If You Cheat On Your Partner, You Do Not Love Your Partner

If You Cheat On Your Partner, You Do Not Love Your Partner. Period.

If You Cheat On Your Partner, You Do Not Love Your Partner

End of story.

I never really gave much thought to cheating growing up. I knew what it was but because it was something that was never close to me, it simply wasn’t on my radar. In my mind, it was something you see in movies, something to give what might have been a mundane plot, a bit of a twist. But as we all know, movies and reality are two different beasts entirely.

Then when I was about 11 years old, my mother’s best friend, M, got divorced. Because I was close friends with her daughter, I was told that when her mom sat her and her brothers down to explain why their dad was leaving, it was because he loved his secretary instead.

I didn’t realize at the time how much of a cliché it was but what I was able to deduce was that he had cheated. It took him all of one month to get remarried after the divorce was final. Although I wouldn’t get the particulars until years later, that was my first introduction to cheating.

Read 9 Relationship Habits That Are More Harmful Than Cheating

When my own husband cheated, I reached out to my mom’s best friend. Now that I was an adult, I could talk to her about it because we’re both victims of a cliché: She was left for her husband’s secretary and I was left for a child… er, I mean a 20-year-old (which, to be honest, is a child since my husband is 48 and has an 18-year-old daughter from a previous relationship).

During that discussion, I was finally really able to see just how much of a betrayal cheating is. In my case, I was fortunate enough to not have children with my husband, but M wasn’t so lucky. She had had three children with hers, the youngest being just a baby when he told her he didn’t love her and walked out. And just as my husband tried to justify his own actions, M’s husband did the same.

It was the same bullsh*t of “I used to love you, but now I found this person whom I love better and love more.” Or as it was in my case, “I thought you were my soulmate, but B is my actual soulmate because we both love The Beatles and have the same birthday.”

Ah, the babbling rationale of a 48-year-old man who’s going through a midlife crisis.

But what I came to realize through all the tears, the drama, and the piles of sh*t  I sent through the mail to him is this: My husband never loved me. If you love someone, you don’t cheat on them. End of story.

Call me crazy, but I think there’s a lot of components in love. If you genuinely love someone, you respect them, for starters. You also emotionally support them, give them a high-five when they do something great, care for them when they’re sick in bed with the flu, stand by them when things get scary, hold their hand when they need you, and look toward to the future together as a partnership. That’s what love is.

So when you cheat on your spouse, you’re cheating on all of that. You’re betraying every single one of those components and essentially making a mockery of what you once dared to call love

If you cheat, what you’ve really done is said, “I don’t love you. I never loved you. I never respected you. I never cared for you. All of this was a lie.”

70 thoughts on “If You Cheat On Your Partner, You Do Not Love Your Partner”

  1. One could equally declare of you truly love someone you would forgive them their failure. Prairie voles exhibit 2 types of behavior 1-monogamous and 2. – non monogamous. Interesting thing is by tweaking the genes, they can turn the philandering vole into a monogamous one.

  2. Well, crap…cheating is cheating and there can be a million reasons if you want to search for a reason to make it more acceptable…..It is not acceptable to me and I will tell you why. When you love someone, that comes with self discipline. When you are in a committed relationship, married or not, if monogamy is a principle of the relationship, then one must discipline themselves and tell themselves no sometimes out of respect and love for the partner. Love is sacrifice of the ego and if our ego is fed by multiple partners, best stay out of an exclusive relationship. Once trust is broken, it is hell to gain back and then what you end up with is a very toxic and tragic relationship that is not meaningfully satisfying for anyone. If your a cheater, never commit to anyone at all, unless you are mean and cruel and just want to hurt people and then you are a sociopath or psychopathy which means you are SICK…. On the other hand, some couples have an open relationship and if you do, more power to you…have fun and get after it….

