To begin, let me point out that the vast majority of people will never cheat. To the degree there is a consensus on the subject, a number of studies have conservatively estimated that at least 80% of married people have never been unfaithful. There’s only one problem with that statistic – it doesn’t account for the full scope of what cheating entails. In order for two people to consider themselves cheaters, both people have to be in a relationship. If only one person is in a relationship, technically only one person is cheating. The other person is simply dating, knowingly or unknowingly, someone in a relationship. In other words, we will never have a definitive answer on how many people cheat, but that’s not the point. The point is that people do cheat, whether it is a minority or a majority of people is irrelevant. If being faithful was easy, everyone would do it. So, why is it difficult for some people to remain faithful?
I address this issue with a background from both perspectives – I’ve cheated, and I’ve been cheated on. For many of us, one or both of these will occur at some point in our lives. Some people think the advice; “Don’t cheat” is sufficient. Other people prefer, “If you can’t be faithful, then don’t (ever) get in a relationship.” Both of these statements would make perfect sense in a perfect world. Yet, in the non-perfect world that we actually live, telling cheaters not to cheat is the equivalent of telling drug addicts, “don’t do drugs.”
Today, I offer five practical tips the cheating inclined should keep in mind when they’re legitimately trying (with varying degrees of success) to remain faithful.
1. Accept Your Future Wife/Husband Will Not Be Perfect
The More You Know: According to a vast number of studies on the subject, the majority of unfaithful people are unfaithful without ever planning to leave their current partner.
I don’t know what this tells you, but it tells me that most people are
selfish not cheating to replace their partner; instead, they are cheating to fill the gaps where their partner falls short. A lot of my friends specifically and most men I know generally are searching for the perfect woman (In fairness, most women are searching for their prince charming). This would be fine if she actually existed, but they do not. When it comes to dating, some men and women are standing in a field full of perfectly good stallions complaining about the lack of unicorns.
Variations of perfect women and prince charmings may be out there, but whoever the woman/man is you’ve created in your imagination likely is not. Properly setting your expectations does two things: 1) it humbles you, because you are not perfect either; and 2) it allows you to accept the fact that the perfect man/woman doesn’t exist and even if they did, you probably would not be their type.
Once you accept perfection doesn’t exist, there’s a wonderful place called reality where plenty of good men and women are available to choose from, and you can work towards developing the type of relationship both of you can remain committed to. Unfortunately, too many people are unfaithful over transgressions they could probably fix within the confines of their relationship if they ever gave their imperfect partner the opportunity to try and correct them. For example:
Issue you might be able to fix within your relationship: You want to try a different sexual position every week.
Issue you might be unable to fix within your relationship: You want to try a different sexual person every week.
2. Commit to the Right Person
I get it, staying faithful to someone you don’t particularly like is difficult. Following the rules of committing physically, emotionally, and mentally to one person seems easy, but it’s the application of this process where many people fall short. That’s why remaining faithful is exponentially easier when you start by committing to the right person in the first place. I’ve never heard anyone say, “the hardest part of my relationship was the honey moon phase.” Some people settle, because they’d rather be with someone than no one. I’m not completely against this mindset. I understand some people desire something over nothing. Why should relationships be any different? But, I promise you being faithful to someone you actually like/love is a lot easier than forcing yourself to be faithful to someone you’re tolerating since the idea of being by yourself one day longer was intolerable.
3. Establish a Belief System
You haven’t truly been in love before if you haven’t seriously considered breaking up, killing the person you love, or breaking up with the person you love by killing them. I’m kidding, sorta. When your relationship is stressed or on the brink of ending, it’s easier to find comfort in the arms of another than confront the very real problems that exist in your relationship. Your belief system, whatever it may be, should ground you in the worst of times, so you can make it through to the best of times.
To be clear, your personal “belief system” doesn’t have to be religious or even based in spirituality. However, you’ll need something to go to—even if it’s just your happy place—when the person you love is the exact same person you hate. No relationship is perfect and no real relationship is without its ups and downs. What they forget to teach you in Single School 101 is that relationships take work. Having a solid belief system of some kind, even if it’s as simple as honoring your own word, will help you make it through the hard times instead of taking the easy route of unfaithfulness and temporary satisfaction with someone outside of your relationship…click here to read the final two steps.
