Why do people cheat? The somewhat simple answer is that they possess 3 key things: 1) they want to “cheat” for a reason that they have decided that they should (i.e. curiosity, revenge, boredom, lust, etc.), 2) they have the opportunity to “cheat”, and 3) they chose to act on that want and opportunity. I hope that by the end of reading this that you have a better understanding and will know how to handle situations with cheating from you or your partner in the future. So, lets dive a little deeper, shall we?
One of the most hurtful acts of betrayal in a romantic relationship is being “cheated on”. The definition of cheating varies amongst different couples, but for the most part, in the context of a relationship, it means engaging in an act with someone outside of your primary relationship that you know that the other person in that relationship would not approve of. Depending on the people in the relationship that could mean: texting/sexting, chatting and talking on the phone, flirting, kissing, sex, and etc.
Oftentimes the person that was “cheated on” feels that they did something wrong or could have done something different to prevent their spouse from seeking someone else’s attention. Other times the person who did the cheating, makes the other person feel guilty by saying things like “you never have time for me anymore”, “I was lonely”, or “what you won’t do someone else will”. By the way, if that is the reaction you get from your spouse after you catch them cheating, it shows that they do not want to take responsibility for their actions and at this point, it is really not worth trying to work things out with the cheater, in my opinion.
Many people try to do all they can in their power that they believe will prevent their spouse from cheating. They try to stay in good physical shape, cook, clean, provide financially, sexual fulfillment, respect, honesty, and being faithful. Yet and still, they unfortunately discover that their acts of loyalty have not been reciprocated.
If this has happened to you or you feel like anything that I listed above, I have some good news and some bad news….
THE BAD NEWS: The truth of the matter is that there is nothing you can do, outside of physically retraining a person, to prevent them from cheating if that is just something they want and desire to do and choose to act on.
THE GOOD NEWS: A person’s act of cheating has nothing to do with you and what you have done or didn’t do and has EVERYTHING to do with how the cheater chooses to conduct themselves. Unless the person is being forced into these acts by some outside influence (i.e. r@pe or blackmail), it is 100% their choice to do what they are doing. – It is very important for you to not blame yourself or think something is wrong with you because your spouse chose to cheat.
So, no matter how much you cry, scream, argue, slap them, or give them the silent treatment, it is ALSO going to be their choice whether or not they want to stop cheating and help to create an honest and respectful relationship with you.
In my opinion, if you choose to stay with someone that has cheated on you, you have to accept that they are a cheater and, especially if their is no consequence for their actions, they will more than likely do it again. Even after they have promised you and swore on everything that they love, it would be a bit naive for you to believe that this person is not capable of doing what they have already done before.
Do not let them bully or guilt you into “forgetting about the past” or “not bringing up old stuff”. If you decide to stay together, just like you have to deal with the hurt of them cheating on you, they have to deal with you being hurt by them cheating on you. But, you also have to realize that if you decide to stay with this person and give them another chance, you are not going to be able to move on and be happy with your life if you continue to bring up the incident.
Revenge is NOT going to help you get over their infidelity. It will only cause you both to distrust each other and it is better to just end the relationship then to seek revenge. The only so called revenge that will bring closure is just letting the relationship go.
If you choose to give your spouse another chance, what I would encourage is for both of you to be as honest and open about the incident as possible and if you are the one that has been cheated on, you have the right to be able to express your emotions. Your spouse should also take full responsibility for their actions and if you are the one who cheated and you want to fix things, the FIRST step is to take full responsibility and to become determined to regain the trust of your spouse back. As the cheater, if you are not ready to do this, it is best to just leave the other person alone and allow them to heal rather than just lead them along to endure more hurt and heartache.
People usually lie out of fear. Cheaters often fear that they will lose a person if they are honest about what they did or want to do. But, what they don’t realize is that most people respect the truth upfront, rather than finding out by having to spy and investigate you.
In the future if you decide that you want to seek affection outside of your relationship the best thing to do is first be open and honest with your spouse about what you want. If they do not approve and you still want to act on that, it is best to just end the relationship than to cheat on the person.
If your spouse comes to you and they are telling you they are wanting to cheat, you have to realize that you can not control what a person really wants to do. You can only control yourself. So, you have to make the decision as to if it is something you are going to tolerate or not. If you decide against what they approach you with and they still want to go through with it, at that point I would respect the fact that they were honest with me and I would choose to leave the relationship and they will have to respect that as well.
If you would like to discuss this topic further, please leave a comment!