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When you get married, you’re making a commitment to stay faithful, both emotionally and physically, to one person. While many people have long, successful marriages, some have to deal with infidelity; in many cases, infidelity drives the slighted spouse to a Richmond Hill divorce lawyer’s office.

A person who cheats may do so for myriad reasons. They may spend long periods of time away from home, have an unhappy marriage or simply believe it’s okay if their spouse never finds out. The person being cheated on often experiences trauma over what their spouse has done, but is cheating ever justified?

What Constitutes Cheating?

Every couple will have a different definition of what constitutes cheating. Some people rigidly define an affair as sexual conduct outside a marriage, while others believe that an online affair is just as bad as a physical one.

The general consensus doesn’t really matter, though. What matters is how you define cheating within your own marriage. If your spouse is engaging in behaviours that you feel are a betrayal of your trust and your marriage, you’re entitled to the feelings that arise.

Why People Cheat

Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer can probably provide you with dozens of reasons people claim to have affairs—after all, your lawyer deals with divorcing couples from all sorts of backgrounds on a daily basis, so he or she has likely heard it all.

However, psychologists seem to have narrowed down the root causes of cheating to eight. Most often, people who cheat cite reasons like:

  • being dissatisfied sexually with their partner
  • wishing they had more sex
  • being emotionally unsatisfied
  • wanting more emotional connections
  • falling out of love with partners
  • falling in love with someone outside the marriage
  • wanting to exact revenge on a partner who cheated on them
  • boredom

Are any of these morally or ethically justified? The short answer is: maybe.

When Cheating is OK

You and your partner have to define what constitutes cheating before it happens; that way, you’re on a level playing field. You’ll also need to look at the “big picture” as a couple and as an individual.

The only way cheating can be justified is if the reasons behind the actions matter to you as a couple (or to you as an individual). Some people find the act of cheating unforgivable, regardless of the reasons behind it. Others consider all the factors.

What it boils down to are personal feelings. You may feel as if your (or your spouse’s) infidelity is justified based on your own beliefs, or you may feel that going outside the boundaries of your marriage for physical or emotional gratification can never be justified.

Talk to Your Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer

Even if you or your spouse feels that infidelity is justifiable in your case, you’ll need to discuss the legal ramifications with your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer. The law is reason free from passion (we can thank Aristotle for that definition), so legally, the cause of cheating doesn’t make much impact on the way the courts view it.

FAQs on IS CHEATING EVER JUSTIFIED? – what is cheating in a relationship

Yes. Different relationships and individuals have different values and tolerances for certain activities. Couples could consult with a relationship expert or get relationship therapy to help them process the issue together.

These signs are not definitive, as many people have different ways of hiding suspicious behaviour. However, these are some common signs of possible infidelity or relationship trouble:

  • Changes in communication or attitude
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • New interests they don’t want to share
  • Lying and avoidance
  • Changes in sexual activity

The only ground for a divorce in Canada’s Divorce Act is marriage breakdown. This could include spousal infidelity, although this alone could be difficult and emotionally taxing to prove in court.

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