The overall opinion is very clear, being cheated on is one of the worst things you can do to a person who loves you and has put their trust in you. No one deserves to be put through the crushing pain someone suffers from a betrayal like that. But do the cheaters feel the same way? Bill and Emma, two cheaters, give us their thoughts of the inexcusable act they carried out.
Emma was in a relationship for two years. She explains “our relationship was really bad at the time. He was obsessed with his xbox. He had no respect for me, he never came to visit me at university and we just lost contact so our relationship kind of fizzled out anyways.”
Emma tells us “I went home to surprise him one weekend, He opened the door and said ‘what the hell are you doing here, I’m playing xbox all evening.’ There was no happiness or appreciation for the effort I had made for him, I just got rejected for his xbox.”
But does this condone cheating? Being treated with little respect in a relationship is not a good way to live your life, but it doesn’t then give you the right to treat this person with the same level of disrespect. You are then just lowering yourself to their level and both then being as bad as each other, maybe even worse.
Why did you cheat?
E. He wasn’t a nice person to me. He didn’t deserve me anymore, he didn’t make the effort which I was willing to put up with in terms of the commitment I was giving towards him.
But as Lily said previously, the minute it goes through your head that you want to see or do anything with anyone else, then you’d know you shouldn’t be with that person anymore. Could cheating then be seen as the cowardly way out of the relationship? Emma says “It was almost a relief for an excuse to finally break up with him.” However, there was no reason why she couldn’t have broken up with him before the cheating occurred.
Q. Do you think you could forgive your other half if they cheated on you?
E. Probably not, depends on the situation and how It happened but probably not.
Bill, like Emma, cheated on his girlfriend of two years, he says:
B. As a person I rely on loyalty in a big way, and therefore if someone cheated on me I wouldn’t be able to trust them as wholly as I could before. So no, I couldn’t forgive them.
It can be seen as a mark of respect to your other half to tell them that you have cheated. (assuming all respect hasn’t gone already with the actual act of cheating.) However, in both cases neither Bill nor Emma told their other halves, they just ended the relationship. Bill says “It would have been unnecessary to hurt her more than breaking up with her already would. Since the relationship ended anyways there was no need to tell her.”
Emma said “I didn’t tell him at all. To be honest we kind of lost contact before anything happened anyways. We weren’t basically going out anymore because we hadn’t spoken to each other and he didn’t feel like my boyfriend anymore…it was really strange.”
Lily and harry were asked: would you rather have just been broken up with, or would you have wanted to know about the cheating?
L. I think I would still have wanted to know about the cheating. The outcome would probably still be the same but I deserved to know the truth
H. I’d rather have been told before she cheated about how she felt so we could either try and sort it out or decide it was best to stop going out. It was the lack of communication and deception that was the most impactful.
Referring back to Emma it can be seen that she should have spoken to her other half about how bad the situation had become for her, instead of taking the easy way out and cheating.
Stereotypically men can be seen as the regular culprits of cheating, through books, film, media they are usually the perpetrators… However, when our interviewees were asked, they felt there was little difference in the shame of the act regardless of the sex of the offender.
H. I think it’s completely equal. Dishonesty on a whole – I think there is no point to it
L. Probably the same I think. Because you’re still upsetting someone who thinks they can trust you
B. I’d argue both are equal, however when it comes to cheating men have to work for it which normally suggests intent. However, woman could do it with whomever they so pleased, and that’s always a constant threat to their significant other, so I’d say women.
Would you ever cheat again?
E. No, only because my current boyfriend’s dad had an affair and I think it would really affect him. I think because I’ve done it once before it’s just something I wouldn’t do again because it’s so sneaky and malicious.
B. If I was in an unhappy relationship where I was trying to leave but it proved difficult I would probably ‘Cheat’ but it would be with the intention to leave the relationship
So despite cheating themselves, there is overall agreement from Bill and Emma that cheating is wrong and they wouldn’t put up with it if they experience it as the victim.
The conclusions we can draw from these insightful interviews are clear. When it comes to cheating, of course don’t do it. But if you feel that you are heading in that direction talk to your other half about how you’re feeling. It is more than likely that you may just need reassurance in your relationship, maybe more of the right attention? And it’s not a crime to ask! Communication is everything. Honesty is the best policy if you have committed the sin, however you cannot expect your other half to trust you again, even if they can’t quite let go of you at the time of confession.
The reasons for cheating aren’t always clear, some use it as a way to get out of a relationship, some like the thrill of sneaking about, others use it as a malicious act to get back at their other half. From this all one thing is clear, cheating can never be seen as a good thing, and rarely do you get away with it without someone being excruciatingly hurt.
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