Yes, there IS a right way to cheat.
By Mark Kinney
Let’s face it guys, whether it be the office, gym, or even the check-out line at the local market — if you’re reasonably in good shape, have even a slight bit of personality, and remembered to shower that day, opportunities for companionship can present themselves when least expected.
As Jack Dempsey used to say, “The best defense is a good offense”. While that’s still good advice in the ring, it can be even more so in relationships.
Not long ago, the line between fidelity and infidelity was as clear as black and white. You not only knew when you were approaching it, but even more so when you crossed it. Unfortunately today, with the advent of technology and social media, that line has become a distorted, convoluted gray mist. As such, a good offense is invaluable.
What do I mean?
Consider this. It innocently starts as a simple “like” on Facebook, then an “IM”, which leads to texting, and then it’s more mischievous-cousin sexting, which ultimately culminates in an offer to discreetly meet “IRL”. Before you know it you’re accusing your spouse of paranoia and jealousy due to their reaction to your newly suspicious behavior. An argument ensues, you’re banished to the sofa, or worse, the local Motel 6, and home-sweet-home becomes anything but.
Here’s the good news. The above scenario isn’t real, and as long as you keep the following points in mind it never has to be.
Hang on guys. Before I get letters and comments from those of you who consider yourselves decent guys, yet may have slipped up in the past, here’s what I mean.
Real men don’t settle, and for that matter, neither do real women. If you settle for a relationship that’s just OK because you’re tired of being alone, you’re more likely to allow your eyes to wander, followed soon thereafter by the rest of you.
So truly the best tip to avoiding infidelity should be applied before you even get started — be selective.
A beautiful woman once told me “No real woman should ever need to cheat. If she’s confident enough to secure a relationship with the man she truly wants, she eliminates the desire for anyone else.” So while dating is fine, before you enter that committed relationship, respect her enough to know she eliminates your desire for anyone else.
Don’t close the door — eliminate it.
Should you already be with “the one”, please don’t misinterpret the above to suggest you should now be an anti-social curmudgeon. Not at all. As a matter of fact, whether it be sharing a smile, or basking in the validation of being on the receiving end of one, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what you do next that makes the difference.
Something I heard long ago may help shift your perspective, so that smile doesn’t turn into something more. Consider the following;
Some commend themselves for having looked through the doorway at temptation… but never walked through it.
Some commend themselves for having looked through the doorway at temptation… but never stopped walking.
While others commend themselves for having looked through the doorway at temptation… but closed the door to avoid it.
Yet others still, who are truly committed to their relationship… simply walk on by because for them the door never existed.
While I stated the best way to avoid temptation was to be with the right one to begin with, the next step is to simply eliminate cheating as an option. If your mind won’t go there, chances are neither will the rest of you.
Would she approve?
As I alluded to earlier, technology and social media make cheating easier than ever before. Meaning, if you want to you will. However, if you don’t want to fall victim, what should you do? Simple — ask yourself this short question; would she approve?
Let’s face it, we can all justify anything. However, if you find yourself overly protective of your phone, hiding your screen while next to your spouse, or making repeated trips to the bathroom to check your texts, chances are you know the answer.
Have an affair — with your wife!
As someone who’s worked with divorced clients for almost 30 years, I can only speculate as to how many marriages this simple trick could have saved.
While I deal with the financial aspects of divorce, invariably I hear how an affair could’ve been avoided if “he had just paid attention to me.” Rather than heading out for an evening with someone new and different, why not surprise your wife with something new and different? Unexpected notes and cards where she’ll least expect it, a voicemail asking her to meet you someplace new for no reason. You get the picture guys.
The bottom line is this: if you want to cheat, you will. If you don’t, you won’t. But know this, if you make every day Valentine’s Day and leave February 14 to the amateurs, any thoughts of cheating will very quickly become a thing of the past.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.