You Only Cheated Once - Should You Tell?
What happens when you cheat, but you have a chance to get away with it? Would you tell your partner about it or would you hide it forever?
There are many reasons why people would choose to cheat. Studies are being made on what makes it rampant, but no amount of research can pinpoint any one person's specific motive for cheating. They say it could be a lack of intimacy, appreciation or even a personality disorder. Whatever it is, the truth is it's still wrong.
Cheating is essentially allowing someone else to steal your property. Sometimes people even instigate the theft. You start out by promising yourself to someone and then slowly start to break pieces off to give to someone else.
You could be giving away your body, your heart or your soul. Any way you look at it, someone's bound to lose something. If you look at the bigger picture, everyone loses. You, your partner and the person you cheated with. Nobody wins in a cheating situation.
Laws were implemented to lessen its occurrence, but no, cheating legislators just had to put a stop to the judicial harassment of cheaters. If we can't rely on the law to stop cheating, what else can we do? You've seen Jerry Springer, right? We fight for the people we love or we fight for ourselves, and move on with our lives.
What happens when you cheat?
When we find ourselves in the position of a cheater, things change. We start to justify our actions - usually by yourself in front of a stained mirror in some gas station you drove through. Is this really the person that you've become?
Sometimes, there isn't even any self-introspection. Some cheaters manage to get by without feeling a tiny ounce of guilt. They can just shrug off the event, thinking that they will always get away with it, even if they're caught. But most people aren't like that. Most of us have hearts.
When a person cheats, they don't usually set out to do that. Unless you're a horrible person from the beginning, couples in love never have to deal with cheating, unless the problem arises from an outstanding issue between them.
The idea of cheating comes when you least expect it. When you're vulnerable, feeling unloved or even vindictive of a partner's sin, you could end up cheating. Someone comes over and says, “Hey. You look sad. Wanna talk about it?” They look like they care, so you'll end up squeezing every last bit of affection you can get that you aren't receiving at home.
It's sad when people cheat. Even if they say that they're doing it because they can or they think that it will impress their friends, they still won't be happy about it. Let's acknowledge the exceptions to the rule - the ones who fell in love with their lovers - and admit that some people come out of it without a scratch. The problem, however, is that one of the three people involved will always get hurt.
What if I just did it once?
You still did it. No matter which way you put it, you betrayed your partner's trust and took advantage of someone else. Cheating can never be justified. Has there ever been an instance where cheating ended up saving the world? For all you Scandal fans out there, Olivia and Fitz don't count.
When you commit to a relationship, you are essentially locked down. It's contractual. Hearts are exchanged. Dreams are melded together. You are now accountable for someone else's emotional well-being.
Cheating once could very well make all of that worthless. Lucky you, if your partner was a self-sacrificing person with self-esteem issues. You wouldn't have a problem, because they would simply forgive you and take you back. If you end up with a partner who values their dignity and right to fight for their worth, you are in big trouble.
You can cheat once, but it wouldn't make any difference to you cheating twice or a hundred times over. It is still wrong, and it deserves to be acknowledged. You can choose not to say anything about it, but you have to live with it. Are you actually prepared to handle that?
What if I never tell anyone?
In my opinion, most secrets tend to get out sooner or later. The world may not know about your cheating ass, but someone does and someone else will find out too. Are you really willing to risk not saying anything and end up making a bigger mess, if it came from somebody else?
If you want to know what reasons people use to get out of telling their partner that they cheated, here are the most common lies people tell themselves.
#1 I'll never do it again. Statistically, this is not true. Most cheaters end up repeating it, but with less remorse every time it happens.
#2 The third party was from another country. People with the same sets of genitalia exist in your own country. Distancing yourself from a random encounter does not mean that it won't happen with other people in a closer setting.
#3 It meant nothing. The fact that you agreed to do it means everything.
#4 We just made out. You can't get out of cheating using semantics. Kissing is intimate. Sexting is intimate. Holding hands is intimate. Saying, “I like you” is intimate. Being intimate with someone else is cheating in its purest form.
#5 Nobody will ever find out. This can be true for some, but I hesitate to think at what kind of suffering they feel whenever the incident pops up in their mind.
Should you tell your partner about it?
Telling your partner about your indiscretion should depend on your motives, and whether or not you can control yourself in the future. Just know that there are risks to telling the truth and hiding it from your partner.
Any way you look at it, there's a possibility that your partner will get hurt. Even if you hide it from them, you can never predict whether a slip of the tongue or an undeleted email from way back could cause irreparable damage.
If you do tell the truth, you have to be prepared for the worst. Never blame your partner, because it was your decision. It could be that they caused some problems in the relationship, but that's still no excuse to cheat.
If you choose to hide the truth, you have to be prepared mentally. You know you cheated, and you will know about it forever. And there's one other person out there who knows about it because they were your accomplice.
I can understand why a lot of people choose to hide the truth. Sometimes love is just too big of a sacrifice. They think that it's better to live with the guilt for the rest of their lives than lose someone who's worth more than the world to them - even when they cheated.
Have you cheated on a loved one and hid the truth about it? How do you feel about it? Everyone is entitled to their own decisions and opinions, but we should always think about the people we love before we decide to make huge mistakes that could cost us our hearts.