Excuses, excuses, excuses. I cheated because my husband doesn't understand me. I cheat because we've grown apart. I cheat because I'm not in love with my wife anymore. I cheat because my husband doesn't pay attention to me. I cheat because my wife won't give me what I want in bed. I cheat because - well, because I want to, darnit!
We have all heard, said and read about reasons to cheat. We all know why it's okay, why it's justifiable and why we can get away with it. Cheating has, in fact, almost become acceptable. After all, how can you possibly expect to stay faithful to one man or one woman for 10, 20 or even 30 years. Impossible! Right?
Impossible, no. Difficult, yes. So, following is my short and sweet list of How Not to Cheat:
1. Don't find yourself in a private setting with a member of the opposite sex.
As I always say - it's really, really hard to cheat when you're at home, alone, by yourself! Don't give yourself any more reasons to give into temptation.
2. Don't build emotional relationships with too many members of the opposite sex.
Friends, shmiends, most friend-ships (for men) are just a holding pattern until you are willing and ready to take it further. And we women are no better - we often just like to have a man as a backup plan, in case our current relationship doesn't work out. Guard your heart and your time - and hang out with more of your same sex friends.
3. Don't confide all your secrets in a member of the opposite sex.
Yeah, I know, it's much easier to share sometimes with someone that has a different set of chromosomes, but this is definitely heading in the direction of building emotional relationships (and you know where that usually leads). Especially don't share everything that your significant other does that bothers you. Some unscrupulous friends can and will use this against you at a later date. Get a best friend who is the same sex as you. Trust me - it's much easier in the end.
4. Don't spend time fantasizing about 'what if'.
Yes, I know most people don't really consider it cheating unless something physically happens, but, here's a news flash - thinking about doing something is just one step away from actually doing something. Don't think so? Fantasize about ice cream for the next half hour, and see if you don't head to your nearest Ben & Jerry's!
5. Stop seeking external validation.
Make sure you already think that you are okay. Or that you are great. Or whatever it is you need to make it through the day. Because the sooner you believe it yourself, the sooner you will no longer need someone else to make you feel that way.
6. Stay Busy!
Do I even need to get into this one? Suffice it to say the less free time you have, the less time you have to get yourself into 'trouble'.
7. Think about your mate.
Hey, here's something that's probably fallen by the wayside. Remember when you thought your mate was absolutely perfect and could do no wrong? Okay, so you know that ain't true, but I bet he or she still does some things very, very right. Think about those things. Replay them in your mind. Repeat.
8. Spend time building your relationship with your mate.
Spend time planning things you would like to do. Spend time cooking for him or her, sending him or her emails, spending quality time or taking long walks in the park. Whatever it takes to build upon what you already have. 'Cause building a new one will take just as much work as you are putting into the relationship you have now. It's easier (and cheaper) in the end to just love the one you've got.
9. Follow your own passion.
Quit trying to live your life through someone else! And quit thinking if you've bedded three or four people other than your significant other, that this makes you some type of player! You are not. You just lack self-control. Find what you do best - and do it. Enough said.
10. Commit to Yourself first!
Forget about trying to commit to another person through thick and thin. 'Cause his 'thin' will be too thin and her 'thick' will turn you off. Commit instead to your own personal desire to be faithful, loving and attentive to the one you've got. People change. Feelings change. But, knowing (and sticking to) who you are on the inside never goes out of style. Then, when you have the desire to cheat, you will realize it's much more important to be true to yourself than indulging in a temporary fix.
So, go forth and be faithful!
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