Cheating is quite difficult to define in an all-encompassing theory because it is controlled by emotions and not logic.
So obviously, what is seen as cheating varies from person to person and reaction to it is just as different.
Seeing a partner with another woman at a restaurant could be seen as cheating to one person.
For another person, that partner needs to be caught embracing or kissing that woman before it will classified as cheating.
Regardless of differences, we can all agree that cheating can be found in the following acts: spending too much time with another person, calling a particular phone number too often and for too long, sexting, exchanging nudes, sex, lewd chats online, denying marital or relationship status, buying intimate gifts [underwear, lingerie] for another person, being close friends with members of the opposite sex, etc.
Having established some of the most common things that people see as cheating, the question now is, when does cheating become unacceptable?
At what point does it become ‘justifiable’ to dump a partner who has been caught doing something you regard as cheating.
Is it as soon as the cheater is caught, or just when it is reported to you?
Does cheating become unacceptable when a partner cheats once, or after they do the same thing over and over again?
While many people will be quick to say they will leave anyone who cheats on them even once, is it actually sensible to leave someone who cheats and sorely regrets it, promising to never do it again?
Wouldn’t it be better to to give them another chance?
In season two, episode five of Issa Rae’s “Insecure,” Molly discovers that her father had cheated on her mum and instead of dumping him as she should, her mum remained in the marriage and was even all happy and glowing on their 35th wedding anniversary.
[It was at ceremony she found out, actually]
Her mum’s reason? Her husband had made her happy more than he has hurt her!
Now this is not to say everyone who cheats should be pardoned. But it’s just a pointer at some of the mitigating factors that real life people sometimes consider before allowing cheating end their marriages and long-term relationships.
Different strokes for different folks, so the answers to the question will surely differ from person to person.
Regardless of the choices though, it is clear that choosing to remain in a marriage or relationship where one person has cheated is subjective to the circumstances surrounding each case, and how tolerant and forgiving the cheated partners are.