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Can a Relationship Survive After Someone Cheats?

Sabrina loves to write about love, life, and everything in-between in a candid yet humorous approach.


It's easy to give advice to others when they share their stories about cheating or getting cheated on in relationships, but it's much different when it happens to you. Being cheated on by a partner is probably one of the most hurtful things that can happen to you in life. It's like all the time, trust, and everything else you have invested into a relationship disappears in one instant and you're left with nothing except questions. The biggest question of them all is probably why. Why it happened and if there is any way to move past it and save the relationship. Can a sinking ship ever be saved though? And if it can, would you ever trust it again?

Nowadays cheating is no longer a taboo topic. We're almost too comfortable with the idea that people cheat in relationships. I am also guilty of being surprised when I find out that two people have been together for many years and have never had an occurence of cheating. I'm just so used to hearing about friends experiencing infidelty in their relationships, that it just doesn't shock me anymore. I don't like how our society has become so relaxed with cheating. It is not normal behavior for someone in a committed relationship, and should not be looked at so lightly.

So what actually defines cheating in a relationship? I guess if you and your partner are both comfortable with an open relationship and have talked about it, cheating isn't really an issue for you. Not too many people are in open relationships though. Most enter one with the idea of exclusivity and committment to one and only one person. If that was the agreement that was made at the beginning of a relationship, then cheating is certainly a behavior that is not supposed to happen. There is no exception to this rule.


Cheating comes in many forms. It's not just sleeping with someone who is not your partner. Cheating can also be as simple as having intimate and personal conversations at all hours with someone who is not your significant other. There's really no reason for this to happen if you are truly commited to your partner. If you are sharing personal thoughts with someone else this is also considered an emotional type of cheating. You should be sharing everything with your partner, not someone outside of the relationship. Flirting is also considered cheating. Even if it's right in front of your partner. This is not only cheating but also straight up rude behavior. Cheating is also other behaviors such as kissing and holding hands with someone who isn't your partner. It may not seem like a big deal, but these types of displays of affection should only be reserved for someone you are dating. If you are single, however, you can do whatever you want with that freedom.

The question that haunts most people who have been cheated on is why? That's a very good question that deserves to have an answer. Most people cheat on their partners because they think that something is missing in their relationship so they look for it elsewhere rather than communicating their frustrations to their significant other. That's not a good reason to cheat, rather I see it as a coward's way out. Instead of fixing the issue with your partner, you're looking for the answers in someone else's bed. If someone is really that uncomfortable talking about issues and communicating with their partner, they really shouldn't be in a relationship to begin with.

For the most part though, happy people don't cheat. Usually it's the ones who feel the grass is greener on the other side that do. Most people who cheat do feel like they're not getting what they want in their partnership so they seek it elsewhere. Then there's a whole other category of people who cheat and their reasons are much more sinister. Some people cheat simply for the thrill of it. They do it for no other reason than their desire for variety and the thrill of getting away with it. These are the most dangerous types of cheaters because they have no real reason to do it but for their own selfish pleasure. There's nothing missing in their relationship except for their desire to explore what else is out there.

So what happens after one or both partners cheat? And can such a relationship even survive? Well that depends on what each partner wants. Usually it's just one of the partners who cheats and other partner is devasted when they find out. Then it's up to them to decide whether to try and work things out or just throw in the towel and move on. After that trust is violated, only you can decide if you can get it back or not. Some people try going to counseling and do work it out and become stronger in the process. Others just cut their losses and decide it's just not worth staying with someone who has proven themselves to be so untrustworthy.


While I can't tell you what to do because I don't know your specific story, I will say that you should never stay with someone who constantly cheats on you and violates your trust. This is not a behavior you should put up with under any circumstances. No one deserves to be cheated on and lied to. If you don't want to be with someone, you should just communicate that to them and move on with your life. Don't lead someone on with no intention of being true to them. This leads me to say that some people simply should not be married or in relationships at all. They like to have their fun out there with no committment and they should find someone who enjoys that type of lifestyle instead of leading a partner to believe they will be faithful in a committed relationship. It really all comes down to understanding yourself and your wants and needs and communicating that to your potential partner. If you can't do that then you really don't have any business being in any type of partnership. It's okay to be single and it's okay to be in a relationship, but it is not okay to act single when you are in a relationship.

Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 GreenEyes1607


dashingscorpio from Chicago on October 02, 2019:

"I don't like how our society has become so relaxed with cheating. It is not normal behavior for someone in a committed relationship, and should not be looked at so lightly." And yet it's understandable.

In the U.S. we have hit TV shows such as "Paternity Court", "Cheaters", and The Maury Povich Show AKA "You are NOT the father!" Some of the biggest selling romance novels and songs involve people who supposedly met the "right person" at the "wrong time" because they were married.

Cheating is ultimately about breaking the rules to (have more) whether it's in a relationship, doing one's income taxes, or playing a game. It's a selfish act to attempt to have as much as possible.

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The goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationships while addressing their other "needs" on the side. Very few cheaters are looking to (replace) one relationship with another. They want to "compliment' what they already have.

Generally speaking when we ask a cheater (why) it is actually a rhetorical question. Truth be told most people consider cheating to be a "deal breaker" and there is (nothing) their mate or spouse could say that would "justify" their actions.

We really don't care...why!

If the cheater is unhappy with some aspect of their relationship or marriage they apparently do not see it as being a "deal breaker" otherwise they would simply walk away. Some cheat to stay.

An example might be a 45 year old man with three children whose wife is going through menopause and has lost all desire to have sex. They've had discussions and have tried various things however she is content without it. From his point of view he has three options.

1. Accept the fact his sex life is over.

2. Run down to the courthouse to file for a divorce, lower his living standards, move out of his home into a one bedroom condo, become a weekend dad, pay child support and possibly alimony, split up assets along friends and family who choose sides....

3. Find someone who is attracted to him and does want to have sex.

Since most cheaters do not (expect) to get caught option #3 seems more appealing to many people in similar circumstances.

Another example might be a woman married to man who after being in a horrific car accident becomes a paraplegic. She loves her husband and has no intention of abandoning him and yet she still desires to have a passionate sex life. Granted these are extreme. There are three basic types of cheaters

The Incessant/Serial Cheater

This person has never been faithful in any long-term relationship. They get bored easily and monogamy for them is equivalent to going on a healthy strict diet. It's not a matter of (if) they will cheat but rather (when). Their motto: Variety is the spice of life!

They are always looking for the thrill that comes with being with someone (new). Nothing you can do will ever make you "new".

The Unbelievable Opportunity Cheater

This person is not proactively looking to cheat. They may have a secret crush or have an attraction to someone or possibly still have a thing for their ex. One day that person hits on them and now they are in a position to turn a fantasy into reality. In some instances a "girls/boys" night out or getaway involving alcohol or drugs may induce someone to make a poor judgement call. Sometime young immature friends may actually egg them on to "go for it!".

This type of cheater is someone who caved in to temptation. Sometimes they might confess weeks, months, or years later to absolve themselves of the guilt they are carrying around.

The Discontented Cheater

This person blames you! If you had not did or stopped doing whatever they would have never stepped outside of the relationship. However both monogamy and cheating are (choices) an (individual) makes. Cheaters are only concerned with (their happiness) right now. They disregard any potential consequences of their actions.

As I stated earlier they don't expect to get caught.

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