Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Cheating: Is it worth it?

Published:Monday | September 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM

"When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves - they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true."

- Cheryl Hughes

 

Flair got in touch with expert Olive Ellis, who defines cheating as an act of being unfaithful to one's partner. "It is believed that cheating only involves sexual intercourse or intimacy, but there are different ways to cheat and all can be very devastating to the other partner," Ellis told Flair.

Society taught us that cheating is not legit unless it involves physical encounter, but cheating is not limited to just kissing or having sex with a third party. If you find yourself deleting texts and emails, you are already there.

According to Ellis, cheating is something that also happens through texting. "Text-message cheating is also known as 'sexting/chexting'. It includes sending sexually explicit messages or pictures and texting to arrange dates," Ellis told Flair.

Cybercheating is no exception; Ellis noted that because of the Internet, cyber cheating has become very popular among couples. "Cybercheating includes Internet pornography, online dating and flirting with other people on social networking sites (Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp, among other platforms). Cybercheating is harder to catch than other forms of cheating," Ellis explained.

Ellis also noted that unless either partner have access to one another's computer passwords, and pays close attention to conversations each person is having on the Internet, getting caught is almost impossible.

Oftentimes, this is where emotional cheating comes in and is more crippling to a relationship than physical cheating. It may begin as an innocent friendship. Eventually, an emotional cheater finds him or herself intimately confiding in the other person, sharing thoughts, dreams and an emotional closeness that would normally be reserved for his or her partner," Ellis explained.

With physical cheating, Ellis noted that the cheater may still feel emotionally connected to his or her partner and may only be seeking to fulfil a sexual fantasy. With emotional cheating, however, the cheater's heart may no longer be in the relationship.

And the most common of them all is physical cheating. "It is being sexually intimate with someone other than your spouse or significant other," Ellis added.

 

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

 

Why would you search for something you already have, when you can just appreciate it?

Remember the grass may look green on the other side, but what if you could just invest time and energy by watering the one that you have. Wouldn't there be longer-lasting relationships?

Imagine how strong your relationship would be if you would not waste your energy, resources and time on things that have no future. Secret, small, hidden relationships are like ticks; they suck all the good things out of your relationship and make it unstable.

Instead of using social media to damage your relationship, which will take so much effort to repair that sometimes those wounds might never heal, you can use that time to promote those areas that you are struggling. You might get help.

Cheating satisfies a temporary desire; always think long term and the consequences of getting caught. Evaluate the gains and losses, because in every conversation it's either you are gaining or you are losing.

Text messages your partner cannot read are unhealthy and are bound to cause major problems. It is advisable to stop texting and flirting with those people before it's too late.

Try to avoid those people who now have a change of heart about how they feel about you, now that you have turned into a better 'asset' because of your current partner - those are the ones who normally cause the most distractions, because of shared history. Where were they when you were struggling?

True love means hard work. Do not apply if you are not prepared to take the risks. Stay out of a committed relationship if you still want to mess around, though that has its own price.

Cheating develops slowly and will surely cause pain when it's fully grown.

Olive Ellis is a counselling psychologist associate, relationship coach and matchmaker. She may be contacted at 829-3203 or email: olive_p_ellis@hotmail.com.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com