One of the more common things I do is help couples who have experienced infidelity survive and even thrive. As I have said before, the great majority of these couples are successful in treatment. However, I am clear on one thing- cheating and all the secrecy and deception that goes with it steals from the betrayed partner. It steals a very important right- the right to have information in order to make a good decision. You cannot make a good decision without information. I know you would not want your physician to make major decisions about your health without blood tests, x-rays, MRI’s or other ways to obtain information. Only with that information can your doctor make a good decision. Another example- imagine driving up to an intersection in your automobile without looking both ways and ahead of you, looking to see what color the traffic light is or if there is a stop sign for you or the drivers going perpendicular to you. It would be ridiculous. You need that information in order to not get killed or severely injured.
Cheaters are not bad people; they are not evil. However, they are not thinking about the interpersonal crime they are committing on their partner. Or they decide that being this interpersonal criminal is justified. (It never is). We all need to think of others as well as ourselves. If you want to be with someone else, you have a right to be. However, let your committed partner know about it so that he or she could make the right decision for him or herself. It is that simple. Having your cake and eating it too is not a reality and is no more a reality when it comes to these kinds of choices.
I remember anti-smoking commercials that were on TV a few years ago. It said- “Quitting is hard. Not quitting is harder.” In the realm of infidelity vs. transparency and honesty- Telling the truth is hard. Secrets are (eventually) harder.