What’s the Definition of a Cheater in a Relationship?
When you enter a relationship, there’s a mutual understanding that you’re mutually exclusive. No matter sexual preferences or kinks, you’re committed to them. Therefore, cheating in a relationship is the breaking of this agreement. Be it messaging, flirting, or actual sex, when relationship cheaters break the connection of commitment, they may have even not realize it.
However, the line gets blurry when we look at open/ polyamorous relationships. When more than two are involved, it’s hard to tell right from wrong. Additionally, there are some who enjoy “cuckold” relationships. An arrangement in which two people enter a relationship with the agreement that one will explicitly see others. Once again, what are the rules here? Let’s unpack this!
The Affair Definition: Cheating in Marriages
Cheating in marriages is the number one cause of divorces. Chances are you have cheated, know someone who cheated, or been cheated on yourself. Why do so many people resort to extra-marital affairs? When people ask their therapists to define infidelity in a relationship, they often say that invariably, people turn to adultery when they no longer feel the excitement in their current relationship. It’s natural for the initial spark to die and to be replaced with a more “comfortable” stage. It’s here that we seek that next spark. However, there are ways to find that with your partner! Re-igniting that spark will reduce the likelihood of any cheating in your relationship.
- Threesomes. The perfect way to get the fantasy of sex without breaking the mutual agreement. Set some ground rules and have fun! Explore someone else, together and don’t be relationship cheaters.
- Roleplay. What better way to sleep with someone else without cheating? Dressing up, getting sexy, and be someone else for the night. You can keep this in the bedroom, but some like to roleplay outside! Meet in a bar or restaurant pretending to be different people. It may seem strange but lots of excitement to have.
- BDSM. Play with the power structure and try more intense ways to express love. Start off light but do some research into toys or communities. There’s likely an area of your sexuality you’re yet to discover!
- Kama Sutra. This ancient Indian Sanskrit has found its way into popular culture and is being embarrassed by sex toy companies. Buy books/ games that encourage new/ exciting positions/ techniques. We recommend this for any couple...
Those should keep you going for a while! There’s a lot to unpack, and hopefully, that’ll get the fire burning. However, if these techniques fail, then next is marriage counseling. A step that’s only successful if you both want to fix things. If the effort isn’t equal, then the counseling won’t be effective. In addition to counseling, try changing habits in your day-to-day life. Discuss with your partner what the relationship was like at the beginning. What’s changed? How can you bring back those feelings? We suggest going on frequent dates and to combat conflict when it arises. It can be easier to ignore things, but this only builds resentment. Find a way to dispassionately identify an issue and work out a solution. Always remember that your marriage is you two against the world, not each other. Here’s a list of habits to adapt to smooth over the bumps in your marriage.
- Date night (weekly). Never stop dating your partner!
- Resolve conflict when it arises. Sometimes space isn’t the answer.
- Find a hobby to enjoy together. Quality time is important in any relationship.
- Change up the scenery. Repetition, potentially the mold of your relationship. change things up! Redecorate or go on a holiday. Whatever it is, do it together.
- Organize pictures/ memorabilia. Going over the good times and bring back that comfort.
While it’s vital to attempt mending what’s broken, we must accept when things are beyond repair. Forcing what isn’t right will only hurt those involved. Try what you can first, and if all fails, it’s time to call it quits.
What Constitutes Cheating in Relationship?
There is no need to define cheating on a spouse, as cheating is self-explanatory: it’s the betrayal of trust and commitment. Cheating comes in many forms and can vary in intensity. The impact of cheating also varies. Depending on the person will change the consequences. If your partner is self-conscious, then the betrayal will cut deeper. However, if your partner approaches life with a C’est la vie attitude, then the act may not affect them as much. This isn’t an invitation to cheat. Breaking the trust of a relationship isn’t something to do lightly. Here are examples of cheating in a relationship.
- Getting to know others romantically – relationship cheaters often start things unknowingly, entangled in feelings with someone other than their spouse. Reduce contacts to preserve your relationship, and don’t become a cheater!
- Flirting with someone else – this one is a willful emotional affair, thus more severe. Nothing has happened yet, so we can’t define this as infidelity or cheating, but it is dangerously close.
- One-on-one time with the opposite sex – not that severe, yet cheating is just around the corner when instead of spending time with your spouse, you seek company from someone outside of your relationship.
- Going on dates – roughly the same as the point from before, a straight-up emotional affair. Still isn’t outright cheating, but dangerously close.
- Kissing – if it’s happened when you’re drunk and at a party, it can be explained if a cheater confesses to their partner immediately. Otherwise, it’s almost relationship-breaking territory.
- Having sex – self-explanatory. Cheating in its purest form.
Your idea of cheating will vary from another, but it’s a vital conversation to have with your partner. What do they see as cheating? Where do you two feel comfortable drawing the line? This conversation may seem obvious/ unnecessary but have it! You may be surprised by the outcome.
When engaging in an open or polyamorous relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand what constitutes cheating. Potentially having more people involved means that we need to be diligent about boundaries. Opening your relationship requires a base level of respect/ trust. Cheating in an open/ polyamorous relationship is the betrayal of this trust. Doing something not agreed or doing it in secret constitutes cheating in the relationship. This could be sex or meeting up without it being approved. Extra trust is needed in these arrangements, and breaking this creates hostility and confusion.
What Classifies as Cheating in a Relationship?
The physical act of cheating is obvious. However, an aspect frequently ignored is mental/ emotional cheating. Having sex is one thing, although messaging, flirting, opening your heart to others, and using online dating sites prey more on the mental/ emotional aspect of relationships. This side of cheating is harder to get past; it exposes trust issues in the relationship and insecurities on both ends. Additionally, without the physical act of sex, it’s hard to tell if it’s a deal-breaker? This decision falls on the shoulder of the cheated. Can you recover the trust? How has it made you feel? Mental/ emotional cheating is invariably the precursor to physically cheating — take this as the warning sign. Nip behaviors in the bud or break things off before they get worse.
This side of cheating applies to open/ polyamorous relationships. Don’t take for granted the trust that has been bestowed upon you. Be respectful of your partner and treat them as you’d expect to be treated.
The general rule of thumb when dating is that when you start hiding things, then something isn’t right. Either you’re betraying them, or you’ve lost connection with your partner. Not everyone means to become cheaters in a relationship; alcohol can fuel the mistake or deep-rooted insecurity seeking validation. No matter the reason, cheating’s a difficult hurdle for relationships to overcome. Use the examples in this article as a guide on what to avoid. If your desire to do them increases, then the relationship is in a critical condition. Why do you want to be unfaithful? What are you missing? How is your partner feeling? All the questions you should be asking yourself and your spouse. Could your desire for extra-marital sex be connected to an addiction? If you want to keep your current relationship, it’s time to do soul searching and seek help if necessary.