On the spectrum of relationship sins Andrew Newton wonders if cheating is the worst.
Cheating damages trust between partners, and in one ill-considered evening it can spark a fire that ends a relationship. But is it really worth all of the attention we give it?
Cheating is constantly in our faces. Television tells the excitement and glamour, or the fear and upset. Self-proclaimed hactivists put the spotlight on Ashley Madison users. Celebrity gossip has more stories about cheating than anything else.
Consider this: When does cheating destroy a relationship? As soon as it happens? Rarely. It destroys the relationship when the other person finds out. The emotions blaze hot and bright. There is yelling, tears, anger, questions, remorse. Very few relationships can recover. It takes time to rebuild trust. And even if it ends, it takes time to move on.
In the context of an adult life how long does cheating really affect a person?
Now consider a non-physical abusive relationship. Emotional abuse, psychological abuse, or whatever else you might call it. The are no bruises for friends and coworkers to question. No scars with awkward explanations. Not only will less people step in and ask if you need out, but it becomes harder for you to justify leaving.
“It’s not like he beats me.” Day after day, hurtful and dismissive comments begin to wear you down. You’re trying to build up the courage to leave. “But is it really that bad? Besides, some of it is my fault. He’s really stressed at work.”
It’s insidious. It happens over time. It is about control, about power over someone else. And it eats away at the recipient slowly. They often don’t realize what is happening to them.
There are more warning signs you should be aware of. If they fit you need to get out.
If your partner cheats you’ll ask yourself why you weren’t enough for them. If you’ve suffered an abusive relationship you’ll believe you’re not good enough for anyone.
What do you think?
Photo: oscalito / flickr
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