“If you love someone, why would you cheat?”
We have all heard this statement or variations of it. There is no place for a cheater in polite society. And yet, here we are with a skyrocketing 20% of Americans who admit to physically cheating on their spouses, and an even higher rate of those admitting to emotional infidelity. With those staggering stats, how can we still define the North American society as predominantly monogamous? Does cheating on a spouse not negate the very foundation of love and monogamy?
Earlier this year I ran a poll on cheaters and monogamy, and if a cheater was regarded as monogamous. The surprise factor from this poll was that overwhelmingly people put cheaters into an other’s category. They were not monogamous, and not quite non-monogamous, instead they were a category unto themselves, a more gray area. For full survey results and analysis please check out my link here (http://www.breakingawayfrommonogamy.com/2019/04/16/cheaters-and-monogamy/).
With your monogamous status in jeopardy after an indiscretion, it stands to reason that the monogamous love you had for your partner should also come into question. But let’s move a little deeper, and bypass the typical “why did the person cheat question”, and go into something more relevant. Would the indiscretion have happened if monogamy was not our societies default relationship norm?
What if, when people chose their partners, they also, chose their own unique relationship style? Something that worked for them and allowed them to be true to their definition of monogamy.
There is no doubt that cheating destroys family bonds. That breech of trust puts cracks in the very relationship foundation that often cannot be filled back. But what if we chose a relationship norm that focused on the bonds of love, and asked ourselves honestly, what would it take to stay in a loving partnership forever? Would that include the ability to flirt outside of the marriage, perhaps have a meaningless fling on a business trip, or even allowing for some sexual exhibitionism within the loving support of both parties. A way for a long-term couple to still feel sexy, desired, and spice up their own intimate life, even if just slightly.
If we rethink the word “cheating”, and what that looks like in a relationship, two strong communicators should be able to negotiate a way to have all their needs met in a loving bond, and remove the cheating possibility from their relationship. And yes, by discussing what cheating looks like, you can find a way to do this in a supportive and loving monogamous relationship.
We just need to start asking the tough questions, and defining our relationship wants and needs in a more open way.