Can cheating be good for a relationship

Added: Emelda Scoles - Date: 31.10.2021 03:18 - Views: 24401 - Clicks: 6043

Posted June 26, Reviewed by Lybi Ma. The general thinking about why people cheat on a committed relationship partner is that there is a problem with either the cheater or the relationship. Often, we assume that cheaters have a pathology, some unresolved trauma or dysfunction, or at best a form of emotional immaturity, that pushes them into infidelity. Other times, we assume that the primary relationship is flawed in some ificant way that creates a perceived need for external sex and intimacy. Either way, we tend to view infidelity as symptomatic of underlying problems.

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And guess what, more often than not, this is the case. Sometimes the cheater has an attachment deficit disorder. Sometimes the cheater has unresolved childhood trauma and uses the excitement of illicit sex and romance as a distraction from painful feelings. Sometimes the cheater knows that he or she is in a lousy relationship and uses those feelings to justify the infidelity or to locate a new partner before abandoning the old one.

Sometimes the primary relationship lacks sexual fire or emotional intimacy, so the cheater has a one-night stand or an affair to fill the void. And so it goes. So there the cheater sits, Can cheating be good for a relationship in his or her relationship, but still cheating and wondering why. What I have learned over the course of nearly three decades as a therapist specializing in sex and intimacy issues is that infidelity is often a symptom of a flawed personality or relationship, but not always.

Some people are reasonably emotionally healthy and in a wonderful primary relationship, and they still choose to cheat. And this is true for both men and women. Esther Perel, who verbalizes this idea in her book The State of Affairssuggests four reasons why people who are generally well adjusted and happy in their primary relationship might nevertheless engage in infidelity, risking their marriagetheir home, their family, their standing in their church or community, and more.

Searching for a new sense of self is likely the most powerful of these reasons and it may encompass the other three. About this, Perel writes:. People stray for a multitude of reasons, and every time I think I have heard them all, a new variation emerges.

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But one theme comes up repeatedly: affairs as a form of self-discovery, a quest for a new or a lost identity. For these seekers, infidelity is less likely to be a symptom of a problem and is more often described as an expansive experience that involves growth, exploration, and transformation. For these cheaters, infidelity is an exploration of never experienced or long-repressed parts of the self.

It is freedom from who they have been and currently are. The forbidden cookie just tastes extra sweet. That is the seductive nature of the transgression. Because the cheater is not supposed to have extracurricular sex and romance, he or she wants it even more.

For children and teens, pushing limits in this way is a natural exploration of Can cheating be good for a relationship and the world. As an adult, infidelity can feel like more of the same. They think about the one that got away, or the one that never was, or the life they could have had if only. So, they indulge their curiosity. Again, this is a form of self-exploration, where infidelity introduces the individual to the stranger within. Lastly, happy people who cheat may do so to experience new or exiled emotions. Again, this is a form of self-exploration.

Men can be especially vulnerable to this, as they are often told, as they grow up, to repress and not express their emotions.

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Unfortunately, in so doing they often stifle joy as well as sorrow, pleasure as well as pain. For these individuals, regardless of genderinfidelity is more of an emotional release than a sexual release. And once again, these cheaters are exploring their inner self. Are some reasons for cheating better than others? And does the answer to that question really matter? From the perspective of the betrayed partner, probably not. For the betrayed partner, sexual betrayal hurts the same, no matter the underlying cause, and there is no good reason to do it. From a therapy standpoint, however, the reasons a person cheats do matter.

If a person is happy in his or her relationship and cheats as a way of exploring the self, the approach to healing is very different than with a person who cheats as a misguided way of addressing personal pathology, unresolved childhood trauma, emotional immaturity, or problems within the relationship.

Robert Weiss, Ph. Robert Weiss Ph. Relationships Essential Re. About the Author. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine. July Who Is Can cheating be good for a relationship True You? Back Today. How Does a Female Psychopath Behave? How to Detect an Unreliable Partner. Essential Re.

Can cheating be good for a relationship

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