Will Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ Save a Relationship when One Partner Has Cheated?

The NationalOpinion ResearchCenter at the University of Chicago published a survey in the year 2002 stating that 22 percent of men and 15% of women shared sexual intimacy with someone other than their spouse.

Regardless of the actual numbers of infidelity, the act of cheating seems to have become more widespread and more acceptable. So, why are so many people cheating and what’s behind the need for extra marital affairs?

When asking the person who cheats why they feel the need to participate in extra marital affairs, they give many different reasons. One might say, “I was bored and it just happened.” Others claim, “I was in the wrong place and they were just there.”

Others insist, “It was because I was drunk and I couldn’t fight it.” Some even say, “It was a chemical attraction and it was just one time. It didn’t mean a thing.” Another excuse might be, “It wasn’t personal; it was strictly physical.”

The question then becomes; if someone has cheated and was caught, would saying “I’m sorry” be enough? The response to that question can only be answered by the individuals in the relationships and whether the cheater was genuinely sorry. However, someone who has been caught stealing is rarely sorry they stole; they are only sorry because they were caught.

With that in statement in mind, does the same hold true for a cheating partner? Are they only sorry because they were caught and attempt to gloss over their “indiscretion,” by downplaying the situation with such statements as, “It’s not a personal thing.”

The reality is that men and women who cheat, especially repeat offenders, often have serious issues of insecurity and many tend to be adrenaline junkies in constant need of excitement.

So what exactly constitutes cheating? According to dictionary.com, cheating indicates the violating of rules deliberately and acting dishonestly. Other dictionary definitions define cheating as adulterous: not faithful to a spouse or lover.

But what exactly defines cheating from person to person? If you kiss someone other than your partner, is that considered cheating? What about meeting with someone online, flirting and sharing intimate thoughts and feelings?

Despite what most people may say in public, “So they kissed someone, that isn’t really cheating because it’s not sex.” Or “Looking and talking, isn’t touching” these acts do constitute cheating by the very definition of the word cheating, “acting dishonestly.”

So if the intent was there to cheat, but nothing came of it, does that excuse it? Since trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, a broken trust is hard to mend and certainly never forgotten.

So, when someone “violates the rules” and “acts dishonestly,” trusting the person, who caused the violation of trust, is nearly impossible. Given the “reasons,” does that excuse the violation of trust? And do these “reasons” really justify a broken trust?

Although most men and women occasionally glance at someone other than their beloved, it is usually just a brief moment of looking at someone else as a natural response to beauty. The majority of partners do not act on the impulse of visual stimulation.

What if a person is faced with the possibility that a loved one is cheating? Before jumping to conclusions, it might be best not to automatically assume the partner is cheating, simply because they’re acting oddly.

There may in fact be other underlying factors in the person’s life that is causing them to feel or act distracted. But if one has a nagging suspicion, the best way to address the issue is to simply ask the partner. Not saying anything can lead to unfounded hostility aimed at the partner.

However, if after asking, the answers aren’t satisfying, looking into other approaches to learn the truth should be the next step. Seeking wise counsel from trusted friends or a certified therapist who can help address any fears and point you in the right direction. Something to think about: While you may in time be able to forgive a broken trust, you will never forget it.

Here are a few good resources to check out.

http://locator.apahelpcenter.org/

http://www.spiesonline.net/cheatingpartner.shtml

http://www.chatcheaters.com/

Brief Bio of Jaci Rae

Jaci Rae’s grit and determination brought her from a poor childhood to a successful singer and author who tours around the world. She is the #1 Best selling author of Winning Points With The Woman In Your Life One Touchdown At A Time (Simon and Schuster) Jaci is on the dating team of Savvymiss.com and is a relationship advisor for loveisgreat.com. For more information, go to http://www.winningromance.com

About.com Dating Guide has just put Jaci’s book, Winning Points With The Woman In Your Life One Touchdown At A Time in the top six of all time dating / relationship books. http://dating.about.com/od/datingadvice/ss/RelateBooks_6.htm

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