"Is there any harm in cheating if my partner never finds out?"
I am about to go on a holiday with my girlfriends who are all married.
We’ve all been with our partners for ages and started talking about what would happen if any of us did anything naughty out there (ie had a one-night-stand) and decided if we adopted the male motto of ‘What happens on tour, stays on tour’ what would be the harm. What do you think?
What you’re really asking me is if cheating is damaging to a relationship if there’s no-one around to catch you and it’s unlikely you’ll get caught. If you met them on holiday, you will never see them again and if you had safe sex then surely it means nothing?
Does cheating really matter in that case? It depends totally on how much you trust your girlfriends (you’d be surprised how many couples go back to tell their partner if someone else cheats - it’s irresistible gossip-wise) and on your personality.
If you genuinely see nothing wrong with what you did and your motivation was solely opportunity, how could it possibly harm your relationship? This is how some people justify it to themselves. Your partner is none the wiser and your behaviour toward them hasn’t altered. There’s just one problem with the perfect infidelity crime: very few people truly believe there’s nothing wrong with cheating. Even the smoothest, slickest philanderer, fond of boasting of their conquests, is aware they’re doing something ‘wrong’. And this is where it all unravels.
Knowing we’ve done something which would hurt our partner, subtly alters our perception of them. You got away with something, you’re one up on them. This makes them appear either naïve and too trusting or vulnerable and hopelessly helpless.
Good relationships are based on mutual admiration and respect, not pitying your partner or secretly thinking they’re stupid. If I was you, I’d all go and have a little flirt but draw the line at taking it past that.