Spirituality, karma, and Cheating in Relationships — Pros and Cons

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The statistics of recurring studies around the world show that cheating in relationships is far more common than everyday appearances let on; an average of 45% of respondents claim to have cheated in a relationship, and that doesn’t include those who haven’t admitted to an affair or fling.

Check out the various types of married people who cheat or think about cheating.

Recently, we received this question regarding cheating in relationships: “Once you are in a marriage, the only ethical way to have sex with other woman is divorce. Am I right? Especially if the wife no longer wants sex and is not ok for polygamous relation. Can you clarify what best can be done in such a situation?”

His problem is that he wants to cheat in his relationship, but he’s concerned about the consequences.

A few pros for cheating:
1. He’ll get to scratch that itch, and many people will agree it can be an overwhelming itch.
2. It may lessen the strife in his relationship because he’ll no longer be concerned about getting his sexual needs met by his spouse, since she has lost interest in sex and, or they are no longer attracted to each other (which is common in many long-term relationships).
3. It may broaden his horizons and allow for spiritual growth. How can this be, you ask? We believe that you learn something new about yourself through every single relationship, no matter the duration. That’s right, having multiple sexual partners can contribute to spiritual growth.

A few points against cheating:
1. He may incur negative karma by doing so; future lifetimes may find him on the receiving end of infidelity, feeling the pain exactly to the degree he inflicted it in prior lives.
2. He may destroy his current relationship by cheating.
3. He may harm his reputation by cheating.
4. If he doesn’t practice safe sex, he risks STDs or unplanned pregnancies.

Nobody likes to be cheated on in relationships, but his situation (like many other relationships) may be more complex than how we address it above.

For example, it’s possible his spouse may already be cheating on him; there exist many forms of infidelity besides having sex with someone other than your spouse. But justifying his cheating with her infidelity doesn’t negate karmic consequences, it only makes them more complicated.

He asks about an “ethical” way to have sex with another woman outside of his marriage. That depends on what ethical refers to.

In relation to his marriage vows, accumulating negative karma, what others will think, or his religion? Ethics is too often subjective.

He wants to know what’s the best way to have sex with other women without crossing any red lines. Again, it’s complicated, but we offer some suggestions below.

One option is to divorce, though that may not be possible in his culture.

He may want to stay together due to finances or children. Not surprisingly, his wife is against the idea of an open relationship, but if he shows her examples of how an arrangement can work, and makes sure there are benefits for her too, she may reconsider. Such a situation works much better if they agree on rules ahead of time to ensure mutual respect.

As a last resort, if she refuses to compromise and he’s okay with a partner cheating on him in a future life, (since this is the karma he may very well incur for himself if he follows the common cheating in relationships standard), he should feel free to cheat.

Copyright © 2013 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

11 thoughts on “Spirituality, karma, and Cheating in Relationships — Pros and Cons

  1. Payal Singh

    This is a very good article. It leaves me with a question, though.
    This Karma thing is confusing to me. Say my spouse is being cheated on by me, coz he did the cheating in his previous life and he is now facing the result of his Karma. Now, I generate negative Karma too now, coz I have cheated on him. Will I be cheated on in my next life, by my spouse too? If that’s true, this cycle never ends. People either cheat or get cheated on in every life. That does not make sense to me

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for your comment.

      Karma is not so black and white. In simple terms, if someone did something to you in a past life, and then you did it to him in this life, it likely doesn’t set you up to experience it again, as the scales are balanced now. But then how you both react to it could cause additional karma.

      Your spouse experiencing you cheating might be the result of him cheating in a past life, but it might not be. If your relationship is over anyway and you both know it, cheating may not be a karmic issue at all for either of you.

      The degree to which he feels the betrayal of cheating might be an indication of whether or not it’s karmic.

    2. Catherine

      To the person who wrote this article ( not replying to this person) how can you say “having multiple sexual partners can add to spiritual growth ” shame on you! Diseases, cheating, families turn apart.. for spiritual growth?
      Ex faithful spouses dealing with narcissistic cheating spouses.. being faithful & monogamous is a credit to one self. Ridiculous

      1. admin Post author

        Catherine, it’s very possible to have more than one sexual partner without cheating, tearing families apart, or getting diseases. Sex is not dirty or wrong if you are honest and safe about it. Monogamy isn’t ideal for everyone, and expecting someone to be monogamous when they are not the monogamous type (we estimate over 50% of the population isn’t), is akin to trying to tame a wild animal by putting it in a cage. Attempting to control someone isn’t love, nor is lying to a potential partner or one’s self that one will be happy with strict monogamy for the rest of one’s life when it’s not the case. Responsible non-monogamy can and does work, but it’s not for everyone. Strict, life-long monogamy can work, but that’s not for everyone either. Judge not, or you will remain blind to your and, or your partner’s true needs, which will eventually cause love life problems.

    3. Darwin darlose

      So true.. But the point here is if your partner does not agree on such a relationships and you still want to experience your so called spiritual growth by exploring sex or relationships outside marriage, then I feel one can cheat if he is ready to face the consequences either in the form of being cheated on him( and he should be OK with it) or let the desires be compromised and focus on other things in life to lead a more peaceful life. Because multiple sex and relationships is the most complicated thing to handle… Even spiritually! Ur karma in this this lifetime or any other doesn’t matter.. Spirituality you get what you deserve eventually.. Every moment is as it should be coz the whole universe is as it should be

      1. Barbara By

        My philosophy was this: IF it hurts another, or seems off kilter…don’t do it or continue to do whatever it is. Probably insecurity keeps us in unpleasant relationships.

  2. Payal Singh

    Thank You for your reply. It makes much more sense now.

    The thing about this kind of betrayal is that both parties get hurt, and, if it indeed is karmic, both parties are paying for their karma.

  3. Ekatarin

    The only option is to divorce. That is the most honest and one does that when the marriage is no longer tolerable. That means there is not enough good to compensate for the bad. Lying and sneaking around are dishonorable actions – if you have kids, then you are being a terrible example for them if you lie and cheat. Cheaters often blame the spouse for lack of sex, but it’s often the cheater who is not inventive or is boring with sex. Or thoughtless. The cheater should look at him/herself and ask “can I improve myself?” And that means in and out of the bedroom. Stimulate a woman’s mind, listen intently to her, and turn her on emotionally. Men just don’t understand that women need a lot more to get turned on. Instead of blaming her, improve yourself. Also, some spouses aren’t attracted to each other any more – often it’s the man who complains that his wife is fat or isn’t sexy, but it works both ways. I’m always amazed to hear men complain while they themselves are often more out of shape and unattractive, yet they think they are entitled to a hot female. Often it’s more about his own fear or insecurities about getting old and weaker…looking at his wife reminds him of his own decaying self. Cheaters need to self-reflect and not expect the outside world to make him happy. Be a happy and kind person and then your wife will be attracted to that.

  4. Sachin Gopal

    Interesting article. Though I strongly believe that reincarnation is there, and probably karma. The end intent is we learn and grow as souls on earth or as spirit (If there is one) . I am not sure though about the authenticity as there are different views about the same on each culture. Probably we will only know once we Cross the other side.

  5. Ree

    Does cheaters have a lot of insecurities. Cos wouldn’t that cause them to be better people rather then hurting others knowing that they’re deeds might catch up with them in future? Cos it’s kinda sad that they struggle with insecurities & bringing karma onto themselves


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