I have received a few emails recently from couples that have asked me if their partner can be forgiven for kissing someone else and to be honest, my response is always standard-Kissing is an intimate act and any form of intimacy with another while you are in a relationship is cheating.But forgiveness may depend.[pullquote]Kissing is an intimate act and any form of intimacy with another while you are in a relationship is cheating. But forgiveness may depend.[/pullquote]First of all, let us get the basics right. When you are in a committed relationship, flirting in a sexual way, kissing, close dancing, thinking about someone else when you are with your partner or having sex with another is considered being unfaithful. I know many people who say-“ oh it was just a kiss, not like I had sex or something so it’s not cheating”.
Cheating is not just about sex. It is anything that you do that you would not like your partner to do to you. It could also be an emotional affair. If you are sharing things and spending time more with another guy or girl than you are with your partner or if you trust someone else of the opposite sex more than your partner, this could be termed as an emotional affair and also hurt your significant other even though it is not physical.
Basically, cheating is an intention.It is an intention to treat someone as you would treat the person you love.If you are doing something with someone else that is supposed to be exclusive to your partner, it is cheating.
So what about kissing?
Well, it is never “just a kiss” as some people say. The moment when you say, “ it was just a kiss” itself shows your insincerity towards the issue, which is unpardonable. Behind that kiss, is always a desire to hookup or an underlying problem, dissatisfaction or unhappiness in your current relationship, which is built up within and ultimately leads to an act of cheating.
It’s not just a kiss. You flirt, you prepare, you act and then you let go. It has multiple steps involved and one cannot blame it completely on alcohol, which is the most common reason kisser cheaters give.
Should you then forgive your partner if they have kissed someone? This, as I say, would depend. Context is everything.
For example, you flirted with a girl , perhaps drank and then kissed her. That would be an outright cheating because you started flirting knowing your partner would not like it. There was no need to flirt in the first place as that action was deliberate and it gave the wrong signal to the opposite sex. This was intentional and hence forgiveness is hard.
In every such case, it is important to know the reason it happened. Why did it happen? Was it a choice or was there alcohol involved? Was it because of lack of love or were the reasons different?
I had a case where a girl went out with her friends to celebrate a friend’s hen party. She did not go with the intention of flirting or hooking up. But somewhere down the night after drinking massively, even without realizing she was making out with another guy on the dance floor. The moment she realized she stopped and walked away, disgusted at herself more than anything.
Did she hurt her partner? Yes. Did she make a mistake? Yes.Is this cheating? Of course. Does she deserve a second chance? Depends on her partner. Why should she be forgiven? – She made a mistake, yes but her intention perhaps was never to hurt her partner and now it is up to him to analyze if this can be fixed together.
The girl did not go to the party to cheat on her boyfriend or thinking she wanted to hook up.In fact, she did not even like the guy she made out with nor did she have much memory of it. Sometimes alcohol clouds our judgment and makes us do things that we don’t even want to do but they are often good indicators of an underlying issue. The girl was ready to do anything to fix this. Seeing her sincerity her partner decided to forgive her and go for counseling together. He was not ready to waste the happy years behind them.
During the counseling sessions, the couple realized they had an underlying issue. As much as they loved each other, the girl expressed loneliness, as her boyfriend was a workaholic. As much as she never intended to kiss anyone, her need for affection was subdued within her and emerged under the influence of alcohol. Together they decided to work it out and make amends. The girl cut down on her drinking habits and gave up going out without her significant other. She took all measures to make sure it did not ever happen again. She knew alcohol took better of her so she ensured she avoided any situation where she would lose her balance to differentiate right from wrong. She did whatever it took to re-instill the trust in her partner. It was difficult and it took time but her boyfriend was mature enough to understand that they could rebuild their relationship to an even healthier one. He too started paying more attention to her and this worked in favor for both of them.
This of course in no way justifies what the girl did nor am I trying to say that you must forgive your partner. What I am trying to say is look at the context and sincerity of your partner to make amends and weigh if it is truly worth another shot. Ask yourself within and go with your gut.
We all make mistakes. What we must remember though is that mistakes happen only once. As a human, it is sometimes fair to give a second chance depending on the circumstances.What we must not forget is that if it happens a second time, it is not a mistake. It is intentional. [pullquote]What we must not forget is that if it happens a second time, it is not a mistake. It is intentional.[/pullquote] You might get drunk once and kiss. Your partner may or may not forgive you. But if you get drunk the second time, your partner has every right to say” if you knew alcohol does that to you, you should have made an effort to not drink” and leave you for good. Alcohol cannot always be an excuse.
As much as every couple is different and so is their story, there are few fundamentals important in any relationship – the will to be honest, committed and faithful.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
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