Infidelity is no joke, but it happens more commonly than you’d think. Whether you’re in a marriage that’s lost its fizzle or you find yourself increasingly bored with your life, an innocent crush on someone can turn into much more and end up ruining a relationship. Additionally, holding onto secrets can be really stressful, and so can keep track of a pile of lies. If you’re considering an affair or have already started one, here are all the lessons you need to know from others who have been unfaithful.
1. Humans are capable of anything
You can tell yourself that you have a very strict moral code and set of values, but ultimately, there are specific scenarios where we will end up doing things we never thought ourselves capable of. Even if cheating doesn’t line up with whom you think you are and you think you’re “better than that,” an affair will sweep that self-righteous attitude right out from under you.
2. It’s a way to distract yourself from your own life
Reading a book might be a healthier way to escape into fantasy, but people often choose an affair. Whether they’re bored or unhappy, an affair is the easiest way to distract themselves from all the things that are wrong in your relationship. It’s a drug of choice because it can be filled with potent emotions like intense cravings and painful withdrawals.
3. You can easily end up where you never thought you would
No matter what your reason is for beginning an affair, there’s always a reason. You can always find a way to rationalize it. Usually, the reason relates to an existing problem in your relationship, so you’re better off examining that first. While we’re all doing the best we can, it’s important to take a look at what you feel is missing in your relationship and figure out what to do about it. Then, you can either work on the issue or mutually end the relationship with respect instead of having an affair.
4. Communication and trust are key
You might cheat because you’re miserable in a relationship, feeling neglected or undesired. Many people cheat to feel more in control and have more power in their relationships. That’s why a lack of communication and mistrust should always be examined in a relationship.
5. Guilt isn’t worth it
Many people can realize that infidelity is wrong and stop it in its tracks. However, keeping that big secret from your partner might make you feel a debilitating guilt that can have serious repercussions on your health. After all, high stress levels aren’t good for anyone. Even if you’ve learned that an affair isn’t worth it, remember that you can’t control how bad you feel about hurting someone, whether you reveal the infidelity or keep it a secret.
6. The best sex of your life can have regrets
It’s impossible to deny. The sex that comes with an illicit affair can be amazing. Despite having a mind-blowing time in bed, you’re also experiencing a lapse in judgment, and getting sloppy with your secrets means that you might and probably will get caught. If you’re ok with potentially ending the relationship or causing long-term alienation, go for it!
7. Be brave and take the jump when the relationship is over
Although it can be tempting to keep cheating and remain in an unhappy relationship, it’s not doing anyone a favor. Instead, it’s time to be courageous and own up to your affair. If you can’t do that, at least give the other person the courtesy of ending the relationship based on existing concerns you already have. Unhappy couples stay together longer than they should, but happiness should be your primary motive in life, and sometimes, ending an unhappy marriage is the best way to regain that joy.
8. An affair can be necessary to leave their spouse
Leaving a marriage or long-term relationship can be extremely hard, and it’s a lot easier to exit an old relationship if you’re entering a new one. That’s why many relationships end due to a partner leaving their love for someone new. While those new relationships might not last, they can help kickstart a new chapter and help you get over your ex more quickly than if you were left on your own.