If you aren't familiar with the HBO series "Insecure" please take the time to catch up. This article may contain some spoilers!
Anyway, there is literally a character or scenario for everyone dealing with the rollercoaster we call life. Not that the show tells you exactly how to resolve these problems, that is person specific, it does give you some peace to know you aren't alone. You might be apart of one of these teams:
#TeamIssa who cheated on her man because their relationship lost their spice and she couldn't say no to the mouthwatering ex.
#TeamLawrence who got cheated on because he was in a slump for a while, got it together and found himself catapulted into single life.
#TeamMolly searching for love endlessly and somehow ending up as the third wheel in a friend's open relationship, completely over the idea of a perfect couple.
Despite what team you resonate the most with, the big picture topic all of the characters are dealing with is cheating. Whether as the facilitator or receiver of cheating each dealt with it in their own way. Yet, the question remains, is cheating still a deal breaker?
Issa and Lawerence ended their relationship after four years because of her mistake, but as the season finale showed it wasn't easy. Issa even has a whole premonition of what life with Lawrence could have been like but that is all gone now — the baby was ADORABLE.
Before my very eyes, I have seen the rise of both open and polyamorous relationships where "cheating" is not even a factor. What about the couples who have been together for years — I mean 10 plus years — what do they do? You potentially have intertwined lives, bank accounts, housing, kids, families etc. Is anyone really prepared to just walk away from all of that over one mistake? We haven't even begun to talk about the couples who have been married for decades or own businesses together that have created their own mini-empire, could they walk away to?
If you're like me and find yourself on the fence about what you would do it really boils down to a few key considerations.
No. 1: Do you still love them?
No one is perfect and love is a very complicated feeling. So, if you find that you are still in love despite the indiscretion then maybe you aren't prepared to leave yet.
No. 2: Can you forgive them?
Forgiveness is a major key if you plan on staying. If you feel like you can never forgive them then it would be pointless to stay. Forgiving them doesn't mean you forgot what happened but it means you can honestly say you won't punish them for it.
No. 3: If you stay, will you be able to move forward?
If you think your subconscious might treat you to an endless barrage of hypothetical replays and scenes hindering you from being in the now of the relationship probably a safe bet to leave. However, if you think you can look past it, and really adjust to your new truth maybe you can stay.
No. 4: If you leave, are you prepared?
Saying you want to leave and actually doing it are two different things. You can want to leave out of frustration and sadness but are you prepared to make that jump. This isn't the TV show, where you will magically find your next place or even a couch to crash on. Life is unexpected and so if you didn't have a safety plan or can't formulate one it might be a good idea to take your time with an assessment. Maybe the relationship ends and you find a way to make a separation work in the interim until you can get on your feet. This also depends on how intertwined you were. If all you had were some clothes and an XBOX at the house, then pack it up and move on — if you feel inclined.
No. 5: Are you happy?
This is listed last on purpose because it's really hard to consider unless you've plotted both courses of action. Once the dust settles just ask yourself are you happy? Can you be happy with this person? Then trust yourself to make the right decision.
Cheating most definitely could be a deal breaker but ultimately the weight of that choice is on the individual. We all can deal with some things and maybe some more than others but once you reach your own breaking point, love yourself enough to walk away.