What To Ask Yourself *Before* You Cheat

Ashley Batz/Bustle

I was cheated on in 2015 and I still feel pretty foolish when I think about it. No one wants to be cheated on, but whether or not we like it, people sometimes cheat. It happens. Sometimes there’s not one specific reason as to why people want to cheat on their partners; sometimes it's a drunken mistake. Sometimes there’s a very specific reason, like the love between the two people has died. And other times, it’s a calculated thing; something in which the cheater has decided they want to do for any number of reasons, from revenge to hoping to end the relationship to anything in between. Cheating is complicated.

"Cheating and it's consequences are one of the most devastating moments in a relationship," relationship coach and psychic medium Melinda Carver tells Bustle. "It turns your whole world upside-down when you find out your partner is cheating, [and] you begin to look at everything in your relationship as a lie, and your self-esteem plummets."

But if you're thinking that maybe, just maybe, you want to cheat on your partner, here are some questions to ask yourself as to why you’re about to do it, because you may realize something is missing from your relationship or that you're taking the easy way out of a more complicated issue.

Is Something Missing From My Relationship?

Relationship coach and owner of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, highly suggests that you figure out what’s missing, before you cheat. As he tells Bustle, it’s important to really think about what the missing factor is and if cheating will make it appear.

Will Cheating Fix My Relationship?

Although there are some cases where cheating has “fixed,” or at least made some relationships better because it put things into perspective, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. That being said, the likelihood of your cheating fixing your relationship is slim and something worth considering.

Am I Trying To Fill A Void?

Among the self-inquiry into what’s missing and what can possibly fix it, may come the wonder if sex can fill a void. That is, if that’s what you’re feeling might be the issue. For example, maybe the void is lack of passion, so you seek it elsewhere. “It would be easy to say that I am missing passionate sex and that sleeping with person X who is not my partner would fill that,” says Armstrong. “No. It would fill it temporarily; it won't solve the passionate sex gap that exists in the relationship.”

4. Am I Taking The Easy Way Out By Cheating?

Since cheating is something you can’t undo once you’ve done it, Armstrong says it’s really important to ask yourself if this is about trying to fix something or maybe just wanting out, but being too afraid to deal with it. Cheating, then going home and telling your partner you cheated is an easy way out of not dealing with the issues in your relationship and probably, more often than not, will have your partner running for the door – which might actually be your hope and intention.

Have I Done What I Can To Make This Relationship Work?

As some point, while rummaging through your head trying to figure out the equation, you’ll have to stumble upon the part where you need to ask yourself if you’ve given everything you can to fix what you think is broken. Have you communicated with your partner your feelings? Have you you taken steps to rectify things? Maybe suggested couples therapy?

If I Want To Cheat, Why Am I Even Staying In This Relationship?

Once you’ve dissected everything as much as possible and if you’re still standing there with no answers, then it’s time to get real and ask yourself, “Why am I staying in this relationship?” says Armstrong. What are you holding on to? What are you hoping will change? Why are you thinking about cheating?

While no one will ever say trying to figure out the reasons behind the desire to cheat is easy, it is something that can be prevented. Try taking the time to be honest with yourself and take your partner's feelings into consideration before you cheat. And, if you realize you do want out of the relationship, end things before it gets messy. No one wants to be a villain and no one wants to be a victim, but cheating happens because we're human and humans are flawed AF. Which, honestly, is kind of our charm.