Let’s face it, relationships are much more complicated these days than they were many years ago. We can blame social media or the changing times but the point is, there are certain things we now need to clear up with our partners as the relationship get serious.
Cheating comes in a variety of shapes and forms. While some couples put a blanket ban on all types of cheating, there are others who choose to give each other a little room in some areas.
Forms of cheating
There are four basic forms of cheating and depending on how your relationship works, they could be equally as devastating.
Physical cheating is usually what comes to mind when we think of a straying partner. This is when one partner becomes sexually/physically intimate with someone else.
Emotional cheating may or may not include sexual intimacy. It’s characterized by having an emotional connection with someone that isn’t your primary partner. An emotional cheater intimately confides in the person, shares thoughts, dreams and an emotional closeness that would normally be reserved for his/her mate.
Cyber cheating is increasing with the popularity of the internet. It can include internet pornography, online dating and flirting with people on social networking sites.
Sexting is also another form of cheating. Here the cheater sends sexually explicit messages or pictures. Again, it may or may not end in an actual hookup.
Why you need to talk about cheating
It’s very possible for what one partner perceives as innocent internet interaction, for example, to be interpreted as cheating. Let’s say you consider your partner watching internet porn as crossing the line. He may be confused by the intensity of your devastation when caught if he really sees what he did as harmless.
One partner may end up dealing with feelings of resentment and pain while the other has no clue what he/she is guilty of. This can quickly ruin a relationship.
What to say and how to say it
At some point in your relationship, you and your partner should discuss these four forms of cheating. You should talk about it from two angles. If you were the cheater, which would you consider ‘no big deal.’ And which of these would you see as a betrayal to your relationship if your partner does it? Explore how it would make you feel if your partner watches porn or flirts online, for instance.
The most important thing is that this conversation ends with you both laying some ground rules. What is allowed and what isn’t. You should both be very clear on that and there should be no gray areas. This way, each partner knows exactly what actions cross the line or when a betrayal is justified.
While we’re on the topic, here’s one mistake you must never make if you catch your man cheating on you.
Featured Image via Tenor