By Mary Schwager, GalTime.com
It's the question that sparks dread into women’s psyches: "Is your man cheating on you?" Shudder. If I were to tell you there’s a new book to help you figure it out you may think, “Oh yeah, right!" This Consumer Watchdog is tellin' you, this book actually makes sense and it's not written with a 'down with men' kinda mantra. The authors of The Cheat Sheet bring together incredibly smart cheatin' signs you'll want to look for if you suspect you're not-so-significant to your significant other. They combine common sense with the sleuth-ness of a private detective's eye. Think your relationship is in a good spot and you don't need the book? The authors offer tips on how to "affair proof" your relationship.
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Q: You make the point in your book it’s very important to make sure that what constitutes “cheating” in a relationship is defined. Why is that important and how do you bring that up without sounding like a crazy girlfriend?
Rea Frey & Stephany Alexander: It’s amazing how many people don’t talk about what infidelity means. When you don’t talk about it up front (what your boundaries are, what’s okay, what’s not okay), it muddies the waters in terms of your interactions with other people. For example, if you’ve been cheated on, you might be more sensitive to a really flirtatious partner. That just might be part of his personality, whereas you might think that he’s “up to something”. We each bring baggage into our relationships – get it all out on the table. If you know what’s okay and what’s not okay in terms of cheating, you are on the road to a more honest place of communication. While there’s no one right way to bring it up, you can try the following tactics:
“So, what do you consider cheating? I consider X, Y and Z cheating.” Then, let him answer and don’t judge his answers. Find out what happened in his past relationships (how they ended, was there infidelity, etc.) as well. Just try and be as open as possible. Remember what happened in a past relationship is not indicative of what might happen in the current one.
Another way to bring up infidelity is to rent a movie like “Unfaithful” or “Fatal Attraction” and start a conversation about what he considers cheating. This way you are bringing it up casually.
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Talking is one of the best tools you can have for a life of fidelity. It doesn’t make you crazy – it just makes you human!
Q: There’s the very cliché line that “cheating is in a man’s DNA.” Is that true?