“Cheating is a Choice, Not a Mistake” – Unknown
Are you having an affair and struggling with whether you should stay in or get out? Are you contemplating having one or think it might solve all your problems? If so, you might want to think twice, and I’ll tell you why.
One of my favorite sayings (apparently, I have a lot of favorite sayings) is “If they’ll do it with you they’ll do it to you.” Think about this.
Did you know that statistics show: that over one or more partners admit to cheating in thirty percent (30%) of marriages? Out of that number twenty-two percent (22%) were men and fourteen percent (14%) were women. Ten-percent (10%) began online, and thirty-five percent (35%) occurred on business trips.
Reason #1: The Odds Are Against You
The most astounding number regarding cheating statistics is that people who have cheated before are………………wait for it….
Three-hundred and fifty percent (Yes, that’s 350%) more likely to cheat again.
If you went to Vegas would you bet on those odds? Now that you know those numbers does it make you think of your cheating partner in a different light?
Those are some pretty high and pretty astounding numbers and it makes you wonder doesn’t it?
So, although forty percent of online affairs turn into real life affairs the odds are not good that your relationship will be free of emotional or sexual cheating going forward. Infidelity Statistics
Reason #2: An Affair Isn’t Love
What does love mean, to you? If you had to describe your ideal partner would it start with, “I want a guy who has a wife and three kids. Oh, and he should be really nice to me and flirt with me online, listen to me and tell me I’m pretty.”?
Honestly, if that’s your description of love then maybe having an affair is right for you.
My description of love is: Someone who is honest, trustworthy, dependable, cares for me and wants what is in my best interest. Would I like it if my boyfriend complimented me more? Yes. Would I like it if he didn’t deploy and wasn’t gone a lot? Yes
Although he isn’t the most romantic soul and he doesn’t always understand that women are not baby Marines who need teaching and training he is the kindest soul I know. He cares for me in a way that no one else ever has and if I gave that up for more attention I think in the long run I’d be sorely lacking.
Chemistry fades and you are left with character. What makes a relationship strong isn’t how much you fawn all over one another.
Anyone who would steal your time an energy while they go home to their wife or husband every night is not someone who has your best interests at heart. Heck, they don’t even have their spouse’s or their children’s interests at heart and if someone can’t even put their children’s needs before their own then, “Houston, we have a problem.”
Have we travelled so far away from the basic pillars of what a relationship stands for that we seek out everyone and anyone, so we can feel better about ourselves all the time?
Having an affair is exhilarating at times and getting attention makes you feel good about yourself, but none of this is true love.
Reason #3: What You’re Getting Out of it Isn’t Enough
My guess is that your husband or wife or significant other isn’t paying enough attention to you. They are busy working or caring for the kids or doing whatever it is they are doing to keep your life afloat while you meander around behind their backs with your current flame.
For the women: Did you ever stop to think that men work too much because that’s the only way they know how to give? They believe that they are showing you how much they care by how hard they work.
For the men: Did you ever stop to think that women care for children because its in their nature to be nurturing? They believe that caring for the family and raising your children is a sign of their love and devotion.
You are likely getting emotional support in your affair that you aren’t getting at home. I get it.
When I was separated from my husband I started talking to an old flame. I was technically separated from and not living with my husband, but my affair was still married and living in another state.
The initial Facebook chat turned all day long emails. We became wildly addicted to each other. The emotional high was better than drugs. I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t believe someone wanted to talk to me and listen to me and tell me how wonderful I was.
I had spent eight years with a man who wouldn’t talk to me. One day I came home from work super stressed and wanting to vent (like women do). I started talking and he stopped me and said, “Carrie. Carrie (very solemnly) I’m not your best friend. If you want to talk, call Tracy.”
Yikes! What does a woman do with that? Is should have left him then, but I stayed until it got to the point where we knew it wasn’t working but didn’t necessarily know how to end it.
The other man gave me so much more. After two months of talking I told my husband I wanted a divorce. I was done with him and done with the relationship.
But, I kept on with the emotional affair. I wasn’t cheating, but he was.
Looking back, I do believe the “relationship” served a purpose, but what was I really getting?
It’s easy to idealize someone when you don’t live with them every day. It’s easy to think someone is perfect for you when they aren’t around to leave their socks on the floor or look at their phone too much while you eat dinner or when they forget to pick up milk at the store or generally get on your nerves.
You may think you are getting more than you’re getting at home and in some ways, this is probably true. But, it isn’t real. It can’t last. It’s based on a lie and what you are really getting is a slow belittling of your character.
Your affair isn’t reality. Your affair is based on a lie. Your affair is based on everything you imagined your life would be. It’s like a vacation in Disneyland. But, you can’t LIVE in Disneyland. Disneyland is where you go to forget your problems for a few days it isn’t where you try to fix them.
Reason #4: Because You Owe it To Your Significant Other and/or Children
If you have children I won’t even begin to say how awful your behavior is. Children sense everything and have a way of making everything their fault. What if they find out? They didn’t ask to be brought into this world and it isn’t enormously selfish to do what you think is best for yourself to the detriment of your family.
One day the daughter of the man I was having an affair with told her dad about her parents who were fighting and talking about divorce one minute and laying on the couch together the next, “Can you guys decide whether to be together or not because you’re really confusing me.” She was 10. She knew better.
You CHOSE to have a family. Choose them again. Try to work things out and if you can’t, then you leave, but you don’t cheat.
I know you are saying “But, I love him.” Or “I love her” or “I can’t stand my life and I need them.” You survived before them and you’ll survive after them.
Relationships are a commitment. If you love your partner but aren’t happy with them you need to find a way to be happy or get out. Cheating isn’t the answer. Cheating is one of the most devastating things you can do to someone you say you love.
Forever your husband or wife will wonder why they weren’t enough. They will put up walls and it will likely keep them from trusting others in the future and they don’t deserve that.
Why You Should End It
Relationships aren’t about making you happy. They’re about growth and fulfillment. Another person isn’t here to fill all your needs and make you feel good about yourself. Although I’ve known this for a long time it took me until just recently to truly understand it.
Affairs are about making yourself happy in the moment and it won’t last. Sure, there are examples of times it did work, but those are few and far between and if you’re willing to risk your life and your future when the odds are 350% against you be my guest. Just don’t put your family in the middle.
If you are the one who is having an affair with someone who is married you need to take a long, hard look at why you’re doing it. I didn’t it because I didn’t want to be close to anyone or be involved in a “real” relationship. Even if my reasons were valid, they’re weren’t cool.
Put on your big boy or big girl pants. Do the right thing. Get out now while you still have some dignity.