Huffpost Divorce

Cheating On Spouse: What Should You Do If You're About To Cheat?

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What should you do if you're on the verge of cheating?

That's the question Redditors considered Tuesday after a 23-year-old married woman posted a thread that detailed her attempt to stay faithful to her husband while struggling with the "mostly physical" desire she felt for a friend.

Many Redditors urged the woman to consider whether sleeping with her friend was worth the cost of her marriage. Others encouraged her to be transparent about her feelings to her husband. Relationship expert Tammy Nelson echoed those sentiments. She told Huffington Post Divorce:

Sometimes acting out on that feeling can leave you with an empty and frustrated feeling afterward. Sure, following through on a purely sexual attraction might feel good in the moment, but after sex, you may find that you are disappointed if you thought that there was something more to your feelings. You might find yourself looking at this guy and think, 'Wow, I guess I don't really have that much in common with him, and maybe I don't want to leave my husband at home for him...'

Try and determine what you really feel for someone by seeing clearly what is between you. Is the attraction purely sexual or is there something more -- something more powerful than what you have at home?

Nelson added that coming clean about those feelings to your spouse could spur on an honest conversation, but only if it's handled sensitively -- meaning, no comparisons or criticizing your spouse. "This might be painful for your husband to hear, but it will probably open a door to a conversation that is less hurtful than, 'Honey I just cheated on you,'" she said.

And though she said it's natural to feel attracted to other people while in a monogamous relationship ("You are married, you are not dead!" she joked), remaining faithful to your partner is a "choice we make every day, and it takes practice. "

For those looking for a way out of a relationship, choosing to cheat can sometimes be a purposeful decision -- something Nelson called a "can opener."

"Its a way to get out of a relationship by blowing it wide open," she explained. "But there are easier and less painful ways to do it. If you want to end your marriage, you owe it to your husband to tell him first."

Here, signs that your partner might be cheating, according to the Twitterverse:

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