Can Cheating Ever Be Acceptable?

by Minnie Keller

Have you ever been cheated on? Have you ever been unfaithful to a partner? I've been in both situations myself and believe that neither position is better off than the other, but there are opposing beliefs that suggest cheating may be beneficial to relationships. Which opinion do you support? Let's consider the perspectives.

I share my own views in saying that cheating is a destructive beast. It ruins bonds, friendships, romantic relationships, trust and any shred of honesty that built the foundation of your relationship. No matter what the scenario, at least one individual involved in an instance of cheating ends up distraught from the course of events that follow. If you're the partner at fault and any bit human, you have a guilty conscience that's bound to take you down a rough road. On the other hand, if you're the victim in the situation, you'll be feeling the unwanted burden of heartache and utter disappointment.

Cheating from this perspective is never acceptable. If you are in a committed relationship and you engage in sexual activity with another individual, you have cheated. Please note, commitment does not apply only at times when it's convenient. No matter what the situation or condition of the people involved, there is no excuse for committing an act of infidelity.

Cheaters seek sexual satisfaction outside of their relationships because they're unhappy with their current conditions. What's the solution for an unhappy relationship, you wonder? End it! Cut it off. It may not be easy to suddenly end a relationship with a partner you've been with for a long period of time, but I can assure you, it will be significantly easier to handle than attempting to explain the reasoning for your infidelity. Even better, ending your relationship before moving onto someone new would avoid any potential physical or emotional harm your partner might cause you once the news is broken.

In times of extreme emotion, particularly negative emotions, people often do not know how to react and resort to anger to respond to feelings of distress and instability. If you're in the presence of your partner when they find out what you've done, or when someone else fills them in on your foolishness, you better be prepared.

In addition to completely destroying the bond between partners, cheating involves outside parties, with whom relationships are bound to crumble. When someone cheats, not only is the second guilty party involved, but those who are aware of what has happened are also placed in a bad position. The second guilty party is automatically at fault if they know the cheater is in a relationship, but they choose to engage in sexual activity with them, regardless.

One big cluster f*ck is what cheating is. It breaks hearts, it burdens unimaginable guilt, it ruins friendships and it does not forgive. Still sound appealing? If you're a stone wall, let's continue onto the opposing perspective.

Some people might argue that cheating is beneficial to relationships in helping keep the lust alive -- one incident of cheating, that is. We know that second chances are hard to come by, but they do exist. When one person cheats in a relationship, there is always damage done, but sometimes that damage can be repaired. In the case that the victim of a cheater chooses to accept his or her partner's pleas for forgiveness, cheating can have strengthening effects.

Granted that the cheater does not cheat again to prove the point of the classic saying, "once a cheater, always a cheater," his or her wrongdoing has the potential to reinforce the bond between the couple. Sometimes, when an act of infidelity occurs, the cheater falls weak to the feelings of guilt, while the victim falls into a mess of sadness and despair.

This mess of pitiful emotions urges the couple toward each other for their support and reassurance that, despite the infidelity, they need each other. In this case, cheating has its benefits if the couple is able to overcome the unfaithfulness.

So, what are your beliefs on cheating? Is it ever forgotten and forgivable? Is it acceptable in certain circumstances, but not others? Whatever your opinion may be, you're welcome to your own, but that's not to say that your partner will agree.