Shannon Maker is a blogger and freelance writer in Des Moines, Iowa, with a passion for photography and cooking. She has a degree in Journalism and Spanish.
She fell in love with different kinds of authentic European cuisine while backpacking and studying abroad in Spain, France, and Italy during her senior year of college and for two years after graduation. She is willing to try anything from Boudin noir (blood sausage) to ox tongue, but her favorite has to be good old fashion pizza. You can usually find her whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, scouring Pinterest for the latest craft ideas, or playing with her two dogs, Parker and Benny.
I’ve had my fair share of relationships since I reached dating age, but since college I’ve been much more of a passive audience member to my friends’ dating lives than an active player in the game.
During my time as a single gal, I’ve actually learned a lot about relationships. As a bystander, I’ve seen lots of relationships come and go. Like eHarmony points out, they usually end for pretty typical reasons such as incompatibility, each wanting different things out of life, or the love just isn’t there anymore. None of them really comes as much of a surprise. The fights and behavior of the two when they’re together are usually pretty good signs. But when a couple breaks up because one of them cheated, it’s always a shock.
It seems to come out of nowhere. I’ve seen it happen to those who have been married for 10 years and those less than a year into a relationship. It’s heartbreaking no matter how long or brief you’ve been together. If you’re lucky enough to have never dealt with the situation before, you might see it as very straightforward: someone cheated, they’re a horrible person, and you breakup to find someone better. But rarely are the situations that black and white.
There are some instances where people may even side with the cheater, believing their actions were warranted because of the state of the relationship. Sometimes people may even think that the partner is at fault for their significant other being lead astray. In every sense of the word, to be a victim, you must be innocent. Is it possible that the person who didn’t stray isn’t innocent in the situation? Should it really be them that has to reform after the other cheats?
Speaking from experience, infidelity really messes with your head. You feel completely inadequate, betrayed, and naive. You feel as though the person that you were supposed to trust has made a fool out of you. But then, as The Frisky noted, somewhere among the anger and sadness comes the the doubt, and you end up repeatedly asking yourself the same question: Am I at fault?
It’s really a matter of personal opinion, but when someone blames another for the actions they willingly do, it’s really nothing more than a thinly veiled way to justify the act with the misguided notion that two wrongs make a right. The damages that both parties’ actions cause should be individually viewed, not used as a way to justify degrading the relationship further. And that goes for both sexes, both of which I have seen turn the blame to their partner for their own actions.
It’s certainly not just men that are breaking the bonds of trust. In a recent study by Adam and Eve, they found that one third (32.47%) of people in a committed relationship admitted to cheating on their partners. They also found that more women admitted to cheating (34%) than men (30%).
In looking at the survey results, sexologist Dr. Kat Van Kirk said, “These results are somewhat shocking, because we typically hear about high-profile men cheating in the news… But with more women in the workplace, and the ease of online relationship development, the playing field really has been leveled.”
What’s more important than deflecting blame in a cheating situation is figuring out how you both ended up at this point in the first place. Is one person not having his or her needs met? Are those needs rational or do you feel that they’re unreasonable?
Understandably, some people cannot get past cheating and choose to end the relationship, while others feel that it’s something that can be worked through. If you ever end up in the situation, the most important thing to remember is that everyone deserves someone who is going to be faithful to them. If your needs aren’t being met after you’ve tried talking and working on the problems, the solution isn’t to cheat. Remember, whether or not someone claims that his or her significant other is pushing him or her into the arms of someone else, two wrongs never make a right.