The battle-cry of those who are perennially unfaithful within relationships usually runs along the lines of, "Human beings aren't meant to be monogamous anyway". This is usually met with a roll of the eyes and a click of the tongue, despite being biologically accurate. Western society as a whole tends not to treat the issue of infidelity with any degree of sympathy, but increasing numbers of sex therapists are starting to warm up to the idea that cheating, in some aspects, can actually help to save a relationship.
Of course, this is not the same thing as sexologists arming couples in possession of a roaming eye with a pack of condoms and urging them to go and get theirs. The most pertinent advice for couples who feel their relationship has entered rocky territory is to talk things out and seek to resolve issues together. However, therapists and couples alike are beginning to identify situations where cheating can not only add a spark to a relationship, it can be one of the key factors in making it better than it ever was.
Below, we shall look at ten results of cheating that both therapists and the unfaithful claim will help a relationship to become healthier, from mental and physical benefits to the flowering of an existing relationship into something both beautiful and bullet-proof. While this article shouldn't be read to be an endorsement of such views, the points contained within do provoke some fascinating debates: is it ever OK to cheat and, indeed, is it even advisable to do so? Read on and decide for yourself.
10 You'll Benefit From An Ego Boost
One of the most common reasons for cheating is simply 'because you can'. To view absolutely everybody who cheats as being morally bankrupt sex fiends is an immature and limited way of seeing the world. Many people who cheat on their partners don't plan to do so - they simply take advantage of an opportunity in a moment of weakness. Assuming that their partner never finds out and they can live with the guilt, what is the benefit of a one-night stand?
An instant benefit from a one-nighter is the incredible ego boost that it provides. The joy of knowing that a complete stranger or your close friend finds you sexually attractive can boost your self-esteem to the point that you become a more confident, productive person in other key aspects of your life. Your performance at work may improve as you view yourself in a better light, you're more relaxed and happy around your friends - and you become a more attentive and loving partner.
While extended affairs have a tendency to be viewed as a greater betrayal, the ego boost provided by one-off instances of cheating can sometimes be so effective that the first relationship receives a boost, too. The happier a person is in their own skin, the better they tend to treat and relate to those closest to them in turn.
9 Cheating Can Lead To You Becoming A Better Lover
Unless a couple go out of their way to try out new things in bed, a long-term relationship can suffer through the sex life becoming stale and predictable, boring even. There are, of course many useful sex guides and tip sheets plastered all over the internet and magazine columns, but many people chose to learn new tricks outside of the marital bed.
Sex, like most other things, improves with the more practice and experience you have. Although tenderness and intimacy are often the key factors to the most satisfying sexual experiences, new techniques, positions and experiments always add spice. When one partner in a relationship is more libidinous than the other, it can be tempting to explore new experiences by cheating.
While sex isn't the be-all-and-end-all of a successful relationship, it does form an important part of life for most couples. In the confines of, say an open-relationship, it could be argued that polygamy can improve the sex life of a couple and therefore the relationship itself.
8 Infidelity Can Add Fizz To A Flat Relationship
Unless you're supernaturally lucky, marriage and long-term relationships are hard work. It's naive to think that love alone is enough to keep a relationship successful and healthy - what can seem safe and loving one moment can quickly grow to be boring and suffocating with indecent speed. That said, is infidelity really the way forward?
Many commentators and experts seem to believe so. Couples with one partner who has lost their sex drive have spoken of feeling a new freedom when the other has sex outside of the partnership. On other occasions, people have rediscovered their lust for their partner after being turned on by the notion that somebody else finds their partner attractive. Even when the affair remains an open secret, what started out as an illicit secret has proven to be the savior of many relationships.
7 You Can Satisfy Sexual And Emotional Needs
Not all people who cheat cover their sexual adventures with layers of subterfuge and deception; open relationships are becoming more common, where one or both partners are free to pursue an active sex life outside of the relationship. This is quite common where one partner has a low or no sex drive but the other still has natural urges. The couple are open about the fact that one is having sex outside of the marriage, but the other is often happy that their sexual needs are being fulfilled.
The reason for cheating is not always sexual, but can often be tied into the feelings of being desired and needing intimacy. In a marriage where the couple have common interests and little desire to part, but have long since lost the sexual spark, cheating can be a way of 'filling in the gaps' that are present in their partnership.
6 Revenge-Cheats Can Draw A Line In The Sand
Being cheated upon is one of the most humiliating and dreadful things that can happen to a person. Their belief in their previously happy and safe existence is shattered and many find their ability to trust in their partner (or any future lovers) irreparably damaged. While most therapists believe that only addressing the issues together can repair the relationship, many people take on the view of 'an eye for an eye'.
