Recently, a friend and I had an in depth conversation about cheating. She thinks it’s unacceptable and that doing so makes you a bad person. I believe that given the right, or arguably wrong, circumstances, everybody is capable of cheating and that it doesn’t make you a bad person; it’s just human. We are complicated creatures with complex emotions and things are rarely as simple as ‘good or bad’. For the record, I am not in favor of cheating nor am I saying that one needs to forgive it, but I don’t see the world quite as black and white as my friend does. Cheating is an area of gray that, usually, is much more about the person who is doing it rather than about their partner.
1. They were bored
Okay, this is arguably the dumbest reason for cheating. If you’re bored, spice up the sex life with your partner, get a new hobby, go to the gym or do pretty much anything else. Don’t just go bang the next person you see simply because you couldn’t think of anything better to do. However, to some, this seems to be a legit reason to be unfaithful.
2. They were in a dark place
I have never cheated on anybody, but this is the reason I can most relate to. Some nights your mind goes to dark places and you just need to escape, forget, and not feel for a while. If your partner isn’t there for you, it can be too easy to turn to self-destructive behavior and sleep with someone else to chase that mental escape you are so desperately seeking.
Your partner has cheated on you and you’re just evening the score. Or they lied to you or betrayed you in some other way – whatever the reason, this one is pretty straight forward.
Maybe you’ve gained a few pounds and aren’t feeling comfortable in your skin so you just want to feel desired again. Maybe your partner hasn’t been paying enough attention to you recently and you no longer feel as if they want you or desire you. Sleeping with someone else might give you the validation you’re craving.
Your partner might not be giving you what you need. Their love language is different than yours, they are caught up in their own lives and you feel neglected. Or maybe the relationship is long distance and you miss being intimate with someone. Usually, if this is the case, you’re more likely to find comfort in the arms of somebody you already know rather than a total stranger. It’s not about your partner, it’s about you. It’s about filling the hole they are leaving in your life.
6. Trying to get the partner’s attention
This may also come from feeling neglected, but it doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with loneliness. Maybe your partner has been spending too much time working and too little time on you. Maybe you are struggling with something and they just can’t see it. Cheating on them can be a cry for help, a cry for attention.
7. They just don’t care
Some people just don’t take fidelity very seriously (or at all). They may have agreed to be in an exclusive, monogamous relationship on paper but, truthfully, they never intended to stick to it.
Grief can do strange things to people and everybody processes it in their own way. Sometimes the people who are there for you the most, like your partner, are the ones you need the least in that instance. You don’t want to talk or discuss or even be lovingly held. You just want to feel and remember that you are alive. Sex, particularly with someone who isn’t your partner, could be the answer to that.
9. Lack of sexual satisfaction in the relationship
Sure, ideally this would lead to you talking to your partner and trying to figure out how to work around it or how to get the spark back. Alternatively, some people will look for what they are lacking in their relationship elsewhere.
Sometimes, we do things to hurt ourselves. Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s emotional – either way, it comes from a deep set pain that many find hard to cope with. Purposely cheating on your partner, maybe even so openly that they might easily find out, can be a manifestation of that pain.