Tis’ the season to be merry with one’s family members and close friends, no? To stock the stockings above the fireplace, watching Christmas movies, decorating the Christmas tree whilst singing Christmas carols and baking/cooking Christmas dinner for everyone to enjoy. Sound perfectly magical, doesn’t it? If only life could be so simple with bliss all year round.

Celebrating are our peaks, mountains of our lives, however we also experience our lows, valleys to remind us that we are just human beings and to ensure that our humbleness is still visible. One of life’s lowest lows is of the lines of cheating.

Cheating, cheating, cheating is an act that can break your heart, alter your way of optimism and even change your attitude during this festive season. Whether the case of years and years of marriage, newlyweds, courtship, officially or casually dating, “cheating” is the most common and most challenging issue to overcome.

Cheating comes into two primary forms, as which are emotional and physical. In further meaning some people feel heartbroken over a physical act such as sex and/or flirting, whilst others feel more betrayed by their significant other opening their hearts and inner thoughts to someone else, leading up to genuine and tangible feelings for someone else, and mimicking the closeness and intimacy of a romantic relationship – even when nothing physical is ever involved.

Numerous couples’ counsellors have reported that both parties have been left incredibly distraught from both emotional and physical cheating.

Many therapists described the emotional cheating as an individual having a passionate connection to another person, which usually arises through the involvement of emotions to which vulnerability is an important aspect.

Through previous research, if someone within a relationship can feel vulnerable with another person outside the relationship, a strong connection can form. This emotional connection will develop a connecting of trust and comfort. This in itself isn’t the infidelity; however this changes the individual and their mind-set towards their current partner. - Additionally, it’s very problematic to emotionally connect with more than one person at a time so any emotional connection from one relationship will take it away from another.’ Although the act of emotional cheating is very prominent, couples’ counsellors say physical cheating recurs more often, which is due to the fact that it may be revealed easier as far as to detect it and that couples feel there is more chance to heal after physical infidelity. Do you agree?

In terms of which type of cheating is worse and is cheating getting worse? It depends on gender being asked as to how he/she dealt with this situation and their point of views.

For instance, men may often time feel vulnerable when having been cheated on physically because of the feeling he is in competition and perhaps not good enough in the pleasuring aspect.

Men find it harder to forgive physical cheating than emotional. Frequently they see another man as having something they don’t (physically) which hits a man’s self-esteem and confidence harder than a woman.

Whilst women find emotional cheating predominantly harder due to the factor of time. For time is crucial to an emotional connection and through women’s eyes, see how much more has been invested into the cheating scandal over their current relationship. For example: a one night stand. The time emotional cheating takes is evident two ways.

Any type/form of connection involves time and often times planning. However, a physical connection can be quickly made and moved on from. Emotional connections can be fabricated in a various ways and methods, in which somebody is constantly thinking of different ways to bond especially with the rise in social media.

In voice of social media, whether Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms; has made in easier to be unfaithful, or in other words, made the opportunities of infidelity more visible. The internet has often been argued to be a negative or/and positive aspect in humanity’s moral development, numerous of times. However, I have argued in the past that the internet only gives us information and it is us to know what we are looking for as a positive benefit to us. Such as dating sites, Elite Singles, EHarmony, DatingDirect, etc. these sites were created to help single individuals find well deserved love from someone else who desires the same thing. Not for people who are already in a relationship, bored (in-need of entertainment) or greedy individuals in a steady marriage/courtship.

It is believed that the act of cheating is getting worse by an increasing percentage of 31.3%. With a strong 15.7% state that social media is the main cause. Social media may or may not be the main cause of infidelity; however, it does broadcast a high level of sexual content that may drive both men and women of all ages and social status to have sexual urges or curiosities.

But still, the question being asked is cheating getting worse? Well from a visual and statistical stand point due to the increasing levels of divorces since 2016 (1.9 divorces per 1,000 married couples) and the longest length relationships are 5-8 years for individuals under the age of 30. – It’s safe to say yes, cheating is getting worse by the years go on. Whether for the factors of social media’s sexual content, temptations or curiosity; we as human have become immoral, weak and selfish - to only satisfy the need to a moment that won’t last.

Even though everyone reacts differently to the betrayal of cheating, whether emotional or physical, both leave mental scars, damaged will and optimism – which develops into harmful trust issues.

In terms of longer lasting effects, we all agree here that the worst part of infidelity is the realisation of invested time, energy, trust and love has been wasted by uncivilised actions and selfishness. So please, for the New Year and your New Year’s Resolution list make sure that you are true and honest not only to your significant other but also to yourself.

By Bryanna Hylton