Okay, let’s get one thing straight – cheating, for any reason, really isn’t okay. If you’re having some type of issue with your partner that makes you want to go outside your relationship for intimacy, you need to pull up your adult pants and sit down to have a real conversation with your partner about whatever the issue is, whether it’s something you’re struggling with individually or something that’s happening between the two of you. You have to talk about it! For many people, though, that idea is far too daunting – those conversations are definitely scary ones to have.
Additionally, many people decide to cheat because, well, they think they won’t get caught and no one will get hurt. News flash – more often than not, all those secrets get exposed eventually, so cheating with the idea that no one will ever find out is simply foolish. Those moments of excitement may seem desirable at first, but they often lead to longer stretches of hurt and pain and unhappiness.
While everyone would agree that being cheated on feels absolutely awful, and that it really doesn’t solve any real relationship issues, the reality is that people continue to cheat.
Here are just 15 reasons why people cheat on the people they love. You know what they say – love hurts sometimes.
14 They’re not ready to settle down
This is basically the non-marriage equivalent of cold feet. When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you often get the feeling that a bigger commitment is on the horizon – even if your partner doesn’t want to get married quite yet, maybe they want to take the next big step, like meeting one another’s parents, or moving in together. Particularly if you’re at a certain stage in your life, it’s almost expected that you begin heading towards the direction of settling down after you’ve been together for a certain period of time. For many people who fear commitment, that thought is utterly terrifying – so they respond by cheating. Perhaps their fear of commitment is because they don’t want to be vulnerable with someone, perhaps their fear of commitment is because they simply can’t imagine settling down for good, or just being with one person – whatever the reason, the idea of settling down sends them running into another person’s arms.
13 They’re insecure
Many, many people struggle with insecurity – after all, there wouldn’t be so many articles and books on the topic of increasing your self-confidence if everyone believed in themselves wholeheartedly. For some people, the lack of confidence leads to them looking for validation or a confidence booster through something like their work. They may become total workaholics because they fear that that’s the only great thing they have to contribute. For other people, their answer to insecurity is cheating. Having a relationship on the side might make them feel more attractive physically, more desired, and like they really are a catch – after all, how couldn’t they be, if two people want them? It’s a terrible reason to cheat, and it’s definitely not a good way to deal with insecurity, but it’s a common reason why people seek out a relationship on the side. If this is the reason you’re cheating, investing in a few self-improvement books to boost your confidence might be a better answer.
12 They’re unhappy with their life in general
When people find themselves utterly unhappy with their life, after keeping up appearances for a while and struggling through it, there comes a point where many people just snap and do something radical. For many, this involves quitting their job, or perhaps packing up and taking a long trip somewhere. Maybe it means going through a physical transformation and hoping that if you look like a better you, you’ll somehow have the confidence to make your life better. For others, it means cheating. Their unhappiness might not even be coming from their relationship, but they just get that feeling that they need to change something, to do something radical, and they end up in another person’s arms. It’s the same instinct that leads people to go out and buy a car they can’t afford or take a trip without really planning – sometimes, when you’re unhappy, you just want to change things, no matter the consequences.
11 They don’t love their partner
Some people argue that, if you cheat on your partner, you don’t love them, period – after all, if you’re truly in love with your partner, would you cheat? That’s a tricky subject with many opinions, but the fact remains that some of the people who cheat definitely do so because they’ve lost that loving feeling for their partner. Many times, it’s a case where one person in the relationship is far more invested than the other – maybe your partner is head over heels in love with you and is already planning your future together, while you thought you were taking things slow and haven’t quite reached that stage of affection yet. Things can get complicated when the affection dynamic is that unbalanced, which is why many cheaters end up finding another partner. They may not set out with the intention of hurting their partner – they just assume their partner is taking the relationship as casually as they are, and not that their partner already had wedding bells in mind.
10 They don’t want to be monogamous
Different types of relationships work for different types of people. While some think monogamy is the only way to go, others prefer to rock an open relationship or have multiple partners at the same time. If two partners both agree that monogamy isn’t for them, and that they want to occasionally venture outside the relationship, that’s totally fine – it’s a decision between two consenting adults. The issue arises when one partner pretends to be fine with being in a monogamous relationship when they actually think about having partners all the time. If monogamy is a huge issue for you, don’t hurt your partner by going behind their back and cheating – it’s a tough conversation to have, and it may even be a deal breaker, but you need to be honest about your thoughts on monogamy if you want your relationship to work without having to cheat. Of course, if you simply dislike monogamy because you fear commitment or don’t love your partner, that’s a whole different issue.
9 They’re finally getting attention
Some people have always received their fair share of attention from the opposite sex – they had endless options from puberty to adulthood, and often found themselves having to turn down unwanted dates. Other people are, well, late bloomers. So, if you’ve never really been popular with the opposite sex, and all of a sudden some type of life change has them flocking to you like flies to honey, that can cause an issue for some people. As a 28 year old man confessed to Glamour, “I never had a lot of sexual options through high school and college, but after school, I really hit my stride. For the first time, women were hitting on me, and I was drunk on the feeling.” While many people are able to remain unaffected by that newfound attention, or simply see it as a bit of a confidence booster, for others, it leads them to make poor decisions.
8 They want to try something different in bed (and are scared to tell their partner)
Even between two people who are frequently getting intimate, in all senses of the word, sex can be a tricky topic. Sure, some people are totally open and honest and willing to talk about anything – but not everyone is like that. One of the reasons certain people cheat on the one they love is because they want to try something totally different in bed and are scared to tell their partner. It may seem silly – after all, shouldn’t you be able to be totally open and honest with your partner about everything? – but for some people, the thought of telling their partner that they want to be tied up and whipped is just too nerve-wracking. Or, perhaps, it’s something the individual has brought up with their partner and the partner is just really uncomfortable and doesn’t want to engage in that. So instead, they opt to satisfy those particular urges outside of the marriage, with someone whose judgement and opinion they don’t care quite as much about.
7 They love the thrill of the chase
For most people, the comfortable stage of a relationship is the very best part. You get past those anxious butterflies that occur when you’re first getting to know someone, and settle into a deeper intimacy, one where you’re not afraid to be vulnerable in front of your partner, where you’re totally happy just staying in together and watching Netflix. For others, though, that stage is boring and makes them lose interest – fast. That’s because some individuals absolutely thrive on the thrill of the chase – that first stage of the relationship where everything is fun and exciting and there’s nothing scary like commitment or potential disappointment. Things are light and fun and easy. For people like that, they often find themselves looking for another chase if they’ve officially transitioned out of that stage with their current partner – and they’ll probably keep doing it, partner after partner, until they address what they love so much about that stage.
6 They want a way to end the relationship
There are a lot of ways you absolutely shouldn’t end a relationship, ways that are disrespectful and hurtful to your partner. I mean, who has forgotten Carrie Bradshaw getting broken up with on a post-it? For some people, the process of breaking up is too daunting to face, so they try to solve their problem in other ways. As a woman named Gloria confessed to Glamour, “I fell out of love and was too scared to tell him and too embarrassed to admit to myself that the relationship was done. I needed a way to end it by making him end it for me. Cowardice, really.” Her honest confession proves that for some people, breaking up really is hard to do – so they would rather force their partner to do it by cheating. It’s definitely not an ideal way to part ways, though, and is a way more hurtful way to provoke a break-up than by simply having a discussion.
5 They’re not satisfied
You can’t really have a relationship based solely on physical intimacy, but there’s no doubt that physical intimacy is definitely an important part of any relationship. If you stop connecting at that level, eventually, you’ll find yourself struggling to connect with your partner in other parts of your relationship as well. Whatever the reason for a couple’s sex life taking a turn for the worse, or even disappearing entirely, it can sometimes lead one partner to seek out satisfaction somewhere else. While many people assume this category is restricted to men who simply want more physical intimacy, it also includes many women whose partners just aren’t putting in the time to give them what they need physically – so they try to find someone else who is willing or able. Cheating for this reason isn’t a good solution, because you’re not actually fixing anything in your relationship – you need to either address the reasons you’re not being satisfied, or just sever ties altogether if the reason is that your partner just doesn’t care enough to ensure you’re happy.
