Experts Reveal 3 Ways to Resist the Urge to Cheat

Cheating in a relationship is one of the most cruel and disrespectful things a person can do. Although it’s natural to be attracted to other people, Dr. Paul DePompo, PsyD, ABPP, a board certified clinical psychologist, tells Bustle that it becomes an issue when you use those ideas to escape the realities of your relationship. It’s even worse if you’re taking steps toward doing it. However, there are several basic steps you can take to resist the urge to cheat.

If you’re considering cheating, you should first figure out where the urge is coming from. Is there a problem in the relationship that is producing a lot of stress and tension? Is your relationship failing to meet your needs? Or perhaps you’ve always battled with dedication. “In essence, thoughts of cheating are often indicative of internal conflicts the person has within themselves or their current world, rather than wanting to be with the person that the fantasy is about,” psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle. As a result, there are several steps you can take to avoid going through with it. So, according to experts, here are some techniques to fight the desire to cheat.

1. Consider What Will Happen After You Cheat. It is always beneficial to remain present and live in the moment. When it comes to cheating, however, it’s not a bad idea to look into the future. What, specifically, will happen when you achieve that fantasy? “The eventual next image is either your partner finding out (as they often do), or this person continuing to come back wanting more and putting pressure on you,” Dr. DePompo says.

It might even assist to imagine yourself breaking up with your existing lover right now. Consider how you would go about it, the logistics of moving out if you live together, and how your life would look and feel both during and after the breakup. “If the idea of breaking up makes you feel relieved or happy, plan to end things with your significant other before you cheat,” Amica Graber, relationship specialist at TruthFinder, tells Bustle. “Think twice if the thought of breaking up makes you feel heartbroken.” If you follow your instincts, that is your future.”

2. Reinvest Your Energy in Your Relationship. If your desire to cheat arises from boredom in your relationship, try to reignite your relationship. “The willingness to invest energy and time in building a conscious relationship will help you fight the temptation to cheat on your partner,” says relationship therapist Irina Baechle, LCSW. This essentially means making an effort to improve things by chatting with your partner and looking for solutions to restart the relationship. There’s no reason to waste your time worrying about someone else.

3. Take Your Crushes Seriously And Avoid Temptations.When you’re already in a relationship, it’s easy to dismiss a crush as trivial or unimportant. That’s acceptable if you’re drawn to someone from a distance. However, if you find yourself spending a lot of time with that person or actively keeping up with them on social media, it may be a good idea to end it before you get too involved. Consider your crushes seriously. “You shouldn’t be spending one-on-one time with a crush when you’re already involved,” adds Graber. “Unfollow them on social media and stop giving yourself chances to cheat.” If you’re tempted, leave your primary relationship or stop flirting with someone else.”

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