When it comes to infidelity, the line is not always as clear as we think it is. Sometimes, the behaviors we engage in or the decisions that we make can be misconstrued as infidelity, or feel like cheating to our partners. These breaches of trust occur when we fail to be honest with our partners, but also when we fail to be honest with ourselves. Avoid infidelity often comes down simply to opening up.
Don’t walk a line you don’t understand. Get to know yourself and get familiar with what you need from your relationships and your partners in order to build something that can add to the quality of your future life. Stop giving into insecurities or engaging in self-sabotaging behavior that does nothing short of push you and your partner further and further away from the true connection you share. Attention from a new (or old) flame might feel nice, but it will never make up for the truth you refuse to acknowledge. Cultivate a new understanding of your relationship and yourself and use it to avoid infidelity.
Partnerships as a sacred space.
Our partnerships are a sacred space and — for many of us — provide a safe and secure place in which to express ourselves or otherwise find solace and comfort. Our partners provide a sounding board, but they also provide a protective barrier against the world, which can shield us from the nastier effects of the heartaches and adversities we face on this road of life.
These relationships can become wracked with pain too, however. They can be nuances and they can become the wounds which turn into even deeper insecurities or misunderstandings. When we stop communicating honestly (with our partners and ourselves) we can find ourselves falling into some sticky situations, and that includes a nebulous “grey-zone” between infidelity and carelessness.
Though you might think cheating only encompasses the obvious physical and emotional over-extensions, infidelity is actually a lot more complicated than that. There are a number of ways in which we can cross important lines with our partners, and it’s up to us to make sure we are utilizing efficient and effective communication to avoid such mistakes. We have to be honest about what we want and what we need from our relationships, or we risk losing them — and ourselves — in the process.
When infidelity crosses into a grey zone.
Cheating isn’t as simple as having a physical relationship with another person. There are a number of “grey areas” that feel like infidelity to anyone who has experienced them. Whether you’re hiding connections at work, or reconnecting with old-flames on Facebook — there are some things that just shouldn’t be done without consulting your partner (and respecting their wishes).
Reconnecting with old flames
Is reconnecting with an old flame really straying outside of the relationship? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Friending exes on social media, or even meeting up for an afternoon catch-up or a cup of coffee, can mean everything or it can mean nothing. While it’s only natural to wonder what our former partners are up to, re-opening doors that are better left closed can lead to betrayals and hurt-feelings that are hard to overcome at home (without a lot of honest communication before, during and after the reconnect.)
Oversharing with a friend
Whether you realize it or not, it is possible to overshare with your friends and family when it comes to our relationships. Intimate details of our sex lives, our conversations or even our shared experiences can sometimes cross a line that disrespects our partners. Things that cause them embarrassment, anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings are — by rights — not ours to share, and can go a long way to cross a line of trust that we can’t come back from.
It’s important to hold our own friend groups, and it’s important that we have our own support networks outside of our relationships. Sneaking around, socializing with people you don’t tell your partner about, however? That’s more in-line with infidelity, and could indicate intentions that are not entirely pure. Going to lunch with an attractive friend or co-worker that you don’t tell your spouse or partner about is an admission of truth; and therefore disrespectful to their general welfare and wellbeing within the relationship.
Browsing the menu
It’s one thing to reconnect with an old-flame on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s another thing to make browsing the menu a regular past time. As humans, our minds and our eyes wander and we often find ourselves looking for the next best thing. When we become obsessed with this pastime, however, we lose sight of the relationships we are building with our partner and start to focus only on what we might be able to get next. This chase is endless, and one that has devastating consequences for our partnerships…