8 Harsh Realities All Cheaters Eventually Have To Face

Entering into an affair is fully a choice.

Woman staring ahead Taylor Deas-Melesh | Unsplash

Is an old flame reaching out to you on social media? Is there a "friend" you're spending more time talking to or hanging with who makes you feel better than your partner does? Do you feel that you deserve better attention emotionally, physically, or both than you currently receive in your relationship?

If you're reading this article, most likely you've either contemplated an affair, committed an affair, or have been hurt by one. I don't know you or your situation, but I believe in happy and fulfilling relationships.


Entering into an affair is fully a choice — and I've never found anyone who can give me a valid reason for choosing to cheat. If you may be heading in that direction, consider these eight things.

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Here are eight harsh realities every cheater will eventually have to face 

1. This is all about you and no one else.

You're struggling with some unmet want, need, and/or expectation that's (maybe) due to your relationship. You either don’t know how to communicate with your partner or do not trust they will meet this need. The only one who will benefit from this affair is you.


2. You're probably confusing fantasy and reality.

An affair has more to do with your imagination and perception than reality. The one you're thinking of cheating with — he or she may feel like a confidante or a comfort, but most of what you know about the other person is coming from your mind, and from the context of your marriage.



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3. You are like the rest of them.

The essence of an affair is about coping with a deficit in your life. Similarly, alcoholics, gamblers, drug addicts, and food addicts all use their addictive behavior to cope with a deficit. While you're probably not addicted to the other person, the “high” you experience from the temptation and time with the other person (or persons, for those on sites like Ashley Madison) keeps you enthralled and returning for more.


According to Dr. Scott Haltzman, psychiatrist, relationship researcher, and author of The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity, you may be addicted to "flames"

4. You're playing a losing game.

You may pride yourself on being intelligent and able to cover your tracks well. And you may have had affairs in the past that your partner hasn't discovered. But no one plans to get caught; it just happens. And neither intelligence, sneakiness nor creativity provide you with an advantage.

So beware: every affair and every moment you’re in an affair is an opportunity for discovery and is lethal to your relationship. And you will never know when that time will come.

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5. Your spouse's emotional pain knows no boundaries.

There's no way you will ever know and understand how traumatizing your affair is to your partner, even if this has been done to you before. Everyone responds to affairs and traumatic experiences differently.

If you're concerned about your partner’s pain, I challenge you to imagine the worst thing your partner could ever do to you and multiply that by 10. And then imagine having no idea when that pain will go away.

6. Your spouse will never fully heal.

It’s not just trust in you that your affair will be damaged. Communication, empathy, vulnerability, respect, support, love, appreciation — to name a few — will need repairing as well.

The road to recovery for your partner is long and lonely. They have no guarantees that you or anyone else won't hurt them again, thus making the healing process just as painful and scary as the discovery of the affair. If you have a heart, this process is also painful for you as you watch helplessly while your partner recovers from the trauma of your affair.


7. You're gambling with the 100/50 rule.

If you commit this affair, you are 100 percent responsible for only 50 percent of the relationship’s future — because that's as much as you have control over. In other words, no matter how much you apologize, how much therapy you attend, and how much you commit your life to God or some Supreme Being, your partner has just as much influence on the relationship's success.

Additionally, they have the right to leave the relationship and pursue a life without you forever and perhaps with someone else. And there’s nothing you can do to stop this.

8. You need professional advice.

An affair is never the best practice to improve any marriage. Get some help. Work on figuring out why you feel you want to stray, and how you can address these issues more constructively. If you don’t seek professional advice on the front end, it may result in legal advice on the back end.


RELATED: Cheating Is Always A Choice

Dr. Eric Williams is a counselor and marriage and family therapist specializing in both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships who helps individuals and couples reconnect with their inner selves and partners.