If you’ve ever been cheated on, you know first-hand just how terrible it feels. It destroys your ability to trust, breaks your heart, and leaves you feeling absolutely broken. But why does it happen, and what is the one thing all cheaters have in common? Read on to find out more.
How is “cheating”really defined?
People have very different definitions of what constitutes cheating. For some, it’s strictly defined as having sex with someone other than your partner. For others, sexting or texting someone outside the relationship counts as infidelity. In more extreme cases, some people might even consider flirting with other people to be a form of cheating.
Regardless of the specific scenario, one common thing that ties all cheaters together is a betrayal of trust. It’s up to each individual couple to define what’s appropriate and what isn’t in regard to fidelity, and crossing those boundaries will make the other person feel cheated. Making someone you care about feel that way should be enough for you to avoid these behaviors altogether.
Why do people cheat?
- They’re insecure. It seems odd to assume that someone who’s insecure would look for a connection outside of their relationship, but it’s true. Because their self-worth is in short supply, they seek validation and reassurance that they’re attractive, important, and desirable from other people. Receiving these things from their partner isn’t enough — they believe their partner is biased and not being honest.
- They’re unhappy in their relationships. One of the most common things among cheaters is their dissatisfaction with their primary relationships. Obviously, they’re not happy with their partner if they become romantically involved with someone else. However, instead of ending things and becoming single again, they have an affair. Whether they “don’t want to hurt” their partner or simply want to have their cake and eat it too, this is incredibly toxic.
- They have a fear of commitment. If things are getting serious in a relationship, a commitmentphobe will often self-sabotage by having an affair. In their mind, this halts the progress of their relationship. Either their partner will be hesitant to move forward with the relationship or they’ll end things altogether. By cheating, they can pretend that they’re still single and that nothing is changing in their life.
- It’s all about sex. This is often true. Cheaters don’t always share a deep emotional connection with the affair partners. It could very well be based on sexual attraction and all about getting their rocks off. This doesn’t make it any better or less painful for their actual partner, of course. However, the cheater will often use the “it was just sex” excuse to downplay their betrayal.
- They’re trying to get revenge. If their partner has cheated previously or betrayed them in another way, the cheater may be unfaithful as a form of revenge. Maybe they claimed to forgive their partner but they truly didn’t. Maybe they were left with an inferiority complex that they try to assauge by cheating themself. This never works, of course, but it doesn’t stop them from trying.
What is the one thing all cheaters have in common?
The biggest thing all cheaters have in common is a lack of respect. Anyone who has been unfaithful to their partner clearly doesn’t respect them regardless of whether or not they say otherwise.
- They don’t respect their partner’s feelings. There’s no way a cheater can be unaware of the fact that their betrayal with be hurtful to their partner. In a monogamous relationship, you should be able to trust that you’re going to be faithful to one another. When a cheater shatters that trust, they’re basically saying they don’t care how it affects you.
- They don’t respect the commitment they’ve made. If a cheater is unhappy in their primary relationship, they should either take steps to fix the issues preventing them from being happy or end things altogether. By not doing either, they’re showing how little they care about the commitment they made to their partner and their relationship.
- They don’t respect their partner’s health. Whether or not the cheater is using protection, there’s always a chance of contracting an STD and passing that on to their partner. In a relationship, you assume that your health is in safe hands. By cheating, especially when it’s done without the use of condoms or dental dams, the cheating is putting their partner’s health at serious risk.
- They don’t respect their partner’s time. Generally speaking, relationships tend to end after infidelity is discovered. While the cheater could simply tell their partner that they don’t want to be together anymore or that they’re interested in someone else, they instead carry on the relationship behind their partner’s back. This means they’re happy with their partner wasting time in what is now a dead-end relationship. This is completely disrespectful and totally inexcusable.