When I think of someone making a mistake, I think of things such as misspelling a word, failing to remember someone’s birthday, or a person forgetting to feed their pet before going to work. These are errors that are not intentional but may create some type of misunderstanding. Over the years, I have noticed that many people have added “cheating in a committed relationship” to the list of mistakes that people make.
I have given relationship advice to several individuals who have experienced the pain of a cheating mate. Their mate’s typical response for cheating is, “I made a mistake.” This leads me to ask the question, “How can a person make a mistake if they knew what they were doing?”
Cheating is not a mistake, it is a bad choice. A person does not mistakenly take their clothes off nor do they mistakenly engage in intercourse, these things are called choices. Allowing cheating to be viewed as a mistake sometime takes away some of the severity from the offense because it makes it look less intentional. A lot of cheaters do not use the word “choice” because the word “choice” makes their actions more intentional resulting in their mates being less lenient.
To put this into perspective, think about this. If a person pointed a gun at someone and intentionally pulled the trigger, that person cannot call it a mistake, instead it is viewed as a bad choice. Conversely, if a person dropped a loaded gun on the floor and it fired hitting someone, it could be viewed as a mistake. Although both people caused a gun to fire and shoot someone, the courts would respond to these cases differently because of the intentions behind the firing.
Cheating is an intentional action and people should be held accountable for their actions. I am not saying that a relationship cannot repair from infidelity, but allowing someone to downplay their actions by calling it a mistake is not acceptable. If you are not ready to fully commit to your significant other, it is alright to remain single.
© 2012, Dr. Corey Guyton. All rights reserved.