Is Remaining Faithful Possible Or, Do We Always End Up Cheating?

I’ve lost count of the number of stories of cheating I’ve heard or even experienced, personally or from afar, but I must admit that whenever I look at relationships, the question of fidelity always seems to come up. I even learnt that it’s the main cause of divorce in the United States. Being faithful in a relationship seems to be a real challenge that only few of us seem up for... I want to believe in love, but part of me thinks that cheating is inevitable...

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Is being 100% faithful in a relationship impossible?

Fidelity is often one of the demands of a relationship, especially in the case of marriage, as it is enshrined in the civil code. Infidelity has always been an issue, but now that we start relationships out of love, why is it so hard to imagine having just one romantic and sexual partner for the duration of a relationship? Especially nowadays with smartphones and social media, it’s increasingly easy to cheat. But at the same time, it’s also increasingly easy to end a relationship we’re not happy with. Yet, the temptation seems to be too great to pass up on.

The real problem lies in the confrontation of our desires and reality. Having our desires hampered is less and less acceptable, especially when it comes to our personal life. We all think we deserve happiness. We’re right and so we all chase whatever we want. At the same time, we no longer put in the effort to save our relationship because it’s easier just to move onto the next thing. We no longer make an effort to resist temptation because it’s everywhere and so easy to give in to.

>>> Read what it's like to be in a polyamorous relationship

Relinquishment in a relationship

Fidelity means relinquishing something, let’s be honest. It’s normal to be attracted to other people and it’s normal to want to give in to temptation for pleasure: of the effect you can have, the first time and the unknown… What should we do when faced with an unexpected desire? Fantasize and resist. Give up on pleasure or give in and take action? To resist being unfaithful, you have to be strong and emotionally mature, and believe that the relationship, its integrity and respect to your partner is more important than giving in to your own desires or indulging in a pleasure that would inflate your ego. It’s not easy, especially if frustration sets in within your relationship. The danger is even greater when the grass appears to be greener on the other side.

How can you remain faithful?

You know what? I’m not going to be very original, but you have to accept that there is always a risk of infidelity in a relationship. Fidelity is first and foremost a matter of… communication. Respect and honesty are essential values in a relationship. By being clear with each other and putting your cards on the table when you need to, you will manage to keep the flame, seduction and desire alive. But also you’ll know where you stand, whether to solve your problems together or to move on. You’re not having enough sex? Then say so. Are you in need of more attention and affection? Say so. Are you worried you’re no longer appealing? Just say so.

From that to telling each other everything? No, absolutely not! You have the right to your private life. If you desire another person, there’s no need to explain to your partner how much you want to stick your tongue down the IT guy’s throat if he hasn’t asked about it. No, instead let your fantasies (erotic thoughts, masturbation, etc.) run wild but don’t act upon them. Being faithful is also a matter of being faithful to yourself. As a woman, it’s normal for your desires to fluctuate and shift, and it would be a shame to turn your back on them completely, at the risk of becoming a dead body that doesn’t desire anyone anymore.

Editor’s note – Who’s happier, those who are faithful or unfaithful?

We often tend to think that if we give in to all of our desires, we will be happier. And for some people, being faithful is simply impossible. Are they any happier for it? It’s tricky. In any case, no more so than the person who refuses to cheat to make his or her relationship last longer, whatever the cost, with no regard for his or her own fulfilment. Whether you’re faithful or not, love, in the broadest sense, offers different ways of finding happiness, but you have to be honest with yourself and your feelings.

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