Is an eye-for-an-eye approach a good idea when it comes to infidelity?
It's an interesting question, and one that kicked off a great conversation on Reddit over the weekend when a husband opened up about his desire to have an affair in retaliation for his wife's infidelity.
He's not entirely sure if the marriage can be salvaged, he explained. As for the revenge affair, there's a general consensus among his friends that it's a bad idea, but he's not so sure about that.
"Maybe part of figuring things out involves exploration," he said. "We both haven't been happy for a long time. Maybe I don't want to admit to myself that I want someone else? How would I know unless I try?"
He added: "Am I no better than the person that cheated on me if I feel that maybe this is part of MY process? I would love to hear feedback from anyone, especially those with any experience. How did it work out for you?"
In response, Redditors -- many of whom had cheated on partners themselves -- weighed in with some great advice. Scroll down for five of the most interesting points, then tell us what advice you would give the husband in the comments.
1. Ask yourself if you still want to be with your partner.
One of the best pieces of advice came from a Redditor who had an affair but was able to salvage his relationship. The first question that needs to be asked before having a revenge affair, he said, is whether or not you still want to be in the relationship.
"If the answer is yes, don't cheat. There's a good chance, hypocritical as it may seem, that if you are found out, it won't be excused just because he or she already cheated, but rather confirm there is nothing to save. By cheating, you may lose control over the [situation.]"
And if you don't want to be with your significant other? "Just end the relationship," the Redditor advised.
2. Know that your marriage may not be able to survive two affairs.
If you hold out any hope that your relationship can be saved, don't have an affair, one Redditor said. "Marriages can survive one person stepping out. It is dramatically harder to survive two," he said. "Justify it how you want, but you will GREATLY decrease survival. You can always sleep around later if it doesn't work, but you can't un-sleep with somebody if you decide you want it to work."
3. Be open with your partner about how you feel.
As one Redditor pointed out, if your partner had an affair, there's clearly communication problems in the relationship. Refusing to address the fallout from the affair -- the resentment you feel, and your desire to even the score in some way -- will just compound the problem. "[Your partner] wasn't having their needs met and didn't know how to talk about them," the Redditor said. Not expressing your own feelings will just "perpetuate the issue "and could "make [the relationship] harder to fix."
4. Consider the emotional repercussions.
Toying with the idea is fine, but actually going through with cheating may be a decision you seriously regret later on, one Redditor suggested. "I think it's better not to lower ourselves to the behavior of the person who caused us so much pain," he said. "It's tempting and I totally understand it, but in the long run all you have is your word and your principles. After you are divorced, go crazy."
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