How to Resist the Temptation to Cheat in a Relationship

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Relationships can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling but can also have challenging moments. It's not uncommon to experience a whirlwind of emotions in a relationship, feeling deeply in love one minute and struggling with temptations that may challenge your commitment the next. Cheating can inflict lasting damage on your relationship and cause immense pain for your partner.

If you've been dealing with feelings of temptation and lust towards others outside your relationship, know that you're not alone. Temptations can naturally surface in any relationship, even when you and your partner are at your happiest. The key is recognizing these feelings and working on resisting them in a way that strengthens the bond you share. This demands hard work, dedication, and commitment to your partner.

In this article, we'll explore why relationship temptations arise and strategies to help you resist them

Why Do I Feel Tempted to Cheat?

Temptations in a relationship can occur for various reasons.

Maybe you feel your partner isn't fulfilling your emotional or physical needs, or personal insecurities are driving you to seek validation elsewhere. Sometimes, as unfair as it may seem, you might just feel bored.

While these reasons don't justify acting on temptations to cheat, they can help you understand the root cause of your feelings. When these emotions surface, you might be inclined to avoid or suppress them out of guilt. Instead, sit with your feelings and examine their origins. Be honest with yourself and reflect on what could be fueling your desire to cheat. Identifying your temptation triggers is the first step towards addressing and resolving them successfully.

It's also helpful to remember that you're not alone. Experiencing temptation in a relationship is not unusual. Being in a relationship doesn't magically suppress your ability to be attracted to other people.

Feeling tempted to cheat doesn't always mean there's a problem with your relationship, but in some cases, it could signal that your desire to be with your partner is waning.

How Do I Resist the Temptation to Cheat?

You can use several strategies to help you resist the urge to cheat. Some include:

Work on Strengthening Your Relationship

Start by re-examining and prioritizing your relationship. Ask yourself if you genuinely want to stay with your partner. If the answer is yes, refocus on investing time and energy into your relationship.

Engage in activities that enhance your emotional intimacy and openly communicate to keep trust strong.

Here are some ideas to help you reconnect with your partner and deepen your bond:

  • Schedule regular date nights and prioritize quality time together. Trying new activities or adventures together can be particularly helpful if boredom is the root cause of your temptation.
  • Express gratitude for the small things your partner does and try to notice their efforts.
  • Surprise your partner with little gestures of love, like a handwritten note or their favorite snack. These thoughtful actions will remind both of you of the love you share.
  • Make time for meaningful conversations and actively listen to your partner's thoughts and feelings. Be vulnerable and share your own emotions to foster trust and understanding.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

Establish clear boundaries to help you avoid situations where temptation may arise. Limit one-on-one interactions with people you find attractive and invite your partner or a group of friends to join you instead. This creates a buffer that discourages acting on temptation.

Maintain a Healthy Balance Between Your Relationship and Friendships

Ensure you give enough time and attention to your partner without neglecting your friendships, and vice versa. Strike a balance between both types of relationships. If you have an active social life, be open with your partner about it and listen to their concerns if they feel uncomfortable with certain friendships.

Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Having healthy coping strategies in place can help you stay committed to your partner when faced with temptation. Practice mindfulness, be present in the moment, and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.

Techniques like deep breathing or meditation can help you stay grounded and resist impulsive decisions.

Additionally, engaging in activities such as exercise, meditation, or journaling can help manage stress and negative emotions, making you less likely to seek comfort and reassurance outside your relationship.

Focus on Self-Improvement

Sometimes in a relationship, especially a long-term one, you may feel like you've lost yourself. If you've been dealing with feelings of temptation and can't identify the root cause, it may be time to refocus on your own personal growth and well-being. This will not only help you cultivate a stronger relationship with yourself but with your partner too.

Engage in activities you enjoy that boost your self-confidence and happiness. Improving your self-confidence and addressing your insecurities makes you less likely to seek validation from others.

Prioritize your mental and physical well-being to encourage a healthier mindset and a stronger relationship with yourself and your partner.

Speak to a Loved One or a Professional

Lean on your support system when needed. Talk to trusted friends and loved ones who can provide a judgment-free space. Share your struggles with them and ask for their advice and support. While they may not have all the answers, they can offer valuable outside perspectives and help you navigate complex emotions.

If you're struggling to resist the temptation to cheat, consider seeking help from a mental health professional like a therapist. They can provide guidance and help you develop strategies to strengthen your relationship and resist temptation.

How Can I Stay Faithful Despite Being Tempted?

When faced with the temptation to cheat, remind yourself that actions have consequences.

Consider the potential hurt you'll inflict on your relationship and your partner. Cheating breaks the trust you share and could lead to the end of your relationship.

Think about the life you want to build with your partner and remember that infidelity could jeopardize those dreams. Reminding yourself of the long-term effects of cheating can help you stay grounded and committed to your relationship.

Should I Talk to My Partner About My Feelings of Temptation?

Talking with your partner about the feelings you've been struggling with can be helpful. Discussing feelings of temptation with your partner can be complex, but open and honest communication is essential for a healthy, loving relationship.

If what you're feeling is a fleeting attraction, it may not be necessary to discuss it with your partner, as doing so might cause more harm than good. However, if it's a persistent and recurring desire that could impact your relationship, it's essential to address the issue with your partner.

When you decide to talk, choose the right time and place. Ensure you're both in a calm and comfortable environment where you can focus on the conversation and freely express your feelings.

Be sensitive to your partner's feelings and reassure them of your commitment to them and the relationship throughout the conversation.


Resisting the temptation to cheat in a relationship requires self-awareness, effective communication, and a commitment to strengthening your bond with your partner. Understanding the reasons behind your temptation, implementing strategies to resist it, and engaging in open and honest conversations with your partner can help you build a stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling relationship.

Remember that overcoming temptation is a journey that demands consistent effort, patience, and understanding from both partners. By working together and supporting each other, you can navigate these challenges and foster a deeper connection that endures. As you prioritize your relationship and invest in your personal growth, you'll find yourself better equipped to resist the temptation to cheat and develop a lasting, loving partnership.

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Kiełek-Rataj E, Wendołowska A, Kalus A, Czyżowska D. Openness and communication effects on relationship satisfaction in women experiencing infertility or miscarriage: a dyadic approach. IJERPH. 2020;17(16):5721.

By Toketemu Ohwovoriole
Toketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics.