It’s An Ugly Truth: The 8 Most Common Reasons People Cheat
Cheating is one of the most guilt-ridden actions a person can partake in, and being cheated on is one of the most painful experiences a person can have. So, why does it happen? Why would someone want to hurt someone like that? When you look at the underlying emotional issues behind cheating, nobody ever meant to hurt somebody else—they were just finding an unhealthy way to avoid their own pain. Here’s what I mean.
They’re looking for an escape from real life
Many people use romance and sex as an escape from real life. When with their boyfriend/fling/hookup buddy, real life things such as work, health issues or finances are not discussed. But, no relationship can go on for long without real life issues coming up. And that’s when many people, that use relationships as an escape, will look for someone new that won’t remind them of real life.
But real life is part of any healthy relationship
The person that cheats for this reason has some major growing up to do. Typically, they are not strong enough to amend the things they are unhappy about in their life—perhaps a job they don’t like or drama within their family—and since they cannot find productive ways to work on their own happiness, they turn to someone else to fill their voids, or help them ignore their problems. But that puts far too much pressure on a partner. No partner can ever truly make a truly unhappy person happy. Which is why the person that isn’t dealing with their problems will continue to cheat, because the next guy won’t fill that void either.
They want to be “new” again
Many people are addicted to being “new” to somebody. They like being mysterious, and having a person crave knowing more about them. But they like to keep a person in that state of craving. And obviously, as relationships progress, you can’t remain mysterious forever, or else you wouldn’t be able to get emotionally close. So, as soon as the mystery goes away for some people, so does the fidelity.
But that’s a problem of ego
The person that needs to be constantly “new” to someone is not comfortable with who they are. They are not okay with someone seeing that they are a flawed human being like everyone else—with a crazy family, quirky habits and maybe some digestive issues. They are not okay with this because deep down, they do not know what is special about themselves. Or they don’t believe anything is that special about them. So, they need the mystery to remain. But, your partner shouldn’t suffer because you haven’t worked on your own self-esteem.
They want someone to be “new” to them again
Some people only want to know the facade of another person. A woman meets a man that is successful, has a great reputation, is on top of his game and she likes that. But, it turns out he himself is normal, with a crazy family, quirky habits and maybe some digestive issues. Some people value themselves based on the people they are with, and once they discover their partner is just ordinary, it takes a toll on their own ego. And they seek someone new and “exciting” to feed their ego again.
But that person does not know how to love
Underneath it all, everyone out there is ordinary in many common ways. An emotionally stable and healthy person has learned how to see what is loveable about a person, even in the mess of everything that is maybe not so great about them. This type of cheating comes down to a self-esteem issue again. The person that cheats to be with a more exciting, and perhaps more famous/successful person, doesn’t have enough confidence in herself to say, “I’ll love who I love, because all that matters is that I’m happy, not what people think.” They are way too busy worrying what people think.
Pretty much anybody that cheats struggles with some codependency issues. Think about it: cheating is the worst option, and if a person were comfortable and capable of being alone, they wouldn’t cheat. They would just say, “I’m not happy in this relationship” and spare their partner the pain of being cheated on. But, instead of facing the scary world of being single, they let their partner take the brunt and get cheated on.
But that’s not fair to your partner
No relationship you will ever be in will be made of real love if you’re terrified of being alone. If that’s the case, then you’re just desperately swinging through the jungle of love, grabbing onto whatever vine (whatever person) you can just so that you’re not alone. And any time you feel the slightest neglect from your partner, which happens in every relationship because life happens, you’ll cheat. And that is not a sustainable pattern. Do the work you are responsible for doing by learning to be happy alone. It’s the only way you can ever make someone else happy because it’s the only way you will ever enter relationships with confidence, rather than fear.
Their current partner would fall apart
If left, the current partner would become deeply depressed, would have a mental breakdown, or might even do something to harm themselves or others. That is a very tough spot for the emotionally stable partner to be in. But, everybody wants happiness which is why someone with such an unstable partner, might look for love elsewhere, while still being a rock for their partner.
But you can’t fix that person
If a person is so unstable that they would fall into a deep, debilitating depression, or hurt themselves if left, you’re not helping them by staying with them. They were going to have a breakdown sooner or later, if not because of your leaving them then because of something else. You should never live in misery just to hold somebody else up. If something terrible happened should you leave that person that is not your fault. You are not a therapist. You’re an individual deserving of a healthy and happy relationship.
They aren’t getting enough attention from their partner
One partner becomes extremely busy with work, or perhaps taking care of a sick family member, and his or her relationship has fallen to the backburner. This is when the other partner might cheat because they are not getting that constant affirmation that they are an attractive, desirable, lovable person—all the things we usually get from a relationship.
But tough times will fall on anyone
Anyone you are with will eventually come onto a rough patch and not be able to be the world’s best partner for a little while. This type of cheating, once again, comes down to a self-esteem issue. The confident and secure person has enough love for him or herself that they don’t feel a major void just because their partner got busy. Only those with major self-esteem issues go into a panic, and potentially cheat, when they don’t get attention for a few weeks.
There is a reason co-workers and classmates often fall in love: they bond over a common understanding of one another’s stresses, struggles, ambitions, dreams, and even schedules (they’re thrown together a lot because of their shared activity). Cheating with a co-worker is a very common type of cheating for this reason. A person may feel that their co-worker understands them much better than their partner does.
But that’s a cop-out
If you are a good communicator, you should never feel that your co-worker, or anyone else, understands you better than your partner! Your partner should be the one that gets to lend you a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on, or advice on your most trying times. If you feel your partner hasn’t been doing those things, it’s either because they’re a terrible partner (in which case, again, you should just leave them and if you haven’t you probably have codependency issues) OR because you haven’t given them the chance to.
Because they are allowed to
A lot of the cheaters out there cheat because they are allowed to—because their partner always takes them back, or perhaps even turns a blind eye. Training is basic for every animal from dog to human; if you positively reinforce a behavior (by staying with a cheater) they will continue to do that behavior.
But if you’re letting someone cheat…
Then you probably still struggle with many of the issues addressed on this list; codependency, low self-esteem, not enough love for yourself, communication deficiency and so forth. Nobody is forcing you to be with him or her. If you’re cheated on continuously by the same person, you allowed that to happen. You’re only keeping them around because if you were alone, you’d suddenly be faced with all of your own personal issues.