No ex­cuse jus­ti­fies giv­ing in to temp­ta­tion and be­ing un­faith­ful

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - OPINION - RE­LA­TION­SHIP STRATEGISTS

WHO hasn’t had it? The op­por­tu­nity to de­file the mar­riage bed. Ev­ery day we are all faced with that ex­cit­ingly naughty feel­ing that whis­pers in our ears, “Taste it just one time, your part­ner won’t know any­way. Every­body else does it”.

And if you de­cide to give in to the urge, you may soon be so hooked – maybe not to the per­son you did it with but to the very act of cheat­ing – that it be­comes part of your life­style.

Be­fore you know it, you’re look­ing for any­thing to jus­tify the lust­ful be­hav­iour to make your­self feel bet­ter – even thoughts of polygamy.

Even the most trusted per­son is pre­sented with vary­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to cheat on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. And it can happen that you fall. It has hap­pened to many.

This does not im­ply that peo­ple shouldn’t do their best to re­sist the temp­ta­tion to cheat, but merely recog­nis­ing that even the “best” among us, the most res­o­lute – given the right cir­cum­stances – are sus­cep­ti­ble to cheat­ing and can slip at any point.

We al­ways ad­vise cou­ples, you only have one of­fi­cial part­ner. If you love them right, one is all you need.

De­spite the seem­ing ob­vi­ous­ness of it, and more of­ten than not, in­fi­delity isn’t about sex. Cheat-proof­ing your re­la­tion­ship isn’t as sim­ple as con­stantly up­ping the sex game.

Your part­ner can cheat on you in spite of the great sex life you have.

Sim­i­larly, be­ing cheated on isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a sign that there’s some­thing wrong with you or the re­la­tion­ship.

There are many peo­ple who con­sider them­selves hap­pily monog­a­mous that end up cross­ing a line they never imag­ined they’d cross.

We’ve heard all kinds of rea­sons for cheat­ing. Like the de­sire for nov­elty or to re­cap­ture the spark and ex­cite­ment that first defined their re­la­tion­ship. Some peo­ple strike up af­fairs be­cause they want to feel wanted, while oth­ers do it in protest against cer­tain treat­ment they get from their of­fi­cial part­ners.

For oth­ers it’s about the rush of do­ing some­thing for­bid­den, the thrill of risk and be­ing caught. Still for oth­ers, it’s about bore­dom and want­ing to shake things up.

Some have af­fairs be­cause they’re re­belling against a be­lief about them­selves or the val­ues they grew up with, while oth­ers may be re­act­ing to the pain of previous re­la­tion­ships.

Some are try­ing to re­cap­ture a lost sense of self, while oth­ers are mak­ing up for op­por­tu­ni­ties they be­lieve they’d missed.

Other times it’s a mat­ter of one part­ner sim­ply pan­ick­ing and lash­ing out. For some, cheat­ing on their part­ner is a way of pun­ish­ing them or get­ting revenge for some fight.

Even if the other part­ner never learns about the af­fair, that se­cret knowl­edge serves as a sort of reprisal.

Then there are those who use af­fairs to get out of re­la­tion­ships that were oth­er­wise dead or dy­ing.

Many peo­ple who’ve had af­fairs were ac­tu­ally slam­ming their hands on the re­la­tion­ship self-de­struct but­ton.

We be­lieve there’s no in­tel­li­gent rea­son why any­one cheats. Peo­ple cheat be­cause of lust. Not­with­stand­ing many af­fairs that happen be­cause of an emo­tional con­nec­tion, peo­ple cheat be­cause they sim­ply can. It’s an in­abil­ity to ex­er­cise self-con­trol and seek means of de­vel­op­ing work­able ways of re­solv­ing chal­lenges in the le­git­i­mate re­la­tion­ship.

We don’t be­lieve there can be any prob­lem in your re­la­tion­ship that can make you cheat on your part­ner. It’s one of the worst forms of dis­re­spect for your part­ner.

Fur­ther­more, cheat­ing can never be the fault of the faith­ful part­ner in the re­la­tion­ship. When you cheat, you – on your own – vol­un­tar­ily make that choice.

Avoid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to cheat on your part­ner means har­ness­ing your power to re­sist temp­ta­tion. This you do some­times by lit­er­ally run­ning away from po­ten­tially com­pro­mis­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Cul­ti­vat­ing a strong friend­ship with your part­ner is one other way of avoid­ing a cheat­ing op­por­tu­nity.

You also want to avoid in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­ver­sa­tions by not giv­ing mixed sig­nals.

Never al­low your­self to have a “spe­cial friend­ship” with the op­po­site sex from work or church to whom you turn for ad­vice and sup­port. This is espe­cially so if the “spe­cial friend” is un­known to your part­ner or says things they wouldn’t be able to com­fort­ably say in front of your part­ner.

Lastly tak­ing care of your­self is one of our most con­sid­ered tac­tics dur­ing this journey.

When you eat healthily, ex­er­cise and look your best, you main­tain your at­trac­tion to your part­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.