4 They’re not emotionally satisfied
While most people associate cheating with physically cheating on their partner, emotional cheating is a big issue as well – and lack of emotional satisfaction in a relationship can be a big trigger to cheat. Perhaps your partner just isn’t giving you the type of intimacy you want in a relationship, and you really miss having that closeness with someone – so you find another partner who is willing to give you those experiences. If your emotional connection to your partner is dwindling, you need to be aware of that and try to communicate with them – it may be a case of them not even realizing what they’re doing (or failing to do). If they’re just not able to give you what you need to feel emotionally satisfied, on the other hand, that’s a different issue, and one that may require breaking up rather than cheating to put a band-aid over a bullet hole.
3 They had the opportunity
This is perhaps one of the worst ever reasons for cheating on the person you love, but it’s something that unfortunately occurs more than we would like. For some cheaters, their cheating isn’t provoked by a deep-seated unhappiness in their relationship, or by some personal issue they’re looking to deal with – they just saw an opportunity where they could get with someone they were attracted to in a situation where their partner would never find out. A lot of opportunistic cheating arises from life decisions – such as opting to go out for after-work drinks with attractive colleagues every single night rather than coming home to your partner. Obviously, some people can make those decisions and not ever cheat, but for others, that dangling temptation can be too much to resist. The term absence makes the heart grow fonder is a real thing, but that doesn’t mean you should spend every waking hour apart from your partner.
2 They want revenge
This may seem more suited to the plot of movies than to real life, but the reality is, some people cheat because they straight up want revenge and they think cheating is the best way to get it. The most common situation where this occurs is if one person has been cheated on, so they decide to get revenge on their philandering partner by cheating on them – it’s a way of getting back at their cheating partner, in their mind. Of course, in reality, it just means they’ve lowered themselves to the same level and engaged in the same behaviour that hurt them, so it really achieves nothing. In the moment, though, when they’re still stinging from being cheated on, it can seem like a revenge cheat is an easy solution to that pain. However, all it does is cause even more hurt, bring more people into the mess, and postpone the feelings you’ll eventually have to deal with.
1 They have a sex addiction
Okay, this one is tricky, because many people use the excuse that they have a sex addiction in order to justify cheating for various other reasons. It seems like the easiest way to get out of a tricky situation, for some people who have been unfaithful. If you have an addiction, your partner can’t be quite as mad at you, because it’s not entirely your fault, right? Well, not exactly. Just saying you have a sex addiction isn’t a free pass to cheat. If you do have a legitimate sex addiction, it’s a serious issue that you need to discuss in any relationship you’re having – you can’t just self-medicate by being unfaithful on the side and hoping your partner never finds out. That’s just a recipe for disaster. Addicts often make very poor decisions because of their addiction, but getting your partner involved in that tangled mess without their knowledge is just cruel.
They feel neglected
No relationship is perfect all the time, but most people want to feel loved and appreciated when they’re with their partner. Your schedules may be jam-packed, and you may skip a few date nights here and there, you may have a few days where you’re just passing ships in the night, but eventually you need to reconnect and make time for romance and affection if you want to have a healthy relationship. If you start prioritizing everything above your relationship, from work to friends to personal interests, eventually your partner will feel neglected – and some people respond to those feelings of neglect by cheating and trying to find that romance and affection elsewhere. It’s not an excuse to cheat, but it’s an impulse that many people face. It can be tough to carve time out of a busy schedule, but if you value your relationship, you need to make sure your partner isn’t feeling neglected.
Sources: allwomenstalk.com, glamour.com, bustle.com, huffingtonpost.com