I have heard many submissions suggesting that long distance relationships relationships encourage infidelity. Many of these views are hinged on the assumption that leaving a partner alone for long periods of time may make them lonely, emotionally weak and unable to ward off temptation when it comes. The reality of today is that couples in their quest for providence for their families may be forced to live separately for long periods of time; bearing this in mind, should the fear of infidelity stop them from seeking greener pastures at the expense of the family?

I have a slightly different view, infidelity is a choice we make willingly, it does not happen in one day, between first contact to the act itself, there is ample time and opportunity to thoroughly reflect on the advantages, disadvantages and consequences of cheating, if after these considerations you decide to indulge, it is nothing but a personal character flaw. Those who steal out of hunger or lack and those who kill out of anger already have the traits of stealing and killing in them. What those conditions have done is to simply bring these hidden negative character traits to bare. The only justifiable way to be with someone else without blame is to end the relationship or for married couples, a legal separation or divorce if you cannot bear to be left alone.

Distance on it’s own cannot be the reason for cheating, staying alone only provides the enabling environment to exhibit traits which you must have had in you. The truth of the matter is that there are far more cases of infidelity among couples who reside together when compared to those who are forced for one reason or another to live apart. A person who is prone to cheating will do so even if you put them in a cage and monitor them every second and those who are averse to it, will never attempt to cheat no matter the temptation they are exposed to. Men and women are tempted everyday right under the noses of their spouse, the personal conviction to cheat or not to cheat makes the whole difference.

Luckily modern technology has bridged the communication gap over long distances, so it is possible to remain constantly in touch via audio and video at little or no cost or inconvenience, this makes it a little bearable to be separated especially if it is unavoidable and ensures the common good of the family. Knowing that living apart is a temporary arrangement for a good cause makes it imperative for couples to endure the distance. Unable to do this and hiding under distance and blaming living apart to cheat is overreaching, and does not in anyway justify it. If you cannot resist the temptation to cheat while committed to someone, it is you and not the distance who should bear the burden of guilt.

It is impossible to be with your partner twenty hours a day, the preambles of infidelity does not require distance to start, the internet enabled mobile phones and the many social media platforms out there provide the access required to successfully bait and convince a person to cheat right inside their matrimonial home and under the noses of their spouse. The physical act takes just a few to several minutes to be consummated, you don’t need to live separately to achieve this, it can happen in offices, schools, churches, you can also detour to the rendezvous point on your way to the gym, salon or market. It is impossible to stop a spouse who wants to cheat.

In a committed relationship, no matter how long you are left unattended or how badly you are treated, it does not justify the act, you have the honorable choice to stay and endure or leave the relationship before agreeing to be with someone else. If a spouse through their own weakness or bad behaviour misbehaves, the right thing to do is for them to take responsibility for their actions, apologise to their spouse and try to make amends instead of blaming distance or the devil. Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into blaming yourself for their indiscretions, it is not the way you look, dress or talk, it is not even your own shortcomings, it is simply a matter of choice and they chose to cheat – Sir Stanley Ekezie