What Can You Do If Your Partner Is Afraid You’ll Cheat… But You Aren’t Thinking Of It?

by Reid on March 6, 2017

Man covering his ears in front of an angry womanKeep getting accused of being a cheater, but not even considering it? What’s going on?

Find out with Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Cathy: Someone wrote in and said “My partner thinks I’m going to cheat in the future and he’s spending a lot of time talking about it. But the thing is, I haven’t done anything that I’m aware of and I have no intention to cheat. What can I do?” 

Reid: Just cheat on him, get it over with.  

Cathy: Thank you. 

Reid: That’s the worst advice ever. Welcome to worst advice week. 

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com. 

Reid: Worst advise giver ever. This is Cathy Vartuli from the TheIntimacyDojo.com. Self-fulfilling prophecy sir! Stop saying that to your person there. 

Cathy: There’s a couple of things that I could think of you could ask him. One is what is he afraid of will happen if you cheat. A lot of times people have an unknown, like they don’t get specific and they’ll pick something like you’ll cheat, but they don’t follow it through. What is going to happen if you cheat on him. It might be that you would love someone else more, or you’d leave him or something like that. Once you get more, if you dig down a little bit … 

Reid: You could also just mow your lawn, right outside their door whenever they accuse you of that. Now you keep giving advice, I’m going to close the door. Go! 

Cathy: If you can dig down a little bit more and figure out what the actual experience he fears is, that might help. The other thing is, people will sometimes, when things are going really well, get in their own way. They … Maybe that you’re relationship isn’t really feeling good and comfortable and safe, and he needs some fear so that he cannot feel too good. As silly as that sounds, humans do this to themselves all the time. By focusing on a problem that’s not even there, he can bring himself down to a level of comfort and happiness that he’s comfortable with. 

Reid: There’s a really great book called “One Giant Leap”, or is it one big leap? 

Cathy: No. The Big Leap. 

Reid: It’s called “The Big Leap” and it just talks about abundance issues, like how we unconsciously knock ourselves down a little bit and we’ll create things to worry about when things are really great. It’s, in a lot of ways it’s very normal; like things are going so well you start worrying that, you know, the other shoe’s going to drop. 

Cathy: A meteor is going to come through the ceiling and … 

Reid: And that’s okay. Situations, you know, everything that you said, I’m not saying that this is their situation, but it is interesting, because I’ve heard of this thing … 

Cathy: Some people project. 

Reid: They might be turned on by the idea of you cheating on them … 

Cathy: Or they could be wanting to cheat. 

Reid: Ooh, though that’s possible too. Again, here’s the thing, you don’t need to be a psychoanalyst or a therapist for your partner. What you can do is be like ‘Hey, I’m noticing that you’re bringing this up, how can I support you in figuring out what’s going on for you because I haven’t cheated on you. And, like, I don’t think we should live the rest of our relationship together with you bringing this up all the time. So how can I help you?” For you to start to try to psychoanalyze them is not the role you need to play in your intimate relationships, you can encourage them to go get support someplace else, and you will be home for them cheering them on. And create to the extent that you can a really welcoming safe space for them to share with you what’s going on and you still don’t have to help, other than bear witness and then be like, thank you so much for sharing that. How can I support you in getting support for yourself on this piece? 

Cathy: Yeah. Sometimes, other people’s reactions have nothing to do with us or what we’ve done. They can have an old fear or an experience or their mom cheated… 

Reid: Past relationship. 

Cathy: Or dad cheated or something, and that old fear and insecurity may be coming out irrespective. You’re just the person they’re playing the role out with. And knowing that it’s, you know, if you’re not cheating then it’s not really about you. You may be feeling insecure but getting outside help can be really useful, especially if this is going on for a while. 

Reid: Again, there’s lots of different variations of this kind of theme where people are afraid that you’re going to leave them, or you’re going to fall out of love … It’s helping them figure out what they need to go work on that. Again, this is just my opinion, don’t be the therapist in your relationship. Encourage them to go get counseling and therapy and support and then you be the cheerleader. Don’t you be the coach. That’s all I’m going to say. 

Cathy: One final thought is if he doesn’t have a lot of support besides you, if he doesn’t have a lot of friends or you’re the person he goes to all the time, that will make any … Like if that’s already a fear, that’s going to make it worse. When we feel like we’re relying on one person it’s really scary if they’re going to leave. So if you can encourage or notice that and say “Hey it might be better if we have more friends.” It doesn’t mean that you have to break up with him or whatever, but just say it like “Hey! Why don’t you invite Bob over for dinner” without being… 

Reid: Because Bob’ll never cheat on you. 

Cathy: I’m just saying. 

Reid: That was funny. 

Cathy: Yeah it was funny. But just inviting more people into your life might help that stabilize some too. We hope this helped. 

Reid: Yeah. Leave the comments below. Let us know what you think.

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