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There is a lot of information out there on how to avoid being with a cheater, but how do you avoid being the cheater?
What do you do when you’re in a relationship but you can’t keep your focus on one person?
If you’ve found someone you want in your life for the long term, but you’re worried you’re going to lose them by cheating on them, how can you stop yourself?
If you want to stop cheating, you need to get to the bottom of why you look elsewhere in the first place. Then, you can start putting in some practical lifestyle changes to help you stay faithful.
If you’ve cheated multiple times in the past, making a change to your behavior isn’t going to be easy. It will take dedication and strong will.
If this is the first time you’ve been unfaithful in a relationship (or you are tempted to be unfaithful but haven’t yet done so), you’ll still have to work hard to address the issue.
Whatever the reason is that you want to stop cheating in your relationships, make sure it’s something you’re doing because you genuinely want to change. If you aren’t fully invested in breaking this habit then it isn’t going to work.
But if you are looking to make a difference to stop hurting yourself and the people you love, read on for some ways to do so.
1. Don’t ignore the problem.
Whether you’ve cheated in the past or are struggling in your current relationship, ignoring the problem is not going to fix it.
If you’re hiding something from your partner in the fear of hurting them, the guilt will build up and cause damage to your relationship anyway.
You can’t be at your best for your partner if your mind is distracted with worry over something else. Ignoring the issue isn’t a solution, and you might need the support of your partner or friends and family to get through this difficult patch and move on.
It won’t be an easy conversation to have, but if your partner is willing to work through this with you, your relationship will come out stronger in the end.
If you have a tendency to cheat but you really want to make your current relationship work, then you have to address the problem straightaway. This involves adopting methods that will make it harder for you to let your attention wander.
Over-communicating with your partner is one step you can take which shows them your willingness to face the problem head on. It will help earn their trust and show them you’re willing to do anything you can to make your relationship work.
Talking to your partner about your cheating habits won’t be an easy conversation to have, but if you are both committed to making your relationship last then you need to work as a team to keep it strong.
Being open about your past infidelity is the first step. Moving forward, you can start by ‘over-communicating’ your plans, sharing your whereabouts, who you’re meeting with, giving access to your phone and social media, and trying a ‘no area is off limits’ approach with your partner.
It’s a drastic method but it gives you nowhere to hide. Much of the excitement of cheating comes from it being a secret. By giving your partner full access to your life and knowledge of your activities, nothing can escape their notice.
You need to be willing to discuss your relationship and work on areas that need attention. Not everyone will be up for the challenge and it will take as much commitment and understanding from your partner as it does from you to make this work.
3. Face conflict head on, don’t revenge cheat.
There may have been times in your relationships, current or past, where you’ve felt so hurt by something your partner has done that you’ve cheated on them to get your revenge.
However you feel in that moment, two wrongs don’t make a right. Letting your emotions dictate your actions will not only hurt your partner, but hurt you too in the long run by ruining your relationship.
You won’t be thinking straight when you are emotional and upset. The best thing to do if you’ve had an argument with your partner is to surround yourself with supportive friends or family who can be there for you until you feel ready to face your partner again.
Reacting on impulse because you’re angry or upset will only cause more problems. Then, instead of facing just one problem, you’ll face multiple issues that can be much harder to overcome.
If there is a point of conflict in your relationship, face this head on when both of you can think rationally. Getting through an argument means working to find a resolution, not seeing who can hurt the other more.
Every relationship has their moments, but it’s how you overcome these difficulties together that will affect whether your relationship survives in the long term. All is not lost after one argument, but it could be if you make a bad decision you later regret.
4. Think about what you could lose.
If you’ve cheated on multiple partners then you need to understand what it is you’re looking for outside your relationship when you do.
Is it the thrill of the chase? Or the knowledge that you’re doing something you shouldn’t be that excites you? Is it the need to know that you’re still attractive to other people?
Or is it because you’re scared of commitment? Commitment to just one person for the rest of your life can be a daunting prospect. You might feel pressured to move the relationship at a pace you’re not ready for, causing you to make a mistake you later regret.
The truth is, we can never know for sure if something is meant to last forever. We hear stories of people knowing they were with ‘the one’ from the moment they met, but for the majority of us, that’s not the case.
As the excitement of a new relationship fades and you fall into a more comfortable routine, you might start thinking the grass could be greener somewhere else. The reality is that the honeymoon period can’t last forever, and a relationship with anyone, however exciting it seems when you first meet, will eventually slow down into a more steady pace as you become more committed.
If your eyes are wandering, ask yourself if you really aren’t satisfied with your partner or if it’s your own issues causing you to self-sabotage.
We never fully appreciate something until we lose it. Don’t realize too late that the partner you cheated on and drove away was everything you were looking for.
Think long and hard and be completely honest with yourself. Are you willing to lose what you’ve got now for a bit of fun on the side?
5. Spend more quality time with your partner.
Making an effort to connect with your partner and spend quality time together is essential for any relationship to stay strong and healthy. It is even more important if there have been episodes of infidelity or you have cheated on previous partners in the past.
Relationships take work, and it’s not always easy to keep the spark alive. If you feel as though you’re stuck in a rut, it’s at this point you could start looking at other people for some excitement.
When you’ve been together for a while, you might stop prioritizing your relationship. You’ve moved past the honeymoon stage and everything else around you is taking your time and attention. It’s hard not to drift apart when you don’t make a conscious effort to remind yourselves why you’re together.
By setting time aside for each other, you’ll not only get back that affection you’re craving, but you’ll be reminded of all the unique reasons you love your partner that you wouldn’t find in anyone else.
