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Are You Cheating – Or Thinking About It?

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Are You Cheating – Or Thinking About It?

Iím not sure whatís up, but Iíve been surrounded by women having affairs lately. I thought it might be just me. After all, Iím an OB/GYN, so I tend to attract women who are suddenly freaking out about the chlamydia they just contracted from their lover — the one their husband doesnít know about.

But then I read my friend Pamela Madsenís fabulous book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure, and Somehow Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner, and she wrote about how all her friends were having midlife affairs, and it got me thinking.

How many of us are cheating?

And why is this happening?

If youíve ever cheated on someone, or youíre having an affair, or youíre tempted to have an affair, this post is for you.

But first off, letís not talk about whatís right or wrong here. Letís make this an exploration of a common phenomenon without muddying the waters with morality, religion, or judgment.

Letís make this about love. So we can all feel safe to discuss this issue as sisters.

My own cheating heart

Iíve never cheated on a husband. Iíve never had an affair. But I did kiss another guy the day before I broke off an engagement once. It was incredibly hot. And I felt like a total worm. I never told the guy I ditched about what had happened, but when he took my diamond ring and put it into a little oyster shell and sent it out to sea, I felt like a heel. I try to live a regret-free life, but I deeply regretted not having the guts to break up with him before kissing the guy.

I think I knew he would be so upset about what Iíd done that kissing this guy sort of got me off the fence and made my decision for me. Beforehand, I was 90 percent sure I wanted to break off the engagement. But I think I sucked face with that dude as a crutch. Once Iíd given into a moment of passion, I figured I might as well go ahead and end my engagement, since if I didnít — and I told my fiancť the truth — he would dump me instead.

It was sort of cowardly, when I think about it. I wish I had treated my fiancť with the respect he deserved by making up my mind first. And then kissing the other guy.

Next: It seems like a good idea at the time…

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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1:29AM PST on Dec 8, 2013

Just like some people think it's okay to "date" while separated. If you date while separated that means you're still married. Married is married until you get divorced. If you date while married, then you may have a hard time getting back together with your spouse if you choose to reconcile because now you have another person in the picture.

1:25AM PST on Dec 8, 2013

Affairs can happen for different reasons. One can write a whole another article on analyzing why a person cheats. What matters most is what are the guidelines in YOUR relationship and does your partner know about those guidelines? Did you and your partner sit discuss your relationship "contract" together? For example, you tell your partner that cheating in any way or form is a dealbreaker for you BUT wait! Your partner tells you it's okay to cheat IF: there is no emotional attachment there and if there was protection and they may tell you it's not considered cheating at all. But you do not agree and are not open with their perspective. So what is your plan then? Do you want to stick around and wait till their perspective changes? If their perspective differs from you then they are more likely going to go by their mindset "it's okay to cheat or it's not considered "cheating" as long as there is no emotional attachment and there is protection involved. If you discussed this in the beginning of your relationship or before you walk down that aisle then it can prevent you from future heartache because you already know what's in store for you and you can make better decision.

1:13AM PST on Dec 8, 2013

@ Sarah G.'s comment "People should not make promises they do not intend to keep." I agree but what if they do break their promise? Is that a dealbreaker for you or do you plan on sticking around in the relationship hoping your partner would change?

12:56AM PST on Dec 8, 2013

In my opinion, it is not considered "cheating" if you are fantasizing about cheating. What actually "counts" is the actual act of cheating such as the emotional and or physical affair.

3:02PM PST on Mar 9, 2012


11:04PM PST on Jan 14, 2012

Thanks for the article.

7:59PM PDT on Oct 15, 2011

no to both. it is a sin and disobient to Gods laws

2:53PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

That's the "Liberal" philosophy! Intolerance of other viewpoints, debate, compromise and thought.

2:01PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

James P., you consistently make stupid comments everywhere I, unfortunately, see your postings. I wish you would go back to wherever you came from.

5:41PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

I highly recommend "Sex at Dawn" for anyone interested in this issue, or the origins of human sexuality. Great read, and although I don't want to offer anyone excuses, it will shed light on infidelity and promiscuity.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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