Q: Hey Devika, what do you think about cheating?
A: Like most people, I don’t support cheating, but likely for more reasons than some would realize.
First, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly listed reasons people cheat (based on what I’ve seen through my work):
- The spark is gone
- Insecurity and self-loathing
- The person’s not ready for a relationship
- Both partners got into a relationship for the wrong reasons (i.e., insecurity, [fear of] loneliness, settling, they thought the person was hot, the sex was great but they had very little in common, little or no shared values, they didn’t know what they were looking for in a partner)
- It’s too expensive to get a divorce
- Think of the kids! (With that being said: kids know when things aren’t in harmony at home, as kids are very smart. That’s an entire post unto itself really.)
Aside from the moral implications surrounding breaking vows and dishonesty, there are quite a few logical reasons I’d advise against it:
You’re living half a life
Life’s too short to be miserable, and to make other people’s lives miserable, and to watch other people make their lives miserable! You have to realize if you’re not bringing your all to your relationship, some part of your partner sees this. They may be ignoring it, as it often takes two to tango, but a part of them knows, and that could range from a small quiet part within them to something they’re fully aware of. The thing is, yes, there may be physical assets and even children involved, but the energy you put into anything in your life will do the following:
- Amplify and grow that part of your life
- Show up in other parts of your life
When you decide not to strive for what you truly want in life, whether it’s true love, a meaningful relationship or open communication with your partner, the rest of your life will suffer for it. This sense of settling for dull mediocrity will appear in other facets of your life and your experiences. You may also attempt to replace this feeling of endless mediocrity with short-term temporary “fixes” that would otherwise have no place in your life if you were living it authentically: be it addictions or distractions, like an affair or a fling.
It takes great inner strength and trust in yourself to stand by your own dreams and your own truths and to take a leap into the great unknown; however, there’s nothing more beautiful than your true desires and the freedom that comes with voicing your truth. The people in your life will actually thank you for maintaining open, honest relationships not just with them but yourself.
This honesty and openness results in strengthening a couple’s communication. If it leads to a break-up, it frees you both up to seek self-fulfilled happiness and, ultimately, happiness in a better-suited partnership. The most important part is maintaining truth with yourself and finding out what you want most in order to live a vibrant life.
The partner you’re “hanging on” for doesn’t need you
Quite often, people who have cheated remain in unhealthy relationships out of pity or fear for the other person’s well-being. But even if that person claims they need you, they have yet to venture off and see what’s out there. Attachment like this only breeds contempt and sometimes we need catalysts in our lives to remind us that challenges (even being single) are actually pretty great things. Breaking away from a relationship that no longer serves you is an excellent reminder that we must foster our own self-respect and self-care. This is far easier to do while being single than in an unhealthy relationship.
Reaping what you’re sowing isn’t all that fun
I realize this sounds very karma-esque, but there’s a great deal of logic behind it! We humans are creatures of habit. Lying easily becomes a habit. Some people use lying as a life skill: they’ve honed it from a young age and it is socially encouraged or used as a survival tool. Mental illness could also be involved in cases of habitual or pathological lying.
On the flip side, there are also many of us that have a great disposition to being lied to and that’s not that surprising! When in love, many of us ‘blind’ ourselves to very blatant gaps in the truths our partners present us. As the adages go: love is blind and ignorance is [seen as] bliss. In the TED talk, How To Spot a Liar, professional lie detector Pamela Myer notes that lying is a cooperative act!
Lying is an energy-draining action, and so is attempting to believe lies. Lying feels grimy and constricting. Much like taking up smoking halfway through your life, it’s a habit that will gradually change you. Lying could ultimately ruin your friendships, interfere with your ability to connect with others and alter intimacy, as there’s no room for dishonesty when achieving incredible intimacy.
It takes a LOT of energy to keep your facts straight when lying and because of this, as with Lay’s chips, you can’t really stop at one. Before you know it, you’ll be making more lies to cover up one lie and will have to keep all of your lies straight to avoid getting caught. Even if you have a partner or people in your life that have been going along with your lies, this unspoken agreement is subject to change at any time, as people evolve and change.
Your energy is far better spent speaking directly to your partner about issues in your relationship, seeking ways to resolve these issues and, if you’re thinking of opening your relationship, having a discussion about an open relationship. This is also the best way to find out if you’re both on the same page because this all comes back to how much you love each other, which ways you love each other AND how happily you co-exist.
For more tips on sex, dating and love, check out Devika’s YouTube channel for videos like this one.