  3. I think there are different levels of “Love”. I think polarity is involved … if all you have ever experienced is a little “hurt” in your life then you can only feel “love” to that same degree … I think this is probably one of the most important reasons we all face “hurt” in it’s many forms. That being said, it becomes a relative question that cannot be answered in general terms to be applied to the world as a whole.

    1. Huh?? Are you saying yes it’s ok to cheat on the person you love. Love between a man and woman means commitment. If you don’t have that it isn’t love.

    2. Of course I am not saying it is on to cheat on someone you have made a commitment to … under any circumstances. In this life the only thing you truly have is your word and that means everything. I have been on the receiving end of unfaithfulness … suffice to say I was devastated. The point I was trying to make was that if you are in what was intended to be a monogamous relationship and you are not deeply and passionately in love with your partner the relationship eventually fizzles out and you lose interest … it is not exciting enough to keep you interested. From my own experience and observation, most, if not all of the couples I know are not ok with themselves enough to be in a healthy relationship that doesn’t include at least some codependency. You have to reach a state of mind where you realize that to be in a healthy relationship you must first be healthy and happy alone … that is to say you cannot count on someone outside of you for your happiness. Also to be considered is chemistry between two individuals. If you are lucky enough to have found both, individual happiness and chemistry, you are indeed fortunate … it is rare. So … lol …. my point was that you have to have experienced some serious pain in your life to love someone else so deeply … if you’re both there and there is chemistry you have a something absolutely magnificent and there is little, if any, chance of unfaithfulness. Just my humble perspective.

    3. Ruben Gonzales Of course I am not saying it is on to cheat on someone you have made a commitment to … under any circumstances. In this life the only thing you truly have is your word and that means everything. I have been on the receiving end of unfaithfulness … suffice to say I was devastated. The point I was trying to make was that if you are in what was intended to be a monogamous relationship and you are not deeply and passionately in love with your partner the relationship eventually fizzles out and you lose interest … it is not exciting enough to keep you interested. From my own experience and observation, most, if not all of the couples I know are not ok with themselves enough to be in a healthy relationship that doesn’t include at least some codependency. You have to reach a state of mind where you realize that to be in a healthy relationship you must first be healthy and happy alone … that is to say you cannot count on someone outside of you for your happiness. Also to be considered is chemistry between two individuals. If you are lucky enough to have found both, individual happiness and chemistry, you are indeed fortunate … it is rare. So … lol …. my point was that you have to have experienced some serious pain in your life to love someone else so deeply … if you’re both there and there is chemistry you have a something absolutely magnificent and there is little, if any, chance of unfaithfulness. Just my humble perspective.

  4. She’s still very angry and unable to look at it rationally. It’s not a black or white issue. People cheat for a million reasons. Usually because they are either very, very unhappy in the current relationship but lack the courage to leave or they are very immature emotionally, depressed, have substance abuse issues, etc, etc. It’s a very damaging thing to do to another person but I don’t think you can generalize with “they didn’t really love their spouse”. People hurt those they love all the time. It’s life.

  5. I have cheated, but I didn’t love him and the relationship was basically over anyway and it was a way for me to get out. Not making excuses, not saying what I did was right. I’m much older now and i realise that I never loved the man I cheated on, even though at the time i thought I did.

    I am in love, really in love now and I have been with this man on and off for over three years, he’s the one making mistakes, but even when we aren’t together, I can’t be with anyone else. That’s love.

    I would feel confident that he didn’t love me if he had an emotional/sexual relationship with another woman. But, random shags doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me. I believe it’s just sex. Mind you, he’s never had sex with anyone else while we’ve been together, only when we’ve been separated. But it still hurts.

  6. Cheating is hiding what you are doing with a person outside of your current relationship. Which would mean that cheating is lying and lying is a total disrespect of the person or people you are involved with. Respect and honesty are what love is built apon in a realtionship without both of those you have nothing.

