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I’m a firm believer that when the balance of a relationship is destroyed by cheating, not all the blame lies solely with the offending party.
Don’t get me wrong — there are definitely times when a cheater is fully at fault for their own flawed decisions.
They may have the most caring, dedicated, and compatible partner in the world, yet they give in to temptation in a moment of weakness for purely selfish reasons.
Watch: Relationship deal breakers. Post continues below.
But I think that’s the exception to the rule. In most cases, the relationship is falling apart in some way before the cheating even happens. And when a couple starts experiencing major conflict before any cheating has occurred, it’s usually the fault of both to some extent.
Often there are hurtful mistakes committed by both sides, and one half of a couple eventually turns to cheating as a way to cope or distract from the bigger issues.
What leads to cheating?
Imagine that a wife loses her job, and it places a tonne of stress on her marriage financially.
Say her husband starts drinking to deal with the stress. Say she loses her libido as a result of her stress and the fact that she feels neglected by his drinking.
She eventually starts arguments with him, because she’s rightfully upset. But in her arguing, she insults him and verbally abuses him. She hits below the belt, so he does the same in return.
His response is to eventually storm out of the house and go to a bar. At that point, he turns to cheating on her because it seems easier than dealing with the constant conflict in their marriage.
In this hypothetical scenario, both members of the marriage have made poor decisions. Both have mistreated their spouse in one way or another.
My intention is not to excuse anyone who cheats. I don’t think it’s ever a helpful or moral option. However, I do think when cheating happens, it is often a result of an already fractured couple, where both members have hurt each other in one way or another.