How to Deal With the Desire to Cheat on Your Partner

Are you dealing with an office crush or feelings for a friend? This can be a big problem if you’re in a committed relationship. Relationships are tough, but can be even trickier when outside temptations creep in. Even if you love your partner, someone new may have caused you to reconsider your commitment. To stay faithful, work to avoid this temptation, manage your desires, and focus on improving your bond with your partner.

EditSteps

EditRemoving Yourself from Tempting Situations

  1. Avoid sticky situations. Avoid situations or places where you tend to become a bit flirty. If you know that after a few drinks you don’t make the best decisions, then avoid going to bars without your partner or invite them to tag along. Avoid similar locations where you have been tempted in the past, like clubs.[1]
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  2. Stay in groups. Be especially careful to avoid being alone with people who you have been romantic or sexual with in the past. If you have a coworker who you’re flirty with, don’t go with them alone to lunch. Never spend time with them outside of professional settings.[2]
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    • If they invite you out to lunch, you can say something like “Actually, I have too much work to do, I’m sorry.” You can also see if other coworkers would like to tag along.
    • If you must be alone with them, leave the door open and meet in an open space. Keep your interactions professional.
  3. Talk about your partner. If you find yourself in a tough spot, bring up your partner casually in conversation. This will serve as a reminder to both you and others that you are not available. You don’t need to be showy about your relationship, but do continue to make them aware of it.[3]
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    • For instance, if they bring up a particular show they like you can say “My boyfriend really likes that show, too! I don’t care for it that much.”
  4. Wear your wedding ring. This is a great way to show the world and to remind yourself of your commitment. If you have a moment when you’re eyeing someone else, you might look at that ring and reconsider these thoughts. If you cannot wear it while working, consider getting a tattoo.[4]
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    • If you are not married, consider wearing some other symbol as a reminder to yourself. You might consider a bracelet or even a piece of yarn.
  5. Spend time with faithful friends. Spend a little less time with your single friends while you are struggling with these desires. Your single friends’ unattached lifestyle might influence you to do something you’ll regret. Opt for more time with your married friends, instead.
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    • Do not disconnect completely from these friends. Simply avoid going out with them to bars; opt for activities like lunches and movies instead.

EditManaging Your Desires

  1. Call a friend. In the heat of the moment when you feel tempted, call a friend. You can tell them about the situation so they can talk you out of it, or you can use them as a distraction to your desire. Once you get off the phone, you will likely have built up the courage to resist.[5]
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    • You can say something like “Hey, remember when I was telling you about my coworker Alyssa? Well, she just invited me back to her place for drinks. I need you to talk me out of it.”
    • You might even call your partner to talk to them, too.
  2. Get to know their family. If you cheat, you will hurt your family and the family of the other person, too. If this person is a coworker or friend, take opportunities to get to know their family. Use occasions like office Christmas parties to introduce yourself to their spouse and kids.[6]
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    • If you won’t have the chance to meet them, check out their social media so you know what their family looks like.
  3. Confide in your friends, not those who you’re attracted to. If you are having issues in your relationship, avoid confiding in people you have feelings for. Rely on your partner or your platonic friends to discuss these things. You can talk to family, as well.[7]
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    • You might call up your brother or sister and ask for advice or just vent about the situation.
  4. Set a time limit. When tempted, step away from heated moments and agree to give yourself an hour to think. Often times, once this time limit is up, the moment will have passed and you will decide against making a bad choice.[8]
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  5. Get in touch with your spiritual side. Spirituality or religion can be a great source of strength during this tempting time. Turn to your local center of worship for help with remaining faithful. Spend time in prayer or meditation at night.
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    • You can also try becoming more spiritual with your partner. Invite them to places of worship and ask them to pray or meditate with you.
  6. Imagine your partner walking in. You might have a regular flirtation with someone already going at this point. Imagine your partner’s face and feelings if they could see and hear what you are doing. Imagine also if the situation were reversed and they had an inappropriate relationship. Think on how that would feel for you.[9]
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  7. Get to the root cause of your desire. Reflect on your desire to cheat. You might want to cheat because you’re not being pleased sexually at home. You and your partner might be fighting a lot lately, as well. Think about what is truly motivating your desires and then work to address them.
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    • For instance, if you are not happy with your sex life, suggest something new to your partner to spice things up.
    • This can be a chance to identify and fix what’s wrong in your relationship!

EditFocusing on Your Relationship

  1. Date your partner. Instead of thinking of the sexual or romantic things you could be doing with someone else, do those things with your partner. Surprise them with a gift or a picnic. Take them back to the spot where you first met them. Plan a mini vacation for just the two of you. If you invest in your own relationship, you will be less likely to wander.
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  2. Communicate effectively. When there is a problem, talk to your partner about it. Listen to their opinions, without interruption. Try to have as few unresolved issues between the two of you as possible.[10]
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    • Avoid yelling or cursing at your partner.
  3. Write a list of what you love about your partner. Take a moment to reflect on why you fell in love with them in the first place. Write down everything you like about them, from the freckle below their left eye to their kind heart. Celebrate them for the things you love about them rather than finding these attributes in others.
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    • You might even consider sharing this list with your spouse.
  4. Evaluate your relationship. Often times, your partner probably makes you very happy; however, the idea that grass might be greener on the other side can poison even the best of relationships. Begin keeping a journal documenting your days, and the status of your relationship with your partner.
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    • Write down any arguments you had or times when they were kind to you. Think about what you would be missing if your relationship ended due to cheating.
    • Make your decision about your current relationship first before getting involved with anyone else.
  5. Consider an alternative relationship. At the end of the day, some people are just not meant for monogamy. This does not mean that you should cheat, but that you should instead be honest with your partner. They might be feeling the same way and perhaps you two could have an open relationship, instead. Or perhaps, it is time to move on so your partner can find someone whose views on relationships are more in line with their own.
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  6. Get help if necessary. If you have always had a problem with cheating on your partners in the past and you desire to turn over a new leaf, seek professional help. It is unfair to continue entering into romantic relationships with people if you have these unresolved issues. Many counselors can help reshape the way people think about things and create new habits. Find a therapist in your area and make an appointment for a session. Being faithful can sometimes be tough, but with the right supports, you can keep your commitment!
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EditSources and Citations

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