The Ashley Madison hack has blown up, and as a result we have learned that people cheat on each other.
Wow, I say. What else might we learn? Kermit was never really into Miss Piggy and the earth is, in fact, round?
I am really glad we got those things out of the way. Otherwise, we would be all obsessed about why people cheat on each other and what we can do to prevent said cheating. What? We do obsess about these things? How unhealthy and unproductive can we be? I can think of at least 3 absolutely legitimate reasons why we should stop said obsessions. And as a side note, if I say the word obsess one more time in this article, please feel free to send me hate mail. Now, where was I?
Reason #1: A Relationship Is About Trust and Commitment
If we must worry about being cheated on, we are, in fact, doubting said trust and commitment. Think about it. What would possess you to put any thought to whether you are being cheated on besides self-doubt or doubt in your partner? And, before you hit me with the idea that we are physical creatures or that monogamous relationships are unnatural, allow me to say:
Yes, we are physical, and we are in a trusting and committed relationship with someone that we should be physical with.
If you doubt the legitimacy of monogamous relationships, don’t be in one.
Reason #2: A Relationship Is About Good Times, Good Conversation and Good Sex
Focusing on how to prevent cheating does not sound like a good anything. Where should your energies go? Towards the light or towards the dark? Now, if that dark is a corner of your bedroom with your partner waiting while lathered in coconut oil, go to the dark. Otherwise, stay where the shiny, happy light is. What a miserable relationship otherwise. And yes, there are things we must do to keep relationships going and that takes energy. Again, where should your energies go?
Reason #3: Putting Effort Towards Cheating Prevention Is Both Acknowledging It as a Legitimate Need and Simultaneously Blaming Yourself if the Cheating Actually Occurs.
“Well, I did this and that, and they still strayed. What else could I have done?” How about nothing but be a giving, communicative and equal partner? If they cheat despite this, they are the problem, not you.
“I’m to blame for this too. I should’ve tried harder to lose the weight after the pregnancy.” Uh, nonsense. Either someone is committed to you or they are not. And either the relationship is healthy enough that potential problems and can be discussed and ironed out or it isn’t. We ought not give people excuses for cheating.
Unlike Avril Lavigne, this is not complicated; it’s really not. And, as a closing, de-conflict these two phrases for me.
1. “I love my partner, and we are forging a communicative, committed and trusting relationship together with each other.”
2. “I love my partner, and there are things we all must do to affair-proof the relationship for reasons X, Y and Z.”
If communication, commitment and trust are there, there is no “affair-proofing” required.
Do not obsess over whether your significant other may or may not cheat. And no, you cannot have my mailing address.