  7. Cheating is the ultimate betrayal. That’s what happened to me in my last relationship. She got caught and I immediately ended the relationship – no second chances, because I wasn’t going to fall into that trap. She begged, but I refused, because all of that trust and respect was gone. Without those two, no relationship will ever work.

  8. I love my spouse with every fibre of my being, and we have an open relationship. He has other sexual partners as do I. I mainly have more partners than he. These other partners are not nothing, yet they are fully aware of my deep love for my husband. They are second in my life, to my husband. They have lives of their own. Some single, some married. Im told I enrich and benefit their lives also. I don’t feel this is wrong. If you do, that’s your choice. No body feels less here. Is it the lying that bothers most people? (I chose to be in this type of relationship)

    1. But your not cheating. You are not lying to any of the people you are involved with (and i hope none of them are lying to their other partners either). An open relationship means that you are honest with all parties involved. Honesty is the basis on which real love is built. Without honesty there cant be respect and therefore cant be love.

  9. Check out Sternberg’s Triangle Theory of Love. Then ask yourself how likely it is to find the perfect person to “make you whole” (ie. make up for your incompetancies). Most marriages are 2/3 in the triangle. After some time, the missing part(s) accummulate — like the garbage if neither of you takes it out. Such a deficit makes the one most upset with the situation look elsewhere – not because (s)he’s intentionally being bad, but because there’s an unmet need that neither of you is addressing. If you stonewall or avoid talking about unmet needs, then you reap your own impoverished crop. In an extrovert-extrovert relationship conflict is the force that thrives. In an introvert-introvert relationship loyalty and trust are paramount, but violate this and it’s history. In an extrovert-introvert relationship, the extrovert talks and doesn’t listen, while the introvert listens and doesn’t brave talking. End game. If your spouse communicates a need, it is your duty to help him/her find an equitable solution. If you can’t, you must look outside the marriage for help. In some cases, open marriages work really well for those whose physical or emotional or mental health problems prevent the physical intimacy part of Sternberg’s triangle. Rules must be made though – as in no disease transmission and no breaking of private emotional trusts. Another example is when one spouse is brilliant and the other is, well, stupid. The mismatch leaves them both unhappy. Or when one is cold and the other is warm. Psychology has shown that opposites do not attract – they naturally repel when it comes to human relationships. If you don’t bother to figure out why there may be or is cheating, your problem was never the cheating. It was the inability to communicate and negotiate in good faith. PERIOD.

    1. Why would a parent then need a spouse? Why not just use a child? Oh horror, you gasp? Yes, horror. Many people are quite inappropriate as spouses, and often we don’t realize this until we’re legally knotted. Some of us chose to stay together and lie in the beds we made for ourselves, but sooner or later it fails. Problems unresolved accummulate. Yet society expects us to stick it out – to pay forever for a mistake. Some people (like very highly gifted geniuses) are such hard pieces to fit with a mate that few mates are found. What if the only suitable mate for you happened to be snatched up by someone who is easy to find a mate for? “Lots of good fish in the sea” doesn’t apply to everyone, and not being an easy fit is not necessarily the fault of the person that is left wanting. For every bad trait you have, there is a good one. Consider the bad as the price you pay for what you do well.

    1. It is possible to love more than one person at a time – our hearts are big enough for it. The problem comes with keeping emotional confidences (and avoiding diseases). I’m not saying it’s a good thing or that I endorse it. What I am saying is that divided attention hurts when one is emotionally dependant. It breeds jealousy, just as it does when we were children and your sibling got attention from a parent while you did not. Let’s say for argument’s sake that you would be guaranteed equal attention and loyalty and care as “the evil other”, and for some reason, your share was not any less than you had before (maybe (s)he’s now retired and has won a lottery). Would you still be as upset? Do you really OWN your significant other? Or is (s)he an individual deserving of his/her own life’s path? Just food for thought.