I want to assume that no one wants to cheat.. unless you are on that Tiger Woods/Eric Benet type of stuff. I believe a person can even be faithful to someone they don't particularly like. But even that takes a lot of discipline.
I have to agree with the point you suggested about finding the right person. That is super duper important. The more you love and respect someone, the harder it is to hurt them. If you are going to cheat–leave. It's as simple as that.
My recent post Enough With The Silent Treatment Already
Why do some people struggle with remaining faithful more than others?
Because they lack self-control. A friend of mine, bless his heart, is not only the biggest cheater I know…but he literally has issues refusing anything he wants to do. So, excess is an issue in multiple areas of his life. If doing something means forgoing something else he wants to do, it probably won’t get done. If self-control is an issue in his or her life period, they’ll probably cheat on you if a good option becomes available.
I’m sure there are a number of overlapping issues that would make people more prone to cheat that would be evident in other areas of they life – sociopath (not to be confused with psychopath) and self-centered/egocentric types come to mind.
All great points Wis and very well written. Cosign on all of these.
I would like to add maturity. Maturity level definitely plays a part in those who stay faithful compared to those who do not. In an interview Eric Benet admitted that he had a lot of growing up and maturing to do before he became the man he is now. He also said now that he knows more than what he did when he was married to Halle Berry, he will definitely be faithful to his current wife and he is much happier and "blissful" in his current marriage.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." This right here pretty much says it all.
Co-Sign all what you just said Bree. At the end of the day it's maturity. Some men have to experience life to understand certain things about the opposite sex until they realize that being a one woman man is a win-win situation. Maturity with a few life experiences will make a man realize that cheating is not worth losing your best friend.
Don't put yourself in situations if you know you do not have self control. For example, I love pepsi, it causes weight gain however and basically isn't good for you. My parents buy cases of pepsi's and when i am over there I always have one. However, I do not buy soda for my home because I have no will power.
If people know that facebook will get them in trouble, stay away from it. If you know that ol girl is a dime and if you guys are alone you may fondle her, do not be alone with her. Same things for ladies! People try to test themselves to see if they will pass, when they could avoid the whole situation all together.
My recent post The problem with women’s independence
I didn't read anyone else comments but I think this the way to avoid cheating…
Stay away from other b*tches.
Stop talking to b*tches you don't need to maintain a relationship with.
^ That includes your ex.
If something about your relationship bothers you, talk about it with YOUR girlfriend. If she ain't willing to fix it, document it.
That way when you do cheat, you can point to why.
And never cheat with someone uglier than your current situation.
"Now my side b*tch, my main b*tch, because my main ho ain't feeling me no more. No more." – Trinidad James
lol @ document! not because I don't agree! I completely agree with your whole post! In my mind i'm just imagining a dude cheating on his girl and explaining her why by going down his list of grievances, ie.
On 6.3 I requested oral sex and it was not performed
On 6.9 I asked for roast beef, you told me we only have chicken
On 7.3 I made another request for oral sex, it was declined with great malice….
My recent post The problem with women’s independence
Document it? Funniest thing I've heard all day!
My recent post Why You Shouldn’t Fake An Orgasm
Thank you for using that rap lyric in this context lol. For the longest, I thought he was stating that his side and main b**** and main ho were 3 difft women lol. I'm getting old apparently.
I just can't… southern drawl + with poor grammar = ball of confusion
My recent post Christianity and the Black Church
Reminds me of that skit on the Chris Rock Show about “How Not to Get Arrested,” lol.
Are we specifying that we are discussing physical cheating? I think that most don't grasp the concept that people can cheat emotionally without doing the deed. People today treat cheating like pseudo-Christians treat sin: He/she can disrespect, abuse, misuse, and deceive, but if they cheat…all bets are off! C'mon son, ain't nobody got time for dat!
Is it easier to remain faithful or unfaithful? When in a relationship, what rules do you follow to resist or minimize temptation in your own life?
Faithful. The wages of sin is death….of my marriage, for sure!!
I know my husband and there is no redemption from that deed.
Besides, I truly believe that there is no other man for me, so I am happy and temptation-free.