No, We Don't Need to Rethink Our Stance on Cheating

I remember once stumbling across an article on Cosmopolitan titled, “8 Reasons Why You Should Rethink Your Stance on Cheating,” where a relationship and dating “expert” (air quotes much needed and fully intentional) Esther Perel uses points from her work, "The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity,” to convince us why cheating shouldn’t be as stigmatized as is. The problem is, its borderline sociopathic to willingly be okay with cheating. Now, I look at things from a more circumstantial perspective, and everybody has their own story and motives. However, to paraphrase a quote by Debbie from Netflix’s GLOW, things don’t just happen, people want things and they go for them. Should you be in a circumstance where you are trying to leave a bad/abusive/toxic relationship, it can be hard to think of how to end things and move on and while it isn’t easy it does take an extra step of maturity to be honest with yourself and your relationship and to end it before anything worse festers. Here are three main reasons why cheating isn’t a concept we should rethink our opinion on and that we should know has a negative stigma for a reason.

Trust Issues

Cheating affects those who are impacted in any capacity, definitely including the offended party. Chances are afterward, even if all is forgiven, nothing will be the same in terms of trust. There’s a saying I think about sometimes, “trust is like paper, once you crumble it, it won’t be the same.” Especially in cases where a relationship ends because of cheating, the person who was cheated on will have trouble trusting and forming relationships because that trust is broken and they’re the ones that usually have to pay the price for the wrongdoing of others.

It Affects Everyone You Know

Oddly enough this is actually a reason point in the article, but the problem is it’s not a good point. Yes, cheating affects those you know, what else? It’s not exactly a positive effect either when you think about families that break because of adultery and children who observe and are affected by such. Cheating affects those that we know in the same way that children are affected by the actions of the adults in their lives whether the adult realizes it or not.

Cheating Isn’t Consensual

If we lived in a society where there wasn’t as bad as a stigma as cheating, we would be undermining the concept of consensual non-monogamy such as open relationships, casual dating, and polyamorous relationships. Those lifestyles are not for everyone, without question, but some people live that way because monogamy isn’t for everyone either. However, if you choose to live that way, you have to also understand that these practices are at least done with consenting parties and everyone is aware of what’s generally going on this scenarios. Cheating happens when people make boundaries in a relationship scenario and somebody crosses those boundaries while knowing full well that those boundaries were not supposed to be crossed in the first place.

 

Maybe I choose to let myself get fired up over people who agree with Perel’s points, but it is an issue I feel deserves to be talked about at least once. Hopefully, and most likely, this is something that a few handful of people would be on board with. Regardless of whether if we choose to be more “accepting” of cheating, there are still going to be negative effects that outweigh any possible positive outcomes there might be, if at all.