and is able to fulfill every need, want or desire that we have. But that’s not realistic, in my opinion. That’s not to say that every relationship should be open, but as our relationships evolve, I think we need to consider what our wants, needs, and desires are in order to cultivate happy and healthy relationships.