Surviving Infidelity

Man thinking about cheating to get out of a relationship.

Simply cheating won’t solve your problem. You can end your relationship in a better way.

If your relationship is over. It’s over. And yet you’re thinking about cheating to get out of it.

If you’ve already decided to end the relationship, why cheat?

There are three reasons why people believe cheating to get out of a relationship is a good idea.

  1. They’re afraid of telling their spouse that they want to end it.

    Owning up to the fact that you’re done with your marriage or relationship is difficult – especially if you’re afraid of how your mate will respond.

  2. They think their partner will end the relationship for them when s/he finds out.

    Cheating so that your spouse or partner will end the relationship for you is still avoiding owning up to the fact that you’re done.

  3. It’s the only “acceptable” reason to end your relationship.

    It’s unfortunate, but true that many people believe that being miserable in marriage despite working on things is not enough of a reason to end things.

Despite these reasons, cheating to get out of a relationship is a bad idea. It may solve your immediate issue of wanting out, but your mate, your children (if you have any), your family, close friends, your community and especially you will suffer for your actions.

If you choose to cheat and after the initial thrill wears off, you’ll likely feel anxiety, guilt, shame, worry regret, confusion, embarrassment, and self-loathing when you contemplate how your actions impact those you love.

When your mate discovers your infidelity, they’ll feel the stabbing pain of betrayal. They will begin wondering what part of the relationship they had with you was real and which part was a lie. The torture they’ll experience will be beyond words.

And because of their excruciating pain, they’ll lash out at you. It’s likely that you’ll get your wish and they will end your relationship, but it won’t be pretty. They’ll want to make sure you pay for the pain you’ve caused them.

They’ll probably also torture themselves in a variety of ways as they try to come to terms with your lies about your love for them.

But your partner isn’t the only one who will judge you for cheating to end your relationship. Your in-laws, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers and even your children will look down on you for your behavior.

Although you may achieve your goal of ending your relationship if you cheat, the long-term repercussions to you (and likely to your spouse/partner as well as others you care about) will be deleterious.

So, instead of cheating to get out of your relationship, the best thing you can do is prepare to have a courageous conversation with your mate to share your truth. As uncomfortable as it is to contemplate telling them that you’re ready to end the relationship, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

If you’ve been afraid to tell them you want to end your marriage, what is it that you’re truly afraid of? Hurting them? Feeling guilty? What they will do?

If you’re afraid of what they’ll do when you tell them it’s over, then you need to prepare for the worst reaction and hope for the best. You might even need help telling them you’re leaving and that’s OK. The point is that you’re being honest about what’s best for you.

If you’re afraid of hurting them, there’s no way around that if they want the relationship. However, you can minimize the hurt they feel by being honest and direct about things being over. And when you do your best to minimize the pain you cause them, you’ll have fewer feelings of guilt.

If you’re hoping that your partner/spouse will end the relationship for you, you’re disrespecting yourself and them. When you manipulate someone else to make your decisions for you, you’re not behaving in an ethical manner which hurts both of you.

If you’re loath to break your marriage vows of for better or worse and ‘til death do us part, but you’re miserable in your marriage, then you need to do some soul searching.

For a marriage work, both spouses need to work to maintain it. You can’t do it on your own and you don’t need to remain miserable.

Regardless of the reasons you are considering cheating to end your relationship, if things are over for you, then they’re over.

The kindest and most ethical way you can end your relationship for yourself and your mate is not by choosing to cheat, but by having an honest, direct and respectful conversation with them.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. I help people make it through their divorce journey and create a happy post-divorce life. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.

Looking for more information about the repercussions of cheating? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Surviving Infidelity.

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