Sophisticated Love Lesson #7: Cheating
"If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you'll be married to a man who cheats on his wife" Ann Landers

Eating dinner with my family one night when I was nine years old, I watched my aunt cry so hard she had to be led out of the room because we were eating his favorite meal. At that moment I saw the pain that I thought love could  cause and knew I never wanted to feel that way. As much as I tried to avoid it, at 13 my first boyfriend cheated on me. I was embarrassed and completely humiliated. When I was cheated on, it felt as if I wasn't good enough. The pain  and those feelings stayed with me for a long time.   

"You can't go through life thinking everyone you meet will one day let you down" from the movie 'Angels in the Outfield'  (1994)

From then on I became ignorant and uncaring about whether someone cheated on me. If they didn't want me, they would leave. Until they left I didn't want to know if they cheated on me. More importantly,  I didn't want to know or face the fact that I wasn't good enough. In reality, it was the person who cheated who wasn't good enough for me.

No one understands why someone cheats until they are faced with opportunity to cheat. Cheating in a relationship is mysterious and is similar to  cheating on a test. It's easy and can be fun. Unfortunately, there is always that possibility of feeling guilty and eventually feeling bad about yourself for a very long time. And who wants to feel guilty or bad about themselves?

Cheating is done in response to feelings of wanting to feel secure. The comfort that once existed ends and now solace is being sought with someone new. People cheat for a reason. Cheating is not a random act. Sometimes cheating occurs because of a lack of understanding of what one or both people want out of the relationship. Other times it is because they have grown apart from the person they once loved.  

Cheating is can also be a result of lack of communication. Actions replace words. Hurtful and scared words are replaced by seeking comfort with another person. Instead of talking, hearing, or facing the truth people will seek solace with a new person fresh from the issues that existed in the current relationship. A new person is a new beginning. A new beginning is usually easier to deal with then  the problems of the past.

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple" Dr. Seuss             

Men and women cheat for the same reasons. There is no difference because men and women feel the same happiness when they are in love and the same pain when they fall out of love. To have to face the hard truths and issues of the reality of any relationship can be difficult. Yet, the answer is simple. The relationship is over. 

From the drama that can occur, cheating can make a simple answer difficult. A Sophisticate knows cheating in a relationship is merely a response to what her partner may not be providing. Therefore, if a Sophisticate cheats she will need ask herself whether  she is merely responding to the actions of her partner or she is really in love. 

If cheating is in response to her partner, then it is best for her to identify what she really wants from another person. Then, determine whether the person she is with can provide what she is looking for (See 'Sophisticated Love Lesson #4: The Fight'). People lose their way and in some relationships infidelity can become a stepping stone to a better more understanding relationship.

If she is  truly in love with the other person then it is best for her to end her  current relationship. The love she has with the person she is  having an affair with may be her true love  (See 'Sophisticated Love Rule #4: Three Great Loves') You can't truly love two people at the same time in the same way. There is only one person who can have your whole heart. 

"Marriage is not about settling on anyone. People cheat for the wrong reasons but they get married for the wrong ones as well" Anonymous

A Sophisticate knows that  the act of cheating is merely to avoid facing the problems in her current relationship. A Sophisticate believes in true love. She is a hopeless romantic. She believes in getting married only once.  She is strong enough to hope and wait for the best to come into her life. She is fearless and faces her problems.

Sophisticated Love Lesson #7: Cheating: In the end, no matter what pain has been left behind or obstacles lie ahead of her, she is fearless enough and good enough to be with the one man she truly loves 'til death do them part ;D