Cheating, in any form, is never OK in a relationship. I know there's a lot of people who like to claim gray areas, but to me, it's strictly a black and white affair, for lack of a better word. But, I can understand how it happens, no matter how inexcusable it is, which is why I think there are some conversations every couple should have to avoid cheating.
I feel like I just have to reiterate: cheating is never OK. And I don't think someone who cheats can ever blame their partner for their transgression. But when situations turn ugly in a relationship and begin to brew discontent and resentment, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for an affair. Psychology Today named the eight reasons people cheat on their partners and most of them could've been avoided with certain conversations. When people feel unappreciated or unwanted by their SO, it's easy for them to stray. When someone's hiding insecurities, their unhappiness, and their desires from their partner, they may find themselves resentful and look for those same things in someone else.
Of course, there are those who cheat just because they are never satisfied with the person they're with, and I get that. But for those who are in a loving, committed relationship and don't want to stray, these 11 conversations can make an affair even easier to avoid.
1What Counts As Cheating
Believe it or not, lots of people have different opinions about what counts as cheating. It's best for you and your SO to have this discussion early on so you both know the boundaries and what cheating means to each of you. A harmless dinner date with a friend of yours may not seem like a big deal to you, but to your partner, it may feel like a betrayal.
2What Insecurities You Have
Everyone has them, whether it's about their own self-worth, their relationships, or the situations they are in. Any and all insecurities should be brought to the table, especially if you've been cheated on before.
3How To Handle Fights
Make it a point to talk about how you two should handle fights. Do you both prefer to give each other some space? Would you rather talk it out right then? Are you OK with giving your partner time to cool off? You need to know how to handle disagreements so you're not caught in some big miscommunication that makes you feel worse.
4Are You Open-Minded To New Things
You don't always have to do what your partner asks, but being open-minded can go a long way in avoiding cheating. Again, cheating is never OK, but when you refuse to participate in any of your SO's hobbies or have no interest in their ideas, it's easier for them to connect with someone else on those levels.
5Do You Feel Appreciated
A huge conversation that shouldn't be taken lightly is one about feeling appreciated. If you don't feel appreciated or you feel like you don't matter to the relationship, of course you're setting yourself up to stray from your partner. Make sure both of you feel appreciated and the best way to show it to each other.
6How To Stay Close To Each Other
Remaining close is so much more than sex and eating dinner together every night. Discuss your love languages, the best way to connect to each other, and how you can make it a priority to keep your relationship strong.
7Are There Changes In The Relationship
Because they're going to happen, and you two need to talk about them. Kids, new jobs, a change in lifestyle, all of it can affect your relationship and make things different. Ignoring them and expecting your relationship to stay the same can cause you to stray if you're feeling disconnected.
8How To Keep The Romance Alive
Cheaters often find the allure of an affair intoxicating because it's new, it's sexy, and it's like the beginning stages of dating. When you're in a long-term relationship, it can often feel stagnant and boring. Talk to your partner about keeping the romance alive, whether it's through date nights or making sure to have lots of romantic, alone time. (As in, no Netflix.)
9What You Need In A Relationship
Your partner can't give you what you need unless you tell them, right? If needs aren't met, you can become resentful and search for those needs from someone else.
10What Are The Responsibilities In Your Relationship
When you don't talk about the responsibilities in your relationship, like finances or dividing up chores, resentment will only breed between the two of you. Make sure you both have your fair share of work to do, especially if you live together, and that neither one of you is feeling like the other doesn't pull their weight.
11Are You Committed To Your Relationship
Finally, you two have to talk about your commitment to your relationship. Are you both in it forever? Is this just casual dating? Do you both agree on a monogamous partnership? You can't just assume that your SO is committed to you fully, you need to have the conversation.