PerfectlyRandom thinks so:
It’s not going to be a popular opinion, but I do believe there are circumstances when cheating is ok. Maybe not the right thing to do, but certainly not the heinous crime that it’s made out to be. The reality is that life isn’t black and white. Decisions aren’t always simply right or wrong, nor are intentions, or actions.
Think of the wife, nursing her terminally ill husband for years, who now barely wakes. Starved of companionship and wanting to feel alive once again, can you blame her for engaging in behaviour that will not affect her husband?
Or what about the couple who acknowledge that monogamy until death do they part is a stretch at best, but who make a joint decision not to herald each other with any confessions of infidelity? Who are actually more kind and loving towards each other because they are satisfied in other ways? Is it for us to judge how they work their relationship?
Cheating is not always a willful decision to betray another person. People are by nature selfish. Try as we might to fight against this, there will be times when even with the best will in the world, we let other people down because we are putting ourselves first – whether that is working late instead of coming home to have dinner with the family, drinking too much the night before having guests over so you are incapable of assisting around the house on the day, or even failing to simply call and let your loved one know you’re safe. Cheating is just another example of selfish human nature.
If someone can be a better girlfriend, husband, lover, confidant, because they have an outlet somewhere else – then who am I to judge whether a golfing or shopping habit is better or worse than an occasional dalliance?
A strong relationship has to be built on mutual trust, and once someone has cheated that trust is never the same again. Even if the cheater is truly remorseful for their actions and in their heart never again intends to stray, the relationship will always have a small niggle of mistrust and paranoia that never existed before the dirty deed.
It also doesn’t help that women, in particular, have completely overactive imaginations and may irrationally imagine the worst-case scenario at every possible situation after finding out their partner cheated. Their partner calls home and say he’s stopping by the pub for a drink with his mates and she will wonder if he is actually having hot sordid sex with his secretary in the conference room. Their partner tells them he’s going golfing for a day and she wonders whether he’s ensconced in a love affair with her best friend. That’s right, noone ever said that women were rational creatures.
The problem with cheating is that the truth is bound to come out sooner or later. If the cheater doesn’t admit it straight out after crumbling from guilt or remorse, the truth will come out via a reluctant admission from a knowledgeable but concerned friend, an errant text message or email, or worse, a bombshell by the subject of the cheater’s fling when things between them go awry.
One of the questions to be answered then is whether the underlying cause of the infidelity has been addressed before even contemplating the resumption of a relationship. Whether it’s due to long periods away with work, or one person withholding sex, or simply one person’s complete lack of self-control when a vaguely attractive specimen showers them with attention, none of these reasons excuse the betrayal of the other person’s trust because these problems should have been openly communicated within the relationship in the first place.