Getting cheated on, or even cheating on someone you love, can be one of the worst experiences in life. But can infidelity add some color into the vast gray of your dull romantic relationship? Are there truly any benefits of cheating in a relationship?
Infidelity is a sad reality that numerous couples in romantic relationships and marriages have to face. But cheating or getting cheated on doesn’t necessarily have to be a curse that ends a relationship. In fact, it can act as a catalyst that ignites romance and brings back some love into your relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. Getting cheated on hurts like hell and it breaks you from inside. Trust me, I know. It eats away your self-esteem and makes you doubt your own self-worth. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dark pit of abandonment where you lose yourself. It can be a ray of hope that can not only transform your relationship for the better, it can help you become a better, stronger, wiser person as well. There are indeed many benefits of cheating in a relationship.
Cheating breaks your heart
The day my girlfriend of 9 years confessed that she was having an emotional affair for the last few months behind my back and wanted to break up, I lost it. I screamed, I shouted, I physically abused her, I reasoned with her, I begged her and I manipulated her so that she wouldn’t leave me. Why? Simply because she would take my self-esteem, my self-confidence and my sense of self-worth with her. I couldn’t let her go, not because I was in love with her (although I was), but because I was scared how empty it would make me.
It broke me from inside. It broke my heart. It broke my mind. It broke my spirit. It made me someone I never was – an abusive, manipulative person who desperately tried to hold on to a past – a past where I was in a seemingly perfect relationship – that didn’t exist anymore. It made me needy and clingy to a person who was not in love with me anymore. I felt betrayed, guilty, ashamed, and most of all, unworthy.
Add to that, the shock and pain of knowing that you are not good enough to keep your partner happy. The realization that you are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Cheating breaks you. So how can there be any benefits of cheating in a relationship?
Cheating forces you to step up
After the initial shock, denial, anger, pain, negotiation and desperation, came introspection and awareness. And with it came true self-realization – I realized infidelity arises from unhealthy attachments and emotional insecurities in either partner.
I became too complacent and comfortable in the relationship. I stopped putting in any effort. Effort to show my love for her, effort to make her feel special, effort to show her how truly valuable she was to me. I took her for granted and took my relationship for granted.
I simply assumed that she knows how much I love her and there is no need of showing it on a daily basis. I assumed that she would assume I still loved her. I hope you can see how this can drive any woman into the arms of another man for the support, validation and approval she needs.
It is only when I stopped meeting her emotional needs, my partner went to someone else to get her needs met. It is only when she cheated on me, I realized the truth – I need to put in effort to make the relationship work.
Cheating heals you
The greatest effort I put in was to let her go. Realizing she was not happy and letting her go was not easy, but it made me a stronger, more empathetic and compassionate person. In a long time, this was the first time I acted selflessly.
Next I put in effort to improve myself and bring my life back in order. I started to get rid of bad habits and built new healthier ones. I put in effort to improve my health and my relationship with my friends and family. I put in effort to pursue my passions and learned new skills.
A few months down the line I became someone I always wanted to be, but could never become because I was too complacent. All thanks to emotional infidelity. It was the push I needed to realize that I was broken long before my girlfriend left me. It was the push I need to rebuild myself into a better person. These are the benefits of cheating in a relationship.