It's a dirty word, cheating. But while to most it's an impossible concept to swallow, others owe a lot to the concept because occasionally, an infidelity can be the reason a relationship survives.
To most, entering into a relationship has that air of finality; the person they are dating will be the only one for however long that relationship lasts. But life doesn't always work like that. Moments pop up; people wander in and out of your life and turn it upside down. Not everyone can say no to those moments. Monogamy hasn't always been a human trait. Those that say that they would never dream of straying are also the people who would find it hard to forgive their partner. You judge others by how you judge yourself after all. Maybe they are too harsh on themselves and others.
We're a peculiar race, humans, it's often said we hurt those we care about the most.
It's natural to have doubts. If you know you love your partner but are worried about the longevity of your relationship you can either stick it out or get out but those doubts will always be there unless you address them. Of course this doesn't equate to cheating but if your doubts grow and grow it's likely you'll end up doing it sooner or later. If that's the case what if by then you were married or had kids? You'd be ruining more than just your own life.
Occasionally betrayal can benefit a relationship. I know how stupid this sounds, but if betrayal makes you realise exactly what you were throwing away, perhaps it's the only salvation for some couples? What if getting caught was exactly what you needed to help you realise the grass wasn't really greener on the other side? People who cheat do it for a range of reasons but they can be categorised under a series of headlines – boredom, temptation, or fear.
Of course, once you've realised you made a terrible mistake and 'fessed up or been caught in the act – who's to say your devastated partner will forgive and forget? Learning to trust someone again is difficult, things don't always have a happy ending a la Sex and the City's Miranda and Steve. But if you can get past it then you might realise it was a blessing in disguise. I'm not condoning cheating but for those couples who manage to forgive infidelity, things can get better. At worst it will end up destroying the best relationship you've ever had. But at best, it's the sharp and shocking wake up call that puts everything in perspective. Life's a risk.
By Kira Agass