Not every cheater deserves to be dumped.
Let me ask you a question. It's going to seem really obvious and easy to answer on the surface, but once you give it some thought, it might not seem so easy.
Easy, right? Sure it is.
What if they did more? Making out, hooking up, or even sex?
That's the tough part. The person you love, that you were going to probably marry. What sort of cheating would be enough to make you want to throw it all away?
Because where is that line? And who gets to draw it?
In this video, we’re not talking about a peck on the cheek. That's probably pretty easy to forgive. We’re talking about full-on making out. (Admittedly, drunken making out, if that makes a difference to you.)
Does that change it for you? Does it fit the definition of cheating?
The story from Mexico is about a bachelorette party gone wrong. A bride-to-be and friends went out for one last wild night at a resort bar called the Lady Coralina. The bride got very drunk and made out with a stranger by the pool bar.
It's not exactly an uncommon story...
Unfortunately for her, someone at the crowded bar filmed the make-out session and shared it on social media where it quickly went viral with the hashtag #LadyCoralina. (Part of the video’s illicit appeal is that the woman was clearly dressed as a bachelorette and the man she was kissing was very clearly not her groom.)
The video made it back to the bride and groom’s family and the wedding was called off.
(Here’s the video in question — the kissing starts around the 0:32 mark.)
It’s an embarrassing situation all around, but it does raise that BIG question — if you were set on marrying someone and you knew they cheated, would you end the engagement?
Obviously, cheating and infidelity can’t be ignored in a relationship. They speak to the level of trust and respect between the couple.
However, society clearly doesn’t regard kissing someone else as being in the same league as sleeping with something else. In fact, a 2014 poll found that 60 percent of men and 34 percent of women felt that kissing someone other than your romantic partner was a forgivable offense.
But what about other offenses?
And do all cheaters deserve to be dumped?
For me, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered and questions I'd need answered.
Let’s use the Lady Coralina incident as a case study. Because it's not me, and presumably also not you. So we can think it through here and debate it without the complication of our own heartbreak or sense of betrayal clouding our judgement.
1. Was there malicious intent behind the act?
In this case, probably not. It’s not likely that she planning on breaking up with her fiance if their wedding was already scheduled.
You need to ask yourself whether your partner was trying to get revenge, had blatant disregard for your feelings, or trying to sabotage your relationship. Those are all pretty malicious. If so, that kissing spell isn’t just cheating, it’s also a sign that relationship needs to end.
2. Was the cheating pre-meditated?
Did the woman at the resort venture out hoping to find someone to hook up with? It’s doubtful, particularly since she’s literally dressed as a bride at the party.
You need to consider was this something my partner has been thinking about for a long time? Or was it a crazy spontaneous act? Because it matters. If they've been planning this, it means they've been aware of a disconnect between you for a while.
3. Was this the start of a long-term affair?
Given that they’re at a resort and the guy is wearing a day-glo baseball hat and no shirt, I’m going to go out on a limb and say no.
You need to think about whether or not your partner was acting out or if they were actively trying to move on to someone else. Because a tantrum might be able to be excused, but the same can't be said for a deliberate exit strategy.
4. Did alcohol play a role?
It would definitely appear so, in the case of this bachelorette. The video makes it look like college kids on Spring Break all holding their giant plastic cups of booze, so it’s safe to say that the people kissing were probably drunk.
You do need to consider the mental/physical state of your partner at the time of the kiss.
5. Does being drunk excuse the cheating?
NO. Absolutely not. Not for the bride and not for your partner.
But you need to ask yourself “Would this have happened if the person wasn’t completely inebriated?”
6. Do I want to use my partner's cheating as a way to get “out”?
This may be the most important question of all.
If the groom saw the viral video of his fiancée kissing someone else and he felt angry, betrayed, and hurt, that’s normal. But if those feelings were accompanied by a sense of “well, now I can kick her to the curb,” that speaks to larger issues in the relationship. If you see a kiss like that and you can’t even imagine trying to fight through the hard emotions to get to a place of forgiveness someday, that says a lot.
The same goes for the bride (who, apparently, was the one who ended the engagement). If she saw that video make the rounds and knew that her fiancée saw it, and her reaction was “the easier thing to do is leave” — that probably suggests that her minor infidelity did hold a deeper meaning.
If you find out that a person you love has been hooking up with someone else for months on end behind your back, there are some trust issues at play and you’re probably better off apart.
But, if you find out that the person you love spent a sloppy afternoon kissing a stranger for a few minutes, is that cheating enough to destroy your relationship?
See, the kiss is just a kiss.
But what that kiss means, and what it really symbolizes within your relationship is what matters.
And, to some degree, the same goes for sex. But obviously, it's much more serious.
But it comes down to the question of fight or flight.
Whether you’re the kisser or the cuckold, if you’d rather run away from the conflict than try to battle your way through it. Then, yes, the cheating is enough to kill your romance.
But, if when confronted with the news, your instincts aren’t immediately telling you to flee, you might be able to get past it one day. And maybe even grow stronger.
Yes, it is a betrayal, but it doesn’t need to be an automatic death sentence for your relationship.