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One Of You Has Cheated, Now What? Steps To Navigating Trust, Honesty, and Infidelity

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Relationships. We all have them, but what makes a “good” intimate relationship? A great relationship can be defined in myriad ways, as people have varied needs and desires, of course. But cheating, and the accompanying lying, is never a hallmark of a good relationship. Would you stay with a cheating partner? Have you experienced this situation? Or maybe you were the cheater? Not even celebrities are immune.

Cheaters Try To Hide

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Cheating used to be something to be kept hidden. Now, with the advent of social media, text and email threads – and cameras everywhere – it is harder to hide. We bet you have seen the social media posts of spouses holding up signs at the airport saying, “Welcome Home Cheater,” and “Tom H. I Know You Cheated,” and similar signs meant to humiliate.

What Is Cheating, Anyway?

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We used to think having a physical relationship with a person outside of our prime intimate relationship was the definition of cheating. Now the definition of cheating is much broader. According to Kristen Fuller MD and Tristan McBain PhD, LPC, LMFT, NCC, who run the website, there are 7 types of infidelity:

  • Physical infidelity: Physical or sexual connection outside of the relationship. There may or may not be an emotional component between partners.
  • Emotional infidelity: Emotional attachment or intimacy with another person. Emotional affairs can do as much damage, if not more, to a relationship as a physical affair.
  • Cyber infidelity: Social media has made it easier for people to engage in online messages, chats, forums, or groups with sexual content. Cyber infidelity also includes viewing erotic stimuli, such as cheating via pornography.
  • Object infidelity: An obsession or interest outside of the relationship can result in what is known as an object affair. This is a situation where one partner is more focused on something such as work or their phone, which causes a distraction from the relationship.
  • Financial infidelity: Money can become a point of contention for many relationships. If it progresses to the point of financial infidelity, one partner may be deceitful about how much money they earn, how they earn money, how much debt they owe, and how they spend or loan out money. They may even have money hidden away in cash or other bank accounts that their partner doesn’t know about.
  • Micro cheating: A term for actions that bother a partner, such as flirting that crosses a line, but there is no intention of straying outside of the relationship.
  • Combined infidelity: When the infidelity includes more than one type. Many infidelities include elements of both sexual and emotional intimacies. A cyber affair may also be considered a form of emotional infidelity.”

Do Men or Women Cheat The Most?

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If you are the one being cheated on, it doesn’t matter what sex the other person is! But statistically, several studies have shown about 24% of men cheat, and about 19% of women. The studies often do not detail whether the men and women were straight, gay, or anywhere on a queer spectrum, which might or might not make a difference.

You Just Discovered Your Partner Cheated

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More often than not, the person being cheated upon is the one who discovers that the cheating occurred. Occasionally the cheater comes clean proactively. Would that matter to you, either way? If your partner cheated, but came to you to confess, would that make you more open to reconciliation?

What’s Worse, Cheating or Lying About It?

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Let’s say you find yourself in a situation where your partner lies about cheating. You find out, for sure, that they were cheating. Are you more upset about the cheating itself, or the lying? Then again, isn’t cheating behind your partner’s back lying anyway? Maybe they are one and the same.

“Reasons” For Cheating

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There are common factors that therapists hear from cheaters as to why they cheated in the first place, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy:

  • Dissatisfaction in the relationship (including sexual dissatisfaction or other causes)
  • Dissatisfaction with self
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of affection in the relationship
  • Addiction to sex, love, or romance
  • Major lifestyle changes including having children, or children moving away from home

Personality Traits of Cheaters

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According to reviews of studies in Psychology Today, a cheater in a romantic relationship will score higher on Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, and Extraversion. On the other hand, they score lower on Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

Some good news: Conscientiousness and Agreeableness increase with age. This could mean that chances of infidelity lessen as we age.

Does Therapy Make a Difference?

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Research conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 53% of married couples who experienced infidelity divorced within 5 years – even with therapy. Both partners have to be willing to work on the relationship, and the statistics tell us that even then, there are no guarantees.

Cheating is Leading Cause of Divorce

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According to a study in the Journal Personality and Individual Differences (2021), the most common reason for breakups and divorce is infidelity. 

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

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Statistically studies have shown that those who have cheated are more likely to cheat again. A 2017 study indicated that cheaters were three times as likely to cheat again, however it shouldn’t be looked upon as a given.

Therapists and psychologists are quick to point out that it all depends on how much work on self-awareness the cheater is willing to do.

If You Cheat and Want To Make Amends

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If you have cheated and want to repair your relationship, there are some necessary steps to take, according to therapists who help counsel couples:

  • Cut off contact with the person you cheated with
  • Apologize sincerely and promise not to do it again
  • Express remorse to your partner – and for yourself. In other words, mean it
  • Show empathy and that you understand how you harmed your partner
  • Emphasize safety for the harmed partner
  • Be willing to answer questions about your cheating
  • Be transparent moving forward to encourage trust
  • Talk about intense feelings with respect
  • Do not blame, criticize, pass judgment, or express contempt

A Relationship Can Survive Cheating

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Let’s end on an up note. Relationships can survive cheating. The statistic mentioned above means that 47% of marriages do survive. Therapists say honesty, patience, and support are key to re-building trust. It will take time. It will take hard work. It will take the ability to be open, vulnerable and communicate.

Celebrities Who Have Survived Cheating Scandals

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As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, there are celebrity couples who (as of this writing) have survived cheating within their relationship. There are many ways that celebrities’ lives are nothing like yours and mine, but they are not immune to cheating. In addition, they are in the public eye, and rarely given the opportunity to heal within the private confines of their couple-hood.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Here we have a couple where each is quite famous in their own right. Jay-Z cheated. Beyoncé wrote songs about it. Then they hit the therapist couch and have worked hard to make their marriage work.

