Can Cheating Help Relationships and Marriages?
My gut reaction if this question were posed publicly to the couples I know there would be a resounding “No” from the group, an EMPHATIC “No” from the women (with evil glares toward their husbands/men) and “Of course not” from the men (noticing the evil glare from their woman).
I also believe some people go down this path looking to justify an infidelity indiscretion on their own part.
However, there are times when cheating can be good for a marriage or relationship according to research conducted by Dr. Lucielle Ostertag from the Italian Institute of Social Sciences. Note, I have no idea how reputable that institute is!
The good doctor’s study concluded that husbands and wives who cheat on each other are more likely to remain married (than those who do not cheat). She further concluded, however, that long-term affairs, were detrimental to the marriage. Gee, ya think?
Obviously, the theory raised in this study has been met with a great deal of controversy included from yours truly.
Not only does it go against what we’ve been teaching in churches (and the Catholic church is HUGE in Italy) and communities over the last few hundred years and ever since the New Testament of the Bible. However, if you look back even further, the idea of one man for one woman is a relatively new concept some claim. Though if you look further you will find that the MEN may have had multiple child bearing partners but seldom the women.
It was all about survival of the species. And in the Old Testament of the Bible a barren woman would often offer her maid to her husband to bear children on her behalf! Such was the shame of being childless. Understand, though, that these relationships were NOT about sex, NOT about love or commitment but about bearing children to propagate the clan and provide needed workers for the family to survive.
When Does Cheating In A Relationship (Marriage) Work?
According to Dr. Ostertag’s research, cheating works best when:
- it’s done far from home
- is a short-lived fling
- when couples adopt a “don’t ask; don’t tell” philosophy about their cheating
Some couples even plan for cheating and establish ground rules so that it works for them. I would argue, though, that these “arrangements” are in the confines of a marriage that is more like a partnership, not a true marriage. I highly suspect that these couples would think nothing of divorce and reiterating the same marriage “vows” to another person within a short period of time.
In short, their word (vows) really don’t mean that much.
How Can People Believe Cheating is Good?
People believe anything.
People believe what they WANT to believe.
Many find it hard to understand why or how it could possibly be a good thing. The problem with many marriages is that you do marry your best friend. You love each other, but over time, the newness of it all, the sexual excitement, waivers.
The theory is that turning to a short-term alternative, allows a little newness and excitement into the relationship without sacrificing the emotional bond or love the husband and wife have for one another. Lots of luck on that.
Perhaps more effort should be focused on bringing the excitement BACK to the marriage.
Some rationalize that cheating can help make marriages stronger by confirming that the grass is perfectly green within the marriage. Sometimes, the affair serves to affirm the loving relationship you have at home. And other times, jealousy rears its ugly head, or one partner thinks the other is cheating “too much” (cheating at cheating) and the relationship breaks apart.
Can Cheating Be Good For All Relationships?
Quite the contrary, we believe that cheating is not good for ANY relationship. Trust is too important to a marriage or serious relationship, and especially to women.
Some people actually believe that those vows they uttered on the altar should not be broken (Hmm, there’s a thought). Forsaking all others is one usually of those vows.
Maybe some marriages are, according to the two who are in the marriage, better off to allow cheating. Of course, only time will tell if they truly do stay together or eventually one of them does find someone “better” or “accidentally” fall in love with Mr./Ms. hottie from the hotel bar far, far away.
The bottom line is that if you want to try to justify your cheating, you will believe whatever you want. There is a study by someone, somewhere out there to back you up.
If you really want a relationship that lasts for the long term, work on making it better each and every day from within, not by adding someone else to the mix.
Has there already been damage done in your relationship by cheating or some other transgression? See if this video can get you on the road to fixing it and living happily ever after with the one you are committed to.