The connection and history you share together is irreplaceable and you need to be reminded of that to refocus your attention back into the relationship you have.
Try to regularly make time for each other. It could be as simple as a movie night together or dressing up for a dinner at home just the two of you. You could even try booking a mini break, away from all other distractions.
By putting more back into your relationship you’ll find yourself getting more out of it and you’ll realize what you’d risk losing if you were to cheat.
6. Don’t use cheating as a way to end a relationship.
If you’ve cheated on your partner more than once, it’s worth evaluating whether or not you really want this relationship to work.
Think back to past relationships where you might have been unfaithful. Did your actions always lead to a breakup? Were you happy in your relationship at the time?
Feeling tempted by another person suggests you aren’t fully committed to your relationship and are searching for something that you feel is missing.
Sometimes it’s difficult to put your finger on what it is about your relationship that isn’t working for you. In this situation, it can be hard to explain why you want to break up and even harder for your partner to understand.
By cheating, you give yourself an easy way out of your relationship. Suddenly you have the perfect reason for ending things with your partner. It’s likely that your partner will actually be the one to break up with you, saving you that difficult task.
Cheating doesn’t have to be the answer to breaking up. Just because you’re not fulfilled in your relationship doesn’t mean that you have to become the villain in this story.
Sometimes relationships just don’t work, and that’s okay. It might be hard for your partner to understand at the time, but cheating on them will cause them even more pain. It will damage their ability to trust again and affect their self-confidence.
Cheating might give you the ‘out’ that you need, but there are serious repercussions. Other people will suffer the consequences of your decision. Think about the long term pain you will cause as a way to prevent you from cheating.
7. Consider an open relationship.
Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for you.
Just because a monogamous relationship is one of the more common ones we see, it doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you enjoy being in a relationship, but can’t seem to help yourself cheating, then you could be more suited to an open relationship.
An open relationship involves a mutual agreement between partners that allows them to explore relationships with other people while together. What rules you put in place are up to the two of you.
This kind of relationship comes with its own difficulties. Jealousy can occur, and people close to you might find it hard to understand your choices and be less tolerant than if you were in a monogamous relationship.
If an open relationship is more suited to you, then it doesn’t matter what other people think. You’re the one living your life, not them.
No relationship is the same, so it could be time to open yourself up to different possibilities and find a style that works best for you.
8. Is a relationship right for you right now?
Rom coms, musicals, TV, books, you name it… they fill our heads with the idea that we’re on a constant search for ‘the one.’
As we grow up, our friends and families start pairing off, getting married, and having families of their own. The pressure for you to find someone only becomes more intense.
But the idea that you need to be in a relationship by a certain point in your life could lead to you get into ones that aren’t right for you.
If it’s not the first time you’ve cheated on a partner, have you considered whether you want to be in a relationship at all?
Feeling like this doesn’t mean that the person you’re with isn’t great. It might just not be the right time in your life to be in a committed relationship.
There could be a number of reasons for feeling this way. Maybe you want to travel or focus on your career first without the distractions of a partner and family.
You don’t need a reason for not feeling ready for a serious relationship just yet. It’s better to wait until you feel that committing to someone is something you want, otherwise you’ll inevitably keep breaking up.
If this sounds familiar, make the most of your time on your own and avoid rushing into relationships you’re not ready for.
9. Seek professional help.
If you really care about having a successful relationship, but can’t seem to help yourself when it comes to being unfaithful, it might be time to seek the help of a professional.
It can take an outside influence to help us understand the root of our problems, and getting help from a trained specialist could be the best way forward for you to do this.
Speaking to someone about why, when, and how you cheat could help you get a better understanding of yourself and tactics to use whenever you feel like it could happen again.
As much as it’s good to talk with friends and family, none of them are trained to ask the right questions or help you find the best solution. We recommend speaking to one of the relationship experts from Relationship Hero who can help you deal with this problem.
Asking for help from someone trained to handle situations like these isn’t a sign of weakness or that you can’t handle your own problems. You’re choosing to make a positive step by seeking the best support you can to tackle your issues head on and change for the better.
Again, the online service from Relationship Hero is a good place to get this help as it takes place remotely, so you don’t have to go anywhere to get the advice you need. Click here to chat to someone now.
You have to really want to make a change for it to stick. If you feel like you should stop cheating because you’re in a relationship, make sure it’s the right relationship for you to be committing yourself too first before you go any further.
We can never really know if the person we’re with is the right one for us, but if you genuinely care about your partner and don’t want to hurt them, then you need to start making a change to your unfaithful ways.
The repercussions of being cheated on can stick with someone for years to come and affect how they go on to live their lives. If you know you don’t want to be with your partner or even in a relationship right now, then remember the damage you could cause to your partner’s self-esteem if you let yourself cheat rather than breaking things off naturally.
Cheating doesn’t make anyone feel good in the long run. Don’t let it become a damaging habit for the sake of a quick buzz. You don’t have to be the villain – you can change for the better if you believe that you can.
Further reading on the subject of cheating:
- Yes, You Should Tell Him/Her That You Cheated. Here’s How To Do It.
- 14 Effective Ways To Deal With The Guilt Of Cheating
- How To End An Affair: The Only 4 Steps You Need To Take
- 7 Things To Do When You Get Caught Cheating
- 11 Things That May Be Considered Cheating In A Relationship
- 14 Reasons Why Men And Women Cheat On Those They Love
- 14 Signs Of An Emotional Affair (+ 11 Reasons People Have Them)
- 12 Signs It’s Time To Walk Away From A Marriage After Infidelity
- Need To Know Details Of Their Infidelity? Do This
- How To Confront A Cheating Partner/Spouse: 11 Tips To Help You Through It