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied have stayed together even though Millepied had an affair with a much younger woman, Camille Étienne.

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne have been married since 1982. They have weathered sex and drug addiction, with Ozzy admitting having cheated with numerous women. They are standing by one another still.

Kevin Hart, the comedian, cheated on his wife, Eniko Hart, and used social media to apologize. He went to Instagram to apologize after an extortion attempt. Would he have admitted it otherwise? Who knows, but they are still together.

In London in 2002 Woody Harrelson was preparing to have a foursome with three women, but apparently one of them had organized a set-up with paparazzi. The story hit the tabloids. His wife, Laura Louie, the mother of their 3 children, not only forgave him, but the very same week after an argument with a cab driver, she bailed him out of jail.

David Letterman made a public, on-air admission to cheating on his wife, Regina Lasko, in 2009. He apparently had sexual relationships with women who worked for him on The Late Show with David Letterman. Possibly notably, his admission came after a blackmailer threatened to reveal everything. He and his wife are still together.

6 Gas Station Chains With Food So Good It’s Worth Driving Out Of Your Way For

Sheetz Store 1.
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We scoured the Internet to see what people had to say about gas station food. If you think the only things available are wrinkled hotdogs of indeterminate age, and day-glow slushies, we’ve got great, tasty news for you. Whether it ends up being part of a regular routine, or your only resource on a long car trip, we have the food info you need. Let’s look at 6 gas stations that folks can’t get enough of and see what they have for you to eat. Read 6 Gas Station Chains With Food So Good It’s Worth Driving Out Of Your Way For

18 of the World’s Deadliest Foods: How Many Are You Eating?

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Whether you eat to live, or live to eat, let’s make sure you live to see another day! These are some of the world’s deadliest foods. They can bring on extreme symptoms, ranging from paralysis to seizures, choking and even death, so don’t go tucking these into your lunchbox. Click for 18 of the World’s Deadliest Foods: How Many Are You Eating?

10 Of The Worst Tasting Drinks People Pretend To Like

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Hold onto your taste buds, because we’re about to embark on a flavor-filled adventure through the realm of beverages! Sure, we all need water to survive, but let’s be real – drinks are so much more than just basic hydration. Recently, the question of which beverages people secretly think taste awful sparked a fiery debate. Boozy elixirs, non-alcoholic refreshments, and everything in between were thrown into the mix. Brace yourself as we unveil the truth behind the drinks we pretend to love. Get ready for a wild ride of taste revelations! Read 10 Of The Worst Tasting Drinks People Pretend To Like

14 Of The Craziest Hacks People Use Mayonnaise For – Even In The Bedroom!

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After you click through this slide show you will never look at a jar of mayo the same way again. Trust us. Click for 14 Of The Craziest Hacks People Use Mayonnaise For – Even In The Bedroom!

Take Back Control: How to Identify and Tackle Medical Gaslighting

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What is medical gaslighting? Medical gaslighting refers to a situation in which healthcare providers dismiss or diminish the symptoms that an individual is experiencing, attempting to persuade them that the symptoms are attributed to an alternative cause or are mere figments of their imagination. Medical gaslighting can leave you questioning your own experience. And at worse can lead to undiagnosed serious illness.

Learn the signs and the ways in which you can take back control if this happens to you. Read: Take Back Control: How to Identify and Tackle Medical Gaslighting

Don’t Fall For These 17 Foods That Pretend To Be Healthy

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Have you heard the term “Dr. Google”? That’s when you turn to search engines and the Internet to provide health and medical information – and unless you know how to vet sources, it is a mine field of faulty information. Here are 17 foods that you might have heard are “healthy”, but we have the whole story. PS: the moment a food becomes a trend, research carefully. We’re looking at you bulletproof coffee!

Click for Don’t Fall For These 17 Foods That Pretend To Be Healthy

17 Of The Most Expensive Foods In The World: Would You Pay This Much To Eat Any Of These?

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These days our food budget is not going very far, even for everyday foods. And yet, there are still those who seek out extravagant foods, regardless of price. I guess we can live vicariously through these pictures. Maybe someday someone will bestow a 4-pound white truffle upon us, but until then, this will have to suffice.

Click for 17 Of The Most Expensive Foods In The World: Would You Pay This Much To Eat Any Of These?

19 Of The World’s Most Overrated Foods

flamin' hot Cheetos.
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We have foods we love, and those we won’t touch. We all have our own likes and dislikes, but what are the most overrated foods? That was the question posed on this Reddit thread by Even_Cause_3478. There were a lot of opinions. Some made sense to us, and some were things we had never thought of before!

What is the most overrated food in your opinion?

Click for 19 Of The World’s Most Overrated Foods

Miracle at 30,000 Feet: What Happens When a Baby is Born During a Flight?

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Have you ever wondered What Happens If You Give Birth On a Plane? Who delivers the baby? Where do you deliver the baby? What is the child’s citizenship, and do they get free trips for life?

Is Cash Still King In Your Life? 13 Reasons People Still Carry Cash

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Cash. It never used to be controversial, but these days it appears that there are those on both sides of the coin (so to speak). For those of us of a certain age we can remember our mothers always telling us to keep a $20 bill in our shoe or bra, in case of emergencies. Now many of us struggle to find a coin to put in the meter.

Cash lovers, and those who never carry it. What’s the reasoning, either way? A Redditor was thinking the same thing, and asked the question, Do You Still Carry Cash? These are the answers they got. Read Is Cash Still King In Your Life? 13 Reasons People Still Carry Cash

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