The truth about cheating is that we all want to do it, on some level, almost all the time, and we don’t cheat by deciding not to, every single day. Our minds have a really annoying way of constantly wondering whether there might be a better deal out there for us. And there are much more serious…
The truth about cheating is that we all want to do it, on some level, almost all the time, and we don’t cheat by deciding not to, every single day. Our minds have a really annoying way of constantly wondering whether there might be a better deal out there for us. And there are much more serious manifestations of this tendency that I’m sure you know all about, as well. Like, there’s a chance that you’ve got this really attractive friend who’s always talking about how there are no more good & loyal guys out there, just after complementing you on our loyalty towards your girlfriend.
Every day, you look in the mirror and you say, “Today I’m not going to hook up with any of those people.” Congratulations! You’re a good guy. Someone should give you a prize. And when that ex started sending you funny WhatsApp messages late at night, but you shut it down? Bravo. You avoided danger. You saw what was coming, and you said NO. Even though there are days when your girlfriend is irritating the hell out of you, you keep it together. You realize that the short-term gratification of random female attention is less rewarding than sharing your world with somebody.
Like it or not, your girlfriend faces the same dilemma. She has the same temptations. That cute colleague in her office always wearing sharp bespoke suits and a smooth talker? She’s thought about that, for sure. She sees hot guys coming and going, and briefly questions her commitment to monogamy. But, unlike you, she said “yes” to that very tempting train of thought. Whatever the circumstance was in which she met this guy, she knew she was tempting fate, and she did it anyway. At every step, she knew she was getting closer and closer to cheating on you. And, at each step, she was like, “Yeah, OK, that seems like a reasonable decision.” Maybe she never thought, “Oh boy, time to cheat on my perfect boyfriend.” She just found this dude’s attention flattering, and she found the whole thing exciting. So she ignored the voice of reason in her head — which was almost certainly there — telling her that this was a bad idea.
You may want to believe that this was her one moment of infidelity. And that’s vaguely possible. But thrill-seeking, unconscientious people tend to remain that way. She’ll see other guys, and feel the intoxication of flattery, and she’ll probably be at least strongly tempted to screw you over again. She’s just a human, unfortunately, and most humans tend to change their behavior only when it’s absolutely, totally necessary.
By the way, if you don’t let her go, you won’t tell her that it’s absolutely necessary to change her behavior. You’re telling her that if she cries, and says she regrets it, and reminds you of what you shared in the past, you’ll forgive her. That probably won’t make her change. She might change someday, but unfortunately you can’t control the circumstances that will bring that about. She’ll probably tell you that she still loves you, over and over again, that she loves you more than ever. That may be true.
But do you really need that kind of love?