This post was updated on Oct 15, 2023
Adultery, cheating, having a wandering eye… Whatever you may call it, many people consider it a deal breaker in a committed monogamous relationship. Monogamy is all about focusing your romantic feelings on one person, and infidelity can irrevocably endanger this bond. It can shatter your partner’s trust, which may lead to a lifetime of accusations and grudges or even end in divorce or breakup.
Although it may happen impulsively, out of anger or approval-seeking, it can have huge consequences and seriously undermine the future of a relationship.
With the right support, people who struggle with temptation can discover the root cause of their concerns and salvage their relationship by working through the core wounds. For example, you can learn some helpful strategies to help you fix your relationship in an intensive relationship coaching program.
Is Temptation Normal In Relationships?
Sexual attraction is human and natural, even when you’re committed to someone. Feeling drawn to another person doesn’t mean that you love your partner any less. However, acting on it may be deeply hurtful to them and may lead to the deterioration of your marriage. This is why it’s important to define your definition of commitment and learn how to handle this urge in a healthy way.
Why Do People Cheat on People They Love?
There are many reasons why people cheat even when they’re in love. For example, if a person’s parents were unfaithful to each other, they may unwittingly re-enact this behavioral pattern they adopted early in their childhoods. For some, sexual promiscuity is a survival pattern developed in adolescence, when self-destructive behaviors tend to emerge as a way to protect your inner child.
Infidelity is sometimes a trait of the avoidant attachment style. Avoidant behavior means not committing to your partner and always hiding a part of yourself from them. These individuals become easily overwhelmed in emotionally charged situations and their reaction to growing intimacy is to flee. Often, they’re typically a product of an overbearing parent. They are quick to feel tied down and controlled. Instinctively, they take a step back and distance themselves from their partner, which may manifest itself in the form of cheating.
The ambivalent attachment style can also make a person stray. These people find decision-making difficult, so they go back and forth between different scenarios in their heads without taking action. They may be trapped in an unhealthy relationship for years, not knowing whether to fully commit or end it. During this turmoil, they may seek other sexual partners and then deeply regret it afterward.
Infidelity can also be motivated by anger, frustration, and disappointment. Although there may be love at times in the relationship, a person’s needs may not be understood, expressed, or met and they could feel alone and unseen. They may then try to cope in an unhealthy manner, by seeking revenge through seeking positive regard from someone outside the committed relationship.
Can Temptation Be A Good Thing?
Temptation can be surprisingly beneficial if you approach it from a healthy perspective. Instead of trying to bury your attraction to someone else, you can take something from it and use it to improve your marriage. It can help you dig deeper inside yourself and figure out what you want (and may not be getting) from your partner. You can then share it with them, discuss each other’s wants and needs judgement-free, and connect with each other on a deeper level. Opening up to your partner in this way may lead to a more fulfilling bond between the two of you.
How Do You Resist Temptation In A Relationship?
While being attracted to other people is natural, it’s important to react to it in a way that won’t cause guilt, shame, and regret. Here are some things you can do to fight temptation when it occurs:
- Establish a common ground: You and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to mutual expectations. The definition of cheating is different for every person. The level of exclusivity that works for some people may not work for others, and this is perfectly normal. However, transparency and honesty is necessary so that neither partner gets hurt.
- Think before you act: People function healthily when what they feel is in line with what they think and how they act. We call this Relational Alignment. Using rational thinking with emotional intelligence and taking healthy action. You may be temporarily overwhelmed by your attraction to someone without thinking through the potential consequences. Is it worth losing your bond and your life together?
- Better safe than sorry: If there’s a particular situation that’s especially tempting, avoiding it may be helpful. For some people, it’s going out at night without your partner and drinking too much. For others, it may be using social networks and privately messaging people to get a rush. Although temptation can crop up anywhere, there’s no reason to actively seek it if you’ve decided it’s not in your best interest.
- Consider the causes: Think about the reasons why you feel attracted to this other person. Is there anything you lack in your relationship? Could your partner do anything to fill the gap? Understanding your needs and expressing them to your partner can help you establish a more fulfilling connection.
Where can I find effective emotional intimacy coaching?
If you’ve been hurt by infidelity or you feel tempted to cheat on your partner, PIVOT can help you discover and work on the main cause of your concerns. Our experienced and caring relationship advocates will guide you through the process of change and help you achieve your personal and relationship goals.
Thanks to our curriculum, you’ll take steps toward reparenting your inner child, overcoming the echo of early trauma, and attaching securely. You’ll learn how to reach relational alignment, a state of your thoughts, feelings, and actions working together in a harmonious, healthy way.
Work on money issues in your relationship or decide whether it’s time to move in together by joining our eye-opening workshops for couples. Facilitate your personal growth by participating in our individual workshops. Join us in a safe and welcoming environment of our Glass House Retreat to have a unique healing experience. Set out on a path of self-improvement today!