  10. I agree there was no love there.. I don’t care what the excuse was… Cheating is selfish.. no regard to the other. The blame game , doesn’t work… know yourself enough, love yourself enough, to take nothing personal.. even when they throw it at you…

  11. Love comes in many shades. But cheating, lying, behaving different so your partner is living in a fantasy, is not what true love is about. The hurt involved is too severe to be acceptable. Only the cheater benefits.

    1. Rethink that. Imagine the pain of realizing the one you were in love with isn’t helping you get what you need. Imagine the angst about bringing the subject up to your spouse who you know is going to reply with an angry “I should be enough for you!” Imagine the pains taken to have to sneak around, hiding funds for liasons, being careful not to be seen by any mutual acquaintances, snatching moments, having your affair be angry because of all this stress, feeling the eyes on you for the fact that you need and nobody understands, the guilt of hurting children as well as spouse that you may still love to a good extent, the conflict within to try to do the right thing by everyone, the financial ruin of divorce, and the perpetual guilt for messing it up for everyone, including the affair. All because a spouse was closed to communicating. It’s definitely no picnic on either side, nor on the side of the affair’s situation.

  12. I’d never do that, but can love two people at once. You can also do something stupid in the heat of the moment and that’s lust, not love. I’ve stopped judging people who do this because the reasons are endless.

    1. If one judges one of the pair, one must also judge the other of the pair, and so incur one’s own judgement in return. I’ve no doubt that my postings today will result in a horrendous outcry as a proponent of cheating, which I definitely am not. But I’ve seen the trouble in many marriages, seen it in my parents and friends’. I have never cheated, and never will. My marriage is now 36 years strong, and it has survived because we made an open marriage – he did not take care of himself and became disabled, both physically and mentally so that he is nothing like the man I married. He did a disservice to me. What could I do but try to get him to take better care of himself? So yes, I tried an affair with permission and rules. I found it unsatisfactory and I remain not a cheater. But kudos to the man I married for trying to work out a solution. And yes, it is possible to truly love more than one significant other simultaneously without harm. I disclose this so that the next couple that opts for an open marriage will NOT be judged by people who are not in their shoes – people who have no idea what it is like to never be held by their spouse that they must still stand by and live with for the sake of a promise made so long ago.

  13. I agree with them, cheating and lying aren’t love. Lying, hiding things from your partner, means you don’t respect them enough to let them see the real you, and you’re denying them the right to make their own informed decisions within the relationship. It’s abuse of trust. Love is being vulnerable and lies aren’t that.

    1. Not listening to a partner and being unwilling to work things out isn’t love or respect either. The “real you” is what? Something detestable? As for informed decisions – whose decision is it to allow an affair? How many would say yes? That’s why the question is never brought up. One spouse is controlling the other, and the other flies for freedom. This strangulation of the right to navigate your own life is also abuse. Love is sacrifice, and it is painful and makes one vulnerable, yes. But there comes a time when it becomes too much to bear for those who happened to make the mistake of marrying the wrong person. You wouldn’t want to be judged on a single exam taken on one day that casts your future irrevocably in stone, would you? That’s just what a wedding day is. Hopefully many couples will, as the individuals that they also are, get it right straight off, but that’s a very rare situation! Nobody completes you perfectly without leaving any holes. Nobody.

    1. Some people are, for being a hard puzzle piece to fit. It’s not necessarily so that they are above the social norms of what is considered decency. It is not necessarily their fault, either. Our society dictates the norms, and we all try to fit in with that. But some just are unable to do that, and this more likely to do with their talents and strengths rather than their corruption. The corrupted people we hear about in the news are both very rare and quite exaggerated by the media for effect. (Some exceptions obviously apply.) People tend to lump everyone who even mildly varies with the norm as an outlier – a “bad” person. People exclude rather than include. The oddballs (like creatives, introverts, empaths) tend to include – to their detriment. It’s these oddballs that are hard to fit, but their gifts are highly valuable, even if society can’t recognize those gifts for what they are.

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