Why People Cheat

23 Responses

  1. Marie Abanga says:

    This is a a good post and I must say you write well with some ‘scientific’ perspectives. Now, let me add a human face to the discussions, by talking about what I did or why I cheated in the simplest of language. I got married for all the wrong reasons, got married to a man not ready to be my husband, and cheated as a consolation and in need for emotional and or physical connection. I wrote my story down and it may be of interest to somebody :

  2. I hate that some of the reasons sound like they validate the cheating. That there is a good underlying reason that creates a situation that requires the cheater to seek out that elusive need…and who are we to judge them for needing those things in their lives. Don’t we ALL ultimately want and need the physical and emotional connection to another person?? Both cheater AND betrayed…
    I find myself often struggling with the idea that my ex had all reason and rationale on his side for doing what he did…and how that somehow makes ME look bad…I wasn’t holding up MY end of the marriage bargain. Which I will readily admit, at times I wasn’t…but that shouldn’t give him entitlement to do the ‘final blow’ damage and destruction to me, our family unit, our kids, and I think ultimately in the end, maybe even her and her children too. Yet then again, they seem to be thriving, so I guess for him the grass WAS greener. Thanks, as always, for a thought provoking post. 🙂

  3. frogstale says:

    Reblogged this on The Frog's Tale.

  4. movingliquid says:

    My husband claims two or three of the above “excuses.” I think what hurts me most is when he blames me for his actions. I was just as lonely. I was just as in need of comfort and physical affection. But he blames me for the fact that he went and found someone to have sex with. It’s been six months and it still hurts so much.

    Also, I don’t mean to be offensive to the other commenter who gave a link explaining why she cheated, but I can’t click it. I just can’t relate to someone who could hurt another person that way. I’m sorry. Maybe someday I can, but not now.

  5. I had a consensual open marriage arrangement until, instead of talking to me he became verbally and emotionally abusive while saying yes to me; “I support you bisexual needs.” I did not have the the physiological background and being so invested in loving both him and her ( seven years with her and 20 years with him) I did not realize that the emotional withholding he continued to display was him NOT accepting my bisexuality. I can only see this in hindsight, a year and half later with the final divorce proceedings at the end of this month. He did not accept me or communicate with me effectively and I failed to see the logic behind the cold wall he built, around year five of our marriage. Instead I was fed a bunch of lies about my character that had nothing to do with my sexual preference(s), and I BELIEVED him. I sought out emotional relationships which nearly crossed the line in the physical aspect several times — beyond the marriage relationship or the seven years with the woman. I had emotional affairs. Today I can say I am better but not healed. Those scars are deep and the triggers are many. Humans are social creatures; we NEED communication. When one or both partners fail at knowing how to communicate effectively, affairs happen.

  6. Sofia Leo says:

    I think that affairs are caused by one single thing: a sense of entitlement. The rest are just excuses and justifications for cheating, a way to “explain” why their chosen partner wasn’t “good enough” to fulfill their needs.

    If a couple is falling out of love, growing apart, whatever, rational adult humans communicate and take action to divorce, break up, divide and go their separate ways. Entitled children decide to have their cake and eat it to, destroying everyone around them in the process.

    “But he’s so damaged, doesn’t know how to love…” “She had such a rough childhood and is looking for validation…” “This was a mistake and now I regret marrying you…” Whatever.

    The fact remains that one (or both) partner(s) decided that they “deserved” to find happiness (or validation, or excitement, or something new and shiny) in the arms of someone else with the backup plan of their current partner to fall back on.

    That’s entitlement.

    • There are certainly many situations where entitlement seems to be a factor. Where the whole attitude is one of “my happiness is more important than anything else.” It’s also someone trying to take the easy road out. Which never leads anywhere good.

  7. It’s not really our business to discover why people think and act the way they do–it’s our business to decide if we will tolerate it or if we will embrace it. Their actions have absolutely nothing to do with us, it’s their own issues and journey, just as our own issues and journey carry us.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right. Last year when I found out about my husband’s affair it was all I could do to try to rationalize him cheating. Fourteen months later, we are divorcing and I realized it doesn’t really matter WHY he chose to cheat many times in our 22 years of marriage, to try to understand is a waste of precious time and energy. I just wish our kids wouldn’t have to deal with this.

    • I agree to a point. We can only control our responses, not their actions. However, I think understanding serves two potential purposes – helping to reduce some of the pain that comes from the cheating partner blaming the affair on the spouse and helping to recognize patterns going forward that could lead to infidelity.

  8. Very good post! Thank you. And I do agree with some of what Sophia Leo says in the comments.

  9. The patterns of betrayal help to identify the why. Maybe the help us put stakes in the ground so we can shorten our period of grief. What they don’t do, ever; they don’t change the fact we were betrayed by someone we trusted with our heart and our future.

    Thank you for this one.

  10. William says:

    The one reason overlooked is the use of cheating, affairs, and sex as a weapon, means of ending a marriage and/or causing a spouse pain.
    People forget or do not know that cheating itself, infidelity, is ok in todays marriage due to no fault divorce laws. I

    Prior to my wife’s death last year, she initiated an effort to use sex as a means to provoke me to leave but instead I focused on my children. Karma is a bitch for sure at times if she is not treated well. Being the primary care giver, I was due to be compensated by the wife with a PHD who made over 200k the year prior to her death but instead she believed that by using sex she could end the marriage and be in the legal clear financially.

    It may be a fraction of the situations regarding cheating but does exist. I have been beat unconscious during my childhood due to violent schools and neighborhoods but that experience was more tolerable.
    There is a lack of humanity in those who fail to understand the emotional impact upon those they cheat on.

    People tend to make too light on the subject on a certain level but do believe that it reflects serious character flaws in those who cheat on their husbands and/or wives. In consideration of all the effort it takes to get married, have children, move around the country, buy houses and so on and so forth and it is all thrown into the street with a casual spreading of the legs.

  11. CRM says:

    My ex is pathological. Even 14 years after our relationship ended (and we HAVE to keep in touch because we have a daughter) he denied ever cheating on me while I was pregnant (she called me, I found her underwear mixed in with my laundry) and denied many other things. Sad thing is that he scarred me for life. I don’t trust the same or love the same- all in fear that it will happen again. So here I still sit…single in a true relationship with just my daughter.

  12. tobelknight says:

    May I share this on my blog, Divorce: Steps to Climb ?

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