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rojo's avatar

If one spouse cheats does it help if the other then cheats in response?

Asked by rojo (24123points) January 9th, 2018

brought to mind by a prior question.

Does it ever bring things back to, not the way things were but, a point where both partners can now move on?

Do both partners have to be aware of it for it to be effective?

If you know he/she cheated and it was a one time thing would you then cheating make you feel better? Vindicated? Satisfied? More able to continue the relationship? Less able?

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16 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I doubt it. In fact, it seems more like a way of hitting the relationship’s self-destruct button. Cheating is, by definition, done without permission. So it’s not like this is a case of one partner saying to another “go have a fling of your own if that will make you feel better.” Instead, it’s a case of someone trying to even the scales or get revenge. But revenge is found in pretty much the exact opposite direction of forgiveness, and healthy relationships aren’t about painstakingly maintaining even scales.

Sure, relationships work best when chores are shared and mutually agreeable compromises are made. But agonizing over whether or not taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom are measurably equal tasks is a concern more fitting of a business relationship than a romantic one. The same goes for infidelity. You don’t move on by becoming companions in guilt. You move on by mutually coming to the conclusion that the relationship is worth saving and perpetuating despite the infidelity.

That could include a discussion about opening up the relationship, of course, but it does not need to. If both partners decide they want to recommit to monogamy and do a better job of it in the future, good for them. It’s their choice what the parameters of their relationship will be, and what works for them doesn’t have to be what works for anyone else. Whatever they decide, however, vindictive retribution is unlikely to be a contributing factor to any sort of lasting reconciliation.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It might give you a fleeting sense of vindication, but it sure as hell doesn’t help grow or repair the trust in the relationship. A relationship without trust is moribund.

mazingerz88's avatar

My best guess is most of the time it won’t help but maybe once in a while it can.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Probably not.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why would I want to reduce my morals and standards to the level of a cheater?

Answer to your question: Definitely NO.

SergeantQueen's avatar

No.Makes both of them terrible people

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, if you’re going to cheat then why be married at all. Although part of me feels that a marriage is permanent (for those who don’t believe in divorce) so if cheating or the desire to cheat does occur, perhaps it should be allowed via mutual agreement, although that could open the door to a lot of problems.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well if it’s via mutual agreement then it’s not really cheating.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@KNOWITALL There’s no such thing as “cheating by mutual agreement.” That’s called “voluntary non-monogamy.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SavoirFaire I suppose, any sex outside of marriage, via agreement or not, is cheating imo. Unless that agreement’s in writing and signed by both parties so it can’t be used against you in court.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@KNOWITALL “Cheating” is a word with a meaning and a definition. And while a court is empowered to determine whether or not you have enough evidence to sufficiently prove that something is true, it certainly cannot unilaterally make things true or false.

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Thammuz's avatar

Does stabbing a murderer bring their victim back to life?

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