I have cheated in the past. I have shared about this at our events at Joy, Inc. over the past year. It’s a horrible thing. It shatters trust, it damages connection, and thus makes it difficult for people to feel safe.
Humans need the safety that stability brings, in order to give more and more of themselves, especially in intimate relationships.
When a person cheats, they tamper with stability and slowly destroy safety. When people are not safe, they act out in ways that are not true to their essential nature. Because, now, they are acting out of fear. And unfortunately for many of those, they can hold on to that fear, even when the cause of the fear has long gone - damaging subsequent relationships.
For your sake and the sake of those you leave, avoid cheating on your partner. Or at least tell the truth about it.
But how about you that has been cheated on? Someone asked me the other day: What should I do?
I have a very simple answer to that: Don’t take it personal.
As far as I know, it’s the most important thing to do when you’re cheated on, or when you think you’re being cheated on.
Cheating is not about you. It’s about the other person. In my case, it was about deep feelings of insecurity that I have written about in my 18-month diary on The Daily Vulnerable. It was about feeling inadequate and looking for an endless string of people to help me fill a hole that was illusory. It was never about my partners. They could not have been any more beautiful, loving, successful, or committed. There was nothing they could have done.
It’s always about the cheat. Maybe they are greedy. Maybe they are selfish. Maybe they are entitled. Maybe they have huge egos. Maybe they don’t know where self control lives. It’s not about them.
Too many people don’t actually leave cheating partners because the partner cheated. They leave because they believe the partner doesn’t love them, or they weren’t good enough. It’s often a mistake.
Leave if you must. Leave if your spirit has been violated irreparably. Leave because it’s not proper for anyone to treat your commitment so cavalierly, and that alone is enough reason. Take whatever action aligns with your integrity and the life you choose to live.
But to leave because you think it’s about you? That the person doesn’t love you? That the person doesn’t think you’re enough? Be absolutely sure before you assign that reason to your action.
Don’t make someone else’s crazy about you.