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While there are those who take a zero-tolerance approach to relationship cheating, there are others who give it something of a scale of seriousness. True enough, a willingness to give some leeway in the event of a breach of trust might reflect that you weren’t that serious about the relationship in the first place, and may even be inclined to do likewise yourself, but this isn’t necessarily always so.

Ted, Facebook.

Ted: Players have got to play, and why not ..? (From Facebook.)

Whatever the case, at the lowest end of this cheating scale, for those prepared to use it, is ‘the mistake with regret’. An example here would be a drunken kiss with somebody. The guilty party isn’t fully ‘with it’ when the misdemeanour occurs, it isn’t really actively pursued and it’s something that gives rise to immediate shame for doing it. For the doves amongst us, this can be forgiven pretty quickly (although a far less tolerable attitude will come into play for repeat offenders).

Moving up the scale, we’ve got the vindictive cheat. This is actively sought, thus making it much worse than above, yet it’s done because the person feels badly hurt by their partner, perhaps after a big argument. It’s not to say that they have no feelings for the one they’ve cheated on, it’s more an act of punishment to readdress ‘the hurt’. The door to reconciliation is still ajar if both sides are willing to go through it.

On from that, leading the way on the negative side of our scale is the couldn’t-care-less cheating. It’s pretty impossible to resurrect a relationship after this one. Basically, it’s cheating done with blatant disregard for the ‘other half’, their feelings registering not a beat in the heart of the cheater.

Now yes, it could be a case where this type of ‘offender’ never felt in anything close to a relationship; unrequited love so to put it. If that’s made clear from the get-go, then fair enough. But no, here we’re referring to people who had said openly they were in a relationship and generally pretended to act as such. This is what makes it particularly severe, as it implies the ‘romance’ was nothing but a charade, just a little game at the very most; ‘use and abuse’ being the motto to follow.

Looking at it from the way things seem to play out here in Colombia — where unfaithfulness and cheating, it could be argued, are more common than in other parts (see Republic of Jealousy & http://bit.ly/13VtSAZ  for example) — a good approach is to try not to get too emotionally involved, don’t take things seriously. That, of course, can be easier said than done.

Nonetheless, overcoming problems, be they of a cheating nature or otherwise, are part of a lasting relationship. Plus, we do have the old saying that ‘it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.’ On the flip side, there’s the adage of ‘not missing what you never had.’ Perhaps there’s a happy medium? It might just require a mindset change for some.
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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

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