Answers found on Ask Reddit
1. “I wanted both things, and I was a selfish, immature shit. I’ve never regretted anything more than hurting my partner like that.”
2. “Due to low self esteem, I thrived off attention, so rather than saying “no thank you, I have a girlfriend”, I’d let things continue. But at the same time, I also craved stability, so never wanted to break things off with said girlfriend. There’s nothing I regret more than hurting my ex like I did and karma finally caught up with me a few years later when I was cheated on by a different girlfriend, repeatedly. I didn’t end that relationship after I found out about her cheating the first time, as I felt I deserved it from my past shittiness. I vowed never to cheat again, especially after feeling the pain myself.”
3. “Immaturity, and a lot of insecurity. I was a teenager the only time I ever cheated and it wasn’t even a thought process when I did it, it was really just “I want that right now” and the fact that I had a girlfriend didn’t even cross my mind because I had never had to think of others’ feelings in that way before. I was an insecure kid who thought that having a lot of sex meant I was masculine and it proved something, but now I know its just a scum move.
After the person I cheated with told my girlfriend, I learned really quickly what those actions meant and what kind of behavior is expected from a SO. Wish I didn’t have to hurt someone to figure it out though.”
4. “Fear of being alone. But that’s the way it came.”
5. “I’ve never cheated on anyone, but my dad had an affair once. Honestly, I think the only reason he stayed with my batshit insane alcoholic mother at all is because of me and my sister.”
6. “I was in an abusive relationship and wanted to feel like I had power over something. I didn’t.”
7. “I cheated with an ex long term SO. That relationship was was so fucking co-dependent and unhealthy. The break up made me want to die. I was trying so hard to move on and put myself back together. I didn’t want to end the new relationship. The ex was like my kryptonite, it took a long time to be able to not get sucked back in. It was because of my own baggage not the new SO. I screwed up.”
8. “I have cheated once. I loved this guy more than I can say in words, but we did not have a healthy relationship. He cheated on me. I even caught him once in bed with another man and I stayed with him anyways because he was my world. He was my best friend. He was my family.
But we didn’t have sex. It killed me inside. I would show up at his house wearing nothing but lingerie and a fur coat (I wish this was a made up story by FML it isn’t) and he would ignore me.
I didn’t feel like I was attractive or sexy and it got to the point where I didn’t think he would even care if I had sex with someone else. So one night, I was out at a show with a bunch of people, including a guy I had an innocent crush on and we ended up kissing. One kiss. I felt terrible about it afterwards. Sick. I confessed to my boyfriend and he went insane. He punched the windshield of my car and shattered it while I was driving. It was bad. He felt betrayed.
Looking back at this 20 years later, it’s obvious what was going on, but I didn’t see it at the time. I was young, naive and he was everything to me.”
9. “I was in an abusive relationship but I didn’t love myself enough to leave it.”
10. “I’ve never been in a relationship, but know two people who have cheated. Both said they still “loved” their SO, but something was missing and they sought that from other people. They didn’t want to leave their current relationship, because they were still getting something good from it. But something else important was missing, so they simply got THAT from another.”
11. “I was broken from a previous, very serious relationship, the aftermath of which pretty much ruined my life as it was, and had me single for four years. About 6 months in to my first new relationship, I ended up flirting with a girl (who was not my SO, just a random) at a party and getting a cab with her to her house. Just flirting, and the girl cooled off quick once we were in her house so I left before anything happened, but the damage was done – was as good as cheating as far as I was concerned. A lot of difficult discussions, hurt feelings, and self-reflection brought me to these understandings:
I did it because I knew if I was with my SO much longer, I’d be getting into another deep, life-defining relationship, and I was afraid of letting myself have those emotions. I liked the feeling of being independent of my feelings for my SO, as if they didn’t matter to me (even though they very much did).”
12. “It was a dead bedroom situation. And not just no sex, but no intimacy, no connection and fairly toxic. But I felt stuck in the overall relationship and didn’t know how to get out. The first time I had an affair, it was more of an impulsive mistake that I regretted deeply and said, I’ll never do that again.
I tried to make the marriage work, but a few years later it wasn’t, and I thought having a sexual/romantic affair would round out things that were missing in my life and make things surviveable. Instead, after barely even meeting up with the “other” man, it made me realize, I can’t do this, I need to decide between being married or not. I was separated and divorced two months later.”
13. “Because if I even mentioned cutting things off with him, he would hit and throw things at me until I bled and bruised. He was a very, very morbid man, which didn’t show until years into the relationship to begin with.
I cheated on him because the person I went to as a safe haven in between assaults made me feel safe and made me feel loved, and I didn’t have a feeling of “I need to get out of here!” constantly weighing on my mind.
Luckily, I got out of the relationship with help of friends, and I have a daughter with my safe haven, we’re married, and he’s not so much as raised a hand at me. I’m safe.”
14. “Because I justified to myself that it wasn’t cheating at first.
I’ve never told this story before but I was in a relationship that I was pretty unhappy in. It wasn’t just the relationship, I was depressed and scared of being alone so I didn’t end it when I should have. We moved in together and things got worse. My girlfriend was bisexual and had some interest in a threesome. I was somewhat detached from the relationship at the time and had met a new girl at work who I had a lot of chemistry with.
I was in the service industry at the time and there was lots of after work drinks and me and this girl were hitting it off. I told my girlfriend about her, strictly mentioning the physical aspect and she told me to pursue it. I did and we all went out for drinks one night and it happened. It was very strange because it hit me during that I had real feelings for the other girl.
My girlfriend had to work early but as she left she told us to “have fun” which i took full advantage of. After that I started seeing the other girl somewhat regularly and was officially cheating. I found out a few weeks later that my girlfriend knew and thought it would lead to a fun partner for us but in actuality I was falling for the other girl.
Her being cool with it did not last long (big surprise) but by that time it was all over and I was madly in love with the other girl. We have been together ever since and married for 3 years with a new baby.
I will alway feel terrible about how things ended. I was a complete coward and should have come clean as soon as I started having feelings for the other girl but I hid what was really happening which hurt my girlfriend at the time tremendously. Last I heard and saw she was doing great things in her life and was in a great relationship.
I wish so much that I could go back and undo the hurt I caused her but that is something I will always have to live with.”
15. “What happened: I was crossfaded to the point where I didn’t really know what was happening. As a part of a spin the bottle game I found myself in, I ended up making out with about five people.
Why I did it: At first I told myself it was a drunken mistake, that I wouldn’t have done it if I was sober or even moderately drunk. Which I’m sure is actually true. But looking back at it, I wasn’t that happy, and it was only about a month into the relationship. I’d known by the third date that it wasn’t going to work out in the end, we got along well, but something just didn’t feel right. I think that might have played a part in what I did. Why didn’t I end the relationship before? He was a great person, and I didn’t think I could do any better.”