Talk Nerdy To Me’s: @StaffWriter
When it comes to relationships, people often do things that they know aren’t right. They might cheat on their partner, lie about their feelings, or even just refuse to communicate openly and honestly. But why do they do these things? Why do people cheat in relationships?
There are many possible reasons why someone might cheat on their partner. Maybe they’re not getting the attention they need from their partner, or maybe they feel like they’re not being appreciated. Maybe they’re feeling neglected or unimportant, and cheating seems like a way to get back at their partner. Or maybe they simply don’t care enough about their relationship to avoid cheating.
Let’s look closer at the reasons people cheat in relationships.
Three Main Reasons People Cheat in Relationships
People cheat because they aren’t getting the attention, appreciation, or affection that they need.
Sometimes people start to feel neglected by their partners. Maybe they don’t feel loved enough, or maybe they just aren’t being listened to. When people are feeling this way, it can lead them to look elsewhere for what they want out of a relationship. They might start looking at other people, or they might just look for more affection within their current relationship.
They Feel Unattractive
Someone who is feeling unattractive might also use cheating to get back at their partner. Maybe they’ll flirt with or have an emotional relationship with another person to feel attractive again.
Or people might look for attention outside of their relationships because that attention feels better than what’s offered to them inside the relationship. For many people, it can be easier to seek such things from someone whose feelings don’t matter (and aren’t likely to matter later). On the other hand, infidelity can seem like a quick and easy solution when there isn’t much else going on between two people.
They Justify Bad Behavior
People cheat because they feel like bad behavior is “okay” if everyone involved is getting something out of it. Maybe they’re feeling neglected, but they want to get something out of it. Maybe they feel like asking for more attention would be selfish. Or maybe it’s just easier to seek affection elsewhere than to play the difficult role of “needy” in their current relationship.
A Last Resort Effort To Feel Happy
These reasons might not even seem important at the time; cheating can seem like a last resort when people feel like nothing else will make them happy again (in the short term). But cheating often makes things worse, not better. Instead of facing problems with their partners and trying to work through them together, cheaters only add fuel to existing fires by hurting someone who already cares about them.
Lying to the Other Person
Another possible reason that people cheat in relationships is that they want the satisfaction of lying to someone else. Maybe they’ve made promises to their partner, but they want to be able to lie about cheating and not get caught. Or maybe they just don’t care enough about what happens later, so long as they can get what want right now.
An Easy Way Out
People might also cheat because it seems like an easy way out of sharing difficult feelings with their partners. Instead of confronting problems or working through issues, cheating can seem like it’s easier than trying something new.
However, in reality, they are only making things more difficult for themselves.
Too Much Stress (And They Need Relief)
Cheating may also feel like a good idea when people are feeling overwhelmed by emotions that aren’t being brought up within their primary relationship.
If someone feels chronically stressed, depressed, or otherwise overwhelmed, it can be tempting to turn to another relationship as a way of getting relief. In these cases, cheating might seem like the best way for them to find a solution that works–at least in the short term.
An Excuse to Leave Someone Else
People also cheat because they want an excuse to leave their primary relationships. Maybe they’ve grown apart over time and they want someone new without having to do all the hard work necessary for a long-term commitment. Or maybe they just aren’t satisfied with what’s been offered from their current partner and feel like cheating is justified now that those feelings have been voiced.
In these cases, there’s no real reason why people cheat other than wanting something different. They might not even feel particularly excited, but they’ll “take what they can get.”
They Feel Guilty
People cheat because they feel guilty about something either in their relationship or in their lives more generally. It’s also possible that cheating is something that feels okay to them when other parts of life aren’t okay.
If someone doesn’t feel good about themselves overall, then it can be easy to justify things like infidelity or risky behaviors with others—so long as everyone involved keep generally getting what they want.
Their Partner Might Be Cheating
Someone might “revenge-cheat” to get back at a cheating partner. If someone else is getting away with something they can’t, then it might make them feel better to do the same thing.
Again, this usually only fuels the fire, making everything worse.
They Have Little Self-Control
People cheat because they lack self-control. This is a character flaw, not an excuse. People who are unable to control themselves are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like cheating. This is because they are not able to think about the long-term consequences of their actions.
What To Do If Your Partner Cheats On You
Experiences with cheating can be rough. It’s normal to feel upset, angry, and even full of rage. To deal with these feelings in a healthy way, it’s important to acknowledge them rather than ignore or repress them.
It can also help to understand the underlying reasons for cheating instead of only focusing on the pain that came after the revelation.
Partners who cheat will likely repeat their bad behavior. It’s almost always a mistake to give them a second chance.