Relationships aren’t easy. Attaining a respectable level of trust and commitment with one person can be difficult and frustrating at times. Even when that level of ultimate trust is reached, the thought of our partner cheating remains a terrifying and disgusting nightmare. If you have ever found yourself concerned with your partner’s faith, perhaps you should also examine your own responses to social situations.
Most of us define cheating as purely physical acts: sexual encounters, kissing, and so forth. Yet some individuals feel that any sort of emotional attraction is just as bad – if not worse. For instance, would you rather your partner cheat on you in a drunken escapade that was purely physical on one occasion, or have an ongoing affair which was both physical and emotional? Both are equally terrible for the simple fact that cheating was involved, but emotional attachments not only depress and anger us, but hurt our egos as well.
Personally, I have always agreed with Dr. Phil’s school of thought on the topic of cheating: if you would not do it in front of your partner, then it should probably be defined as cheating. This includes flirting, using crude or inappropriate language (such as sexually charged jokes), any sort of unnecessary physical contact, and openly displaying of pornographic materials.
Some of us may find flirting and telling sexually charged jokes to be a fun, healthy, and perhaps even normal social behavior. Yet others may think of flirting as a form of cheating. Whether or not you are physically or emotionally attracted to the individual involved does not necessarily matter. If you would not display these behaviors with your partner in the room, you probably shouldn’t be acting in that manner at all.
Any time guilt arises upon being near a specific individual or speaking with them, it is time to seriously examine the problem. While it is perfectly normal to be physically attracted to several individuals, acting on that attraction emotionally is the first step in the process of cheating. Ask yourself questions such as: What specific emotions do I feel when I am near this person? Am I finding myself fantasizing or daydreaming about this person? Would I speak and behave the way I do around this person with my partner in the room?
Next time you find yourself in a situation in which you are flirting, telling crude jokes, or displaying overly affectionate behavior, ask yourself: how would I feel if my partner were acting this way in front of me? If you feel that you would be upset, angry, jealous, or disgusted with these behaviors from your partner, chances are that you are doing something that isn’t quite okay.
A couple of terrible relationships.