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Drink, Drugs & Cheating!!

Cheating Behaviour

In my private counselling sessions I recognise patterns of behaviour, a theme, and these change from time to time but over the past 6 months the theme has most certainly been; clients wanting to give up Alcohol and Drugs and when asked what are the reasons for wanting to make this positive change in their lives I often hear

"to stop my cheating behaviour".

Now cheating is a topic I have covered before, where I explain just how devastating it can be not just for the one being cheated on but also for those around them, it literally destroys entire families, and even when the couple decide to stay together and work through it, be that for the kids sake or other reasons can that "Trust" ever truly be restored?

Now there is never an excuse for someone cheating, it is in my opinion the most disrespectful and selfish thing someone can do to another human being, especially considering you are supposed to love and respect your partner, now don't get me wrong here I am no angel, I am ashamed to say that as a young person I cheated all the time, it was learnt behaviour from my childhood which continued into the Army, in fact it wasn't until I studied to become a counsellor that I realised how a relationship should actually be and yes I know that sounds like crap but that's the truth. I remember that moment when the penny dropped and I took a long hard look at myself and my previous behaviours and I was ashamed, suffice is to say I haven't cheated since, however that also isn't strictly true when we actually look at "what is cheating".

Flirt Messaging

Some people will say that it isn't cheating if you haven't had sex or if it was just messaging and you didn't physically see the other person, I have heard a lot of excuses in my time, excuses like, "Boredom", "Loneliness", Depression", "I thought we were just friends talking and he/she took it further and I stopped it then (but still kept it a secret)" and of course "I was drunk or off my head on drugs"all excuses I have heard as a counsellor and also personally and like I said, I'm no angel, I have spent time with another women (no sex) whilst trying to decide what to do in my own relationship, I seen it at the time as I had actually left my partner and wasn't "planning" on ever returning so what I did in my time was my business right? However upon reflection I see how that was also cheating. If you are not comfortable in telling your partner about your actions then ask yourself why is that? Ask yourself if it was roles reversed how would you feel, and I hear the defensive response of "I wouldn't be bothered" a lot but get past that "response" and actually put yourself there, mentally and emotionally then answer. In my opinion a relationship only needs one simple rule that being to treat your partner as you would wish to be treated yourself, and on the reverse of that if you think to yourself "would I like it" and if that answer is no then it's probably cheating of some description.

Mental Prison

There quite simply is no excuse for treating another human being that way, if you are not happy within your relationship then you should address it and either work through it "together" or leave the relationship before getting with someone else, if only out of respect, there was a time that you loved the very person you are cheating on or had cheated on. The devastating impact cheating has to the victims is nothing to just disregard, I personally experienced more trauma from being cheated on than I did the Iraq war, I have had clients tell me that they have ended up in prison for what they done to "the other guy" so not only have they had to endure the pain and suffering of being disrespected and cheated on but because they took matters into their own hands, some may say out of rage, hurt and anger, some may say that it would be justified but in the eyes of the law it isn't and those unfortunate individuals have had to spend time in prison, alone in their cell contemplating their actions and of course the actions of the partner and that partners accomplice, having to live in mental torment, constantly wondering what they are up to and not being able to do anything about it. And that's the problem here, cheating in my opinion should be against the law, the cheaters should have to be held accountable for their actions and I am sure that no judge in the land would give allowances for the perpetrators claiming to be under the influence of substances at the time, sorry judge I didn't mean to kill that man, I was pissed certainly wouldn't cut it and although the cheaters may not of physically killed the victim they will have certainly killed a part of them, inside.


I should at this point mention that I am writing this partly from my own experiences and partly from clients experiences however owning them as my own for ease of writing: as previously mentioned, I have been cheated on myself and yes I have even accepted the Karma in that, given my younger years, but did I "deserve" it? FUCK NO, two wrongs' don't make a right and the excuses of revenge, boredom, loneliness or whatever simply doesn't cut it for me like, but what can I do about it other than either try and work through it or leave? And if it is the latter, is that even a viable option? I see many clients who have ended up living back at their parents house due to a break ups but what if that isn't an option and the realism of your partners cheating is going to result in YOU losing everything, including your home and your quite literally on the streets as you can't afford to live by yourself, your trapped, stuck in a relationship with a cheating partner who disrespected you and what you as a couple stand for, but also what about you and your self respect?

Now the Younger Infantry commander version of me would of "dealt with the guy(s)" but the version of me today has the maturity to see that all that will do is put me in prison, that however doesn't make things easy, I even questioned "who am I" if I dont "do something" what kind of message does that give out to others if I don't act? am I a coward? but every action has a consequence and I believe in Karma and I am not stupid enough to throw all that I have worked for away over someone who disrespected me, but it still leaves the other guy right? Is he worth the risk? maybe I could break his legs and just claim I was drunk and didn't know what I was doing right?

And lets not forget about the other victim in this, what about her? the partner of the accomplice, does she know that her partner who she has kids with is meeting up with someone elses wife on a night out, ringing her and messaging at 5am and would she feel that that behaviour is acceptable? I doubt it, but there "just friends" right?

I'm sorry like but I know many women, wifes of mates of mine who I have known for 30 years and I would never message them at 5am but maybe that's just me!

Now I have been here before, putting the needs of the other victims first and not telling them that their husband has cheated on her with my wife, no point both of us suffering right? This isn't a decision I took likely I should add, as that other victim has a right to know but when presented with the fact that that person was already suffering with depression and subsequently suicidal I chose to leave the decision with her Mum, let it be on her conscience.

Man hiding behind Alcohol

Top and tail of it all is that your behaviour cannot be explained away by alcohol or drugs, they are merely coping mechanisms for an already unhappy existence. Go back on your timeline and look at when you recognised that you were using substances in order to cope, when you recognised it was becoming a problem, dig deep and see the real reason why you decided that it would be ok to cheat on your partner, and ask yourself while your there, was it all really worth it? And now you have an addiction to deal with on top of the issue that drove you to drink or drugs (or both), stop hiding behind substances because you were too much of a coward to look your partner in the face and do the honourable thing, stop destroying peoples lives just because your life is shit (no happy couple cheats), ask yourself why are you cheating, it could be because your relationship is failing and you want to make someone else's relationship fail in order to make you feel better, or it could simply be because you have no respect for your partner, your relationship, or yourself and there certainly isn't any respect given to the one your cheating with, they are just a tool for you to use and abuse.

No Excuses

As brutal as all that may sound it will actually help you get to the root of the problem, so stop hiding behind substance misuse and actually face the issue, own your shit so to speak, alcohol and drug misuse is a coping mechanism not a reason to cheat and it definitely isn't a good enough excuse, because there quite simply isn't a good enough excuse to cheat. Once you have owned your shit then we can actually do the work that matters and work towards getting you off the drink and drugs and making positive change in your life, but you need to do it for YOU and I have many clients who have checked in with me years later, thanking me for helping them make positive sustainable change, helping them to find their happiness and no one got hurt in the process.

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