As unfair and hurtful as adultery may be, it's not an act that only bad people perform; good people can cheat on their significant others, too. The way you deal with adultery in your marriage is entirely up to you; there's no right action to take. While some people may want a divorce, others may want to try to work it out. Like we said, the best thing to do is what feels right for you and your relationship, not what others expect or want you to do.
One thing most cheating spouses do before they actually commit adultery is to justify their actions. Adulterers know that what they're doing is wrong, but they are still able to go through with it because they've managed to convince themselves that it's okay for a number of reasons. Some may say, "It's just going to happen once," while others could think, "It's with a stranger, so it doesn't mean anything." Cheaters are excellent negotiators and will believe just about anything to lessen the guilt over betraying their spouse.
One thing to remember is that your spouse is not thinking about you when they're considering adultery. By that, we mean you're not one of the reasons they're giving themselves permission to stray. You are not to blame for your spouse's affair. So if they cheated and you want to understand how they were able to go through with it despite loving you and your life together, keep reading to learn the five most common things cheaters tell themselves to justify their behavior.
My Spouse Will Get Over It
Often, people who cheat tell themselves that if their spouse were to find out about their behavior, they would get over it. They might justify their actions by blaming their S.O. for ignoring their needs, not showing them enough affection, or not seeming to care about them anymore. However, no matter how troubled the relationship might be, guessing that a spouse or long-term partner wouldn't care about an affair is a lofty assumption.
On some level, they probably know this, but believing the lies they tell themselves is probably easier than accepting what they've done: broken the trust within their relationship.
I'll Never Do It Again
Maybe the thought of cheating had never occurred to your partner until they were put in a position to actually do it. For instance, if they're out with their friends and an attractive stranger shows interest, they may just do cheat without thinking because the opportunity is right there. If they took a minute to consider what cheating could mean for their relationship and what it would do to you, they would probably not have gone through with it. If it all happened so fast, they might think, "I just want to do this one time, and I'll never even think about doing it again."
Unless you married a truly bad person, chances are, they'll be showing signs of guilt or remorse after they commit adultery. If you have any suspicions, don't sit back and hope they'll go away. The best thing to do is ask your partner for the truth.
If you've ever been cheated on, you understand first-hand the feelings of betrayal, anger, and frustration that can come with it—even if your relationship had its fair share of problems. A victim of adultery might question their self-worth or value as a partner. In cases where your partner really meant it when they said they'd just cheat that one time when they weren't really given a minute to think about it, you have to know that they didn't cheat because of you.
I'm Not in Love With My Spouse
A person who cheats on their partner might try to justify the situation by assuring themselves that they're no longer in love and that the relationship has been over for a long time. Someone who does this may emotionally remove themselves from their relationship in order to make sense of their choice to break vows and other promises made.
I'm Not a Bad Person
A cheating spouse might also try to tell themselves that they are not a bad person even though they're doing a bad thing. After all, good people can mess up every now and then, right? That may be true, but it doesn't exactly suffice as a good reason to cheat. They may truly believe that they've done all they can do to save their marriage and that they deserve to be happy—even if that's with someone other than their spouse.
That also may be true, but the time to explore options other than their spouse is after they're legally separated.
I Couldn't Help Myself
Although it's tempting to define ethical behavior on your own terms, they should know that sleeping with someone without telling their spouse feels especially cruel no matter how they try to justify it. Your spouse may try to explain his impulsive behavior the same way you would after having that second piece of dessert when you swore you wouldn't, but as we all know, the situations aren't exactly on the same level.
They may say they had a momentary lapse of judgment or completely lost control, which is something everyone has certainly experienced. Still, when their thoughtless actions hurt someone they agreed to love and be faithful to for the rest of your lives, they have to take some responsibility.