When is one cheating in a marriage? If you had lunch with David and David wanted to kiss you, would that be all right? If you kissed David passionately, would you tell Sam?
You might know me well enough to anticipate my answer. Surely my friend does too.
I think passionately kissing David—or anybody—would be cheating. And I would tell Sam. In fact, I did tell Sam when David tried to kiss me. Was it all right? Yes, in the sense that I’m only responsible for how I respond, but I don’t think it would have been all right not to tell Sam. Open feels much more honest and loving to me.
I think a strict definition for cheating is: sharing less than all of you. I think a looser definition is: betraying a commitment. That said, commitment is an ongoing decision, whether it’s made consciously or unconsciously. And being honest about what you’re feeling today is even more important to a healthy relationship than keeping a commitment you made yesterday.
When you share less than all of you, it’s because you know, or accept, less than all of you. And that’s not just cheating your partner, that’s cheating yourself.
All of you is better, so much better, than isolated pieces of you. Still, you can catch yourself covering something up, as though you can improve on the package. But the more we practice being totally open, the more we demonstrate that naked is as good as we get … and the less likely we are to forget and hold something back.