On Relationships: Your partner cheats on you in three ways

Acharya Prashant
10 min readSep 30, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: What is physical cheating and what is mentally cheating in a relationship? So if two persons are in a relationship and one is cheating on the other physically, and still wants to be with that one; this is one kind of cheating. And the second one is when two people are living together for a very long time, still the one or the other, or both, in their minds or in their fantasy world, want to be with some other person. Is that not called ‘cheating’? Or only the physical cheating is called ‘cheating’?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, your definition of cheating describes the plane on which your relationship exists. The relationship could be on one of these three planes broadly. The relationship could be on a spiritual plane, it could be on a mental plane, it could be on a physical plane. And cheating is possible on all three planes.

What is a relationship on the physical plane?

“You give me pleasure, I give you pleasure. And to ensure an uninterrupted and secured supply of physical pleasure, you remain physically committed to me and I remain physically committed to you. What do I want from you? Pleasure; ‘physical pleasure’. And we are committed to each other.”

What does this commitment now mean?

“You must be there when I need pleasure from you because our relationship is physical; we exist in each other’s lives to scratch each other’s itch. So it should not happen that one particular night I have the itch, and I don’t find you by my bedside. That should not happen.”

So the commitment practically means — “You should be there when I need your body.” And now what is cheating on this level? “I needed you, but you were somewhere else, and that’s cheating. That’s a violation of the physical contract.”

What is cheating in simple terms?

A violation of a contract. Two parties agree to something, and then one of them goes back on the agreement, reneges; that’s called ‘cheating’. So if the relationship exists purely on the physical domain, then you will be greatly offended if you find your partner sleeping around with somebody else, because that…