Revenge-cheating is a veritable emotional minefield. While dragging a stranger/friend/ your partner's best friend into bed to get back at them may be initially satisfying, there is no guarantee that you will feel better afterwards. Often, there will be an escalation where both partners find themselves miserably pumping away at anything that consents in attempt to even up the score after the latest infidelity. Some people, however feel that a one-off affair cancels out another and leaves both partners free to carry on their relationship as before. The couple may even view themselves as being stronger for the experience, now that the need to itch has been scratched.
5 It Can Help You To Identify Areas That Need Attention
So the worst has happened and you've either cheated with that bartender or been cheated upon. After you've found a new place to drink, where do you go from here? Providing that you're still talking to your partner, this could well be the dawn of a better stage in your relationship.
Cheating is one of the major indications that something is inherently wrong within the relationship. While nice, good people can and do cheat, there is always something that compels them to do so. It isn't always a case of one no longer finding the other attractive; often there is intimacy missing from the relationship, or sympathy and understanding is sought from the arms of another when your partner has stopped listening to you.
The discovery of the betrayal always leads the couple to assess the state of the relationship. When they begin talking and thinking about they problems they have together and how/if they should overcome them, a couple can emerge from adultery all the stronger for the experience.
4 Cuckolding Is A Growing Fetish Pastime
Fifty Shades of Grey has a lot to answer for. Amongst the things that it has popularized - terrible prose, idiot billionaires and the phrase "oh my" - is a startling rise in the amount of people who openly go to flagellation clubs. Suddenly, pursuits such as B&M and S&M are no longer viewed as the domain of kinky weirdos.
A particular brand of fetishism, which apparently accounts for 15% of all married couples, is a form of swinging called cuckolding. The word is one of many priceless gifts that Shakespeare bestowed upon us, and refers to "the husband of an adulteress". Cuckolding basically involves a married woman openly cheating on her husband in order to humiliate him, often making him physically aid her. The husband gets a sexual thrill from this humiliation and et voila, the couple have fantastic sex afterwards.
It goes without saying that forcing your partner to indulge in their darkest fantasies, like forced bisexuality and voyeurism of their own wife, only works if the other half is consenting to it. Cuckolding fans swear that the thrill and lack of deceit involved in open cheating has added a new layer of intimacy to their relationships.
3 Cheating Can Aid Conflict Avoidance
Some people will do anything to avoid conflict. From Neville Chamberlain to the time your dad broke your mum's favourite vase and blamed it on the dog, history is littered with people who pretended that the massive problems they faced weren't that bad, really. Many couples treat their relationships in the same manner.
Rather than admit that it drives you crazy when your other half treats you with an utter lack of respect, many people choose the passive-aggressive route of refusing to confront their partners and, instead rely on conducting affairs to rid themselves of the tension that these problems cause. They see it as being healthier than bottling up their feelings of frustration and far kinder to their partners to cheat behind their backs, rather than blow up at them and risk everything.
While it's probably not the most sensible approach to make a booty call every time your partner annoys you, it's understandable that some people would rather get back at their partners for issues that drive them crazy, rather than risk losing what may be a deeply satisfying relationship.
2 Most Victims Of Infidelity Never Find Out
It's a nugget of information that either freezes the blood in your veins or is oddly comforting, but the likelihood that you've already been cheated upon and never suspected a thing is staggeringly high. Many people cheat and simply never tell their partners or friends about the deception.
This is good news for gimlet-eyed, priapic love rats but probably bad news for everybody else. But put the boot onto the other foot for a moment - if you got drunk at the office Christmas party and did unspeakable things in the stationary cupboard with Elizabeth from Accounting, would you necessarily find it fair to burden your partner with the knowledge? Many either choose to live with the knowledge of what they have done and never burden their partner of friends with the deceit, or simply feel no guilt about it at all. It's debatable whether never telling your partner and spinning an ever growing web of lies around your relationship can actually improve your relationship, but never letting on that you've been a cad will probably save it - for now.
1 Cheating Can Help Baby Love Mature Into Something Much Better
The most insufferable couples to be around are those that have never outgrown the 'baby love' stage, the first throes of love. We've all seen them, the perfect couple with the perfect lives who go to perfect places and make them even more perfect with their perfectness. As nauseating as it is, we've all been there; so what happens when one of them cheats?
Love takes on many forms and that first rush, where you want to be with somebody all the time and miss them when they're not around, is thrilling and new. That's not to say that it's necessarily the best stage of a relationship, however. The stage where you know what each other is thinking, where you have a rock beside you, where you can accept each others flaws and love them as a whole - this is possibly the best love of all. So how does cheating help you to get from A to B?
Only the strongest of relationships can survive infidelity, but a partner cheating can open the eyes of both the couple to the myriad set of flaws and disappointments that each possess. A couple who can survive the pain of cheating and move away from the infantile stage of projected-idealism 'baby love' into something more rewarding and real may well be the couple who truly are the real deal.