The Cheat Sheet

Almost every animal cheats, from the nastiest, dirtiest rat to the pricy (but handsome!) exterminator you call to help with your rodent problems. But despite our natural inclination toward infidelity, not everyone actually does it. Luckily, we’ve got the goods on the dirty trick nature has played on would-be monogamists, and how some people resist temptation.

Animal behavior can tell us a lot about human behavior. Authors of the book The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People (a married couple themselves) assert that the only animal they could find that was absolutely, positively monogamous was a type of tapeworm… And the reason those tapeworms don’t cheat is because they’re fused together for life! Clearly, not something a human couple would consider. Besides, who’d want to have to consult a doctor as well as a lawyer if their marriage didn’t work out?

All right, so it’s just not natural to be monogamous. Let’s face it, it’s not natural to watch TV, read articles on the Internet or send text messages to vote for your favorite American Idol contestant either, but most people wouldn’t give up those cherished bits of civilization no matter how unnatural we know them to be. So how does one resist the natural urge to cheat on one’s mate?

Be happy
This probably isn’t a surprise, but being a mentally stable person makes it easier to stay true to your mate. On the flip side, people who have profound character flaws- narcissists, for example- tend to find monogamy impossible. In other words, if your honey looks at the mirror more than he or she looks at you, your relationship might be in trouble.

Is it right?
This may sound like a no-brainer, but be in the right relationship! Trust us, lots of people are in relationships that are all wrong for them. Some people get married too young, or before they’re ready. Others allow themselves to be bullied into having things – pets, mortgages, kids- they aren’t prepared to deal with. As we all know, there are more people out there that are wrong for us than that are right for us. But when you’re in that wrong relationship, will you really be surprised if you or your lover ends up cheating? Get out of bad or just plain wrong for you relationships before the cheating starts. Why put yourself through the pain for something that wasn’t even right in the first place?

Recognize flaws
Your live-in boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t listen, they forget your birthday and you’re pretty sure they misplaced your favorite ring to finance their new Blackberry. And suddenly that hotty in accounting (the one who hangs on your every word, taped balloons all over your desk on your birthday and offered to buy you lunch) is looking pretty cute, and you find yourself having drinks with them after work. Uh-oh.

People often overlook the problems in their relationship until it’s too late, and they’ve done something they regret. Clearly, some relationships shouldn’t be saved, and sometimes people cheat to force an end to a relationship gone bad. But if your problems are relatively minor, don’t look the other way. Recognize them for what they are, and then…

It’s much easier to fix a small problem than a large one, and when it comes to relationships, so many small problems eventually become big problems. As hard as it is to talk about the things that aren’t quite right, waiting until they’re big things, or until you’ve reached the point where you or your partner has cheated in response to the problem, is much, much harder.

Unfortunately, it may be human nature to cheat – but you can resist temptation, especially if you take the time to work on your relationship.

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  1. Pingback: The Psychic Powers of Animals | California Psychics Blog

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