This might be hard to wrap your mind around at first, but not being on the same page with your spouse or partner can actually cause cheating in a marriage or relationship.

You see, many times when we start a new relationship, we come into it with different definitions of what cheating is and what it isn’t. To some people, cheating is when they look at someone of the opposite sex, while for others cheating is the actual physical act with a third party. And there are even couples with open relationships who will willingly share their partner with other people.

There is nothing wrong with any of these definitions. We do live in a free world and people can and should be able to set their own rules to live their lives by.

The trouble happens when two people get together and form a relationship. If you think that cheating is the physical act of an affair, but your partner or spouse believes that it begins with an emotional connection to someone of the opposite gender, your relationship may soon encounter some problems when you start meeting up with your platonic friend of the opposite sex every now and then.

You may have a perfectly innocent friendship, but your spouse may see your friendship as emotional cheating and may even accuse you of having an affair.

Not only does this sort of miscommunication result in conflicts and arguments, but it can be enough to turn a platonic friendship into something more and start something that was initially harmless into a painful affair.

You see, if two people don’t agree about what is and what isn’t an affair, one of them may accidentally do something that the other sees as cheating. After they’ve already crossed the line in their spouse’s eyes, it becomes a slippery slope to taking the “affair” to the next level. A person might think, “I’m already in trouble with my partner, and she thinks I’m cheating already, so why not just follow through with it?”

I’m not saying that this is right. This is just how things may unfold.

In order to avoid this from happening in your marriage or relationship, it is important to sit down with your partner and discuss what you believe cheating is. Have your partner also share his opinions about what constitutes cheating. Keep this discussion going until the two of you can set clear boundaries that the both of you can agree with.

Once the lines between “friendship” or “innocent flirting” have been defined, you and your partner will be on the same page about what both of you can and cannot do. Learning to practice this kind of effective communication will help to demystify the often murky definitions of cheating and actually save your relationship for infidelity down the road.

So, make sure you take the time to talk to your significant other about the topic of cheating and keep the discussion going until the two of you are on the same page and can find a shared definition that the two of you can happily live with.

Author's Bio: 

If you'd like to learn more about how to avoid a relationship affair or why men cheat in the first place, check out the website

Alex Haight is a relationship writer helping women with relationship problems and specializing in affairs and infidelity.