Sad as it sounds cheating is reason number one for break-ups and divorces nowadays.
The most common definition of infidelity/cheating (or adultery when married), is the act of being unfaithful or having an affair while in a relationship or marriage.
But in reality, it’s not clear where the harmless flirt ends and being unfaithful begins.
What is acceptable depends on the expectations from the relationship and the level of tolerance for our partner’s closeness with others.
That idea is also confirmed by a study from 2013 conducted at the University of Michigan. The participants were a group of college and university students who outlined 27 behaviors on a scale of 1-100. 1 on the scale indicated that the person didn’t think their partner’s suspicious behavior was cheating, while a score of 100 signaled for 100 percent cheating.
After analyzing the results the researchers came to the conclusion that due to the various opinions of the participants there is no exact “definition” of cheating, apart from sex.
However, we did our own research and outlined some of the most common “symptoms” of cheating according to the people interviewed.
Here is the list:
- Talking about sex with others
- Sexual chats with others
- Lies about being married or having a romantic partner
- Physical intimacy with others
- Intimate gifts for others
- Sexual contacts with other partners
- Crush on another person
- He/she becomes emotionally involved with someone else
And there are many more factors that we could add to that list.
So, here comes the next crucial question:Why do people cheat?
To provide a credible answer we asked a few men and women who’ve admitted they have cheated on their partners. Here are their stories:
( We’re not posting their full names to protect their privacy)
J.B., Los Angeles, CA
I think that the way I grew up is what prevented me from maintaining a normal relationship. I had a traumatic childhood. My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old and by the time I was 18 my mother had already changed 6 different men and had another 2 divorces. I just didn’t believe that true love actually exists. I was starting abusive and unsatisfactory relationships. I cheated on my partners and justified my behavior with their flaws and bad behavior towards me. Yet it was me to blame for not believing that I was worth being truly loved.
S.M. Chicago, Illinois
I had one unsuccessful marriage when I was 25 and since then I haven’t stopped cheating on my partners. The fact that my marriage had failed, hurt me deeply and made me build defense mechanisms to protect myself from suffering again. Here is why I couldn’t stay faithful to the other men in my life. Hurt people will hurt other people and I am no exception to that. I was thinking that if I cheated I wouldn’t feel that bad when my partner betrayed me.
J.P.P, Perth, Australia
I was responsible for everything – the housework, the children, the fact we hadn’t had sex for months. He was always busy with his career and was hardly ever cared how I felt. I even thought he was cheating on me but he just wasn’t able to pull his weight in the relationship. That’s why after years of loneliness I cheated on him. I didn’t mean to but it just happened and the sad truth is I felt so good. For the first time in many years, I felt beautiful and desired by someone. I have been seeing other men ever since. I don’t want to spoil my family because of the kids and the fact I still love my husband but I need more than what he is giving me.
S.M, San Fransisco, CA
Sex was one of the reasons to fall so strongly for my girlfriend. At the beginning of our relationship, I just couldn’t get enough of her. But after some time I had to admit the bitter truth – the magic between us had gone away. She had stopped attracting me and еven made me feel bored and unhappy in bed. So I started an affair hoping to improve my sex life. I know I betrayed her but I deserve sexual satisfaction. I still enjoy doing things with my girlfriend but, the sex is not working out for me anymore. So I am thinking of putting an end to our relationship very soon.
D.P.P, Toronto, ON, CA
As crazy as it may sound it was the thrill of nearly being caught that made me start cheating. I needed something to spice up my boring life. I hadn’t planned it the first time, but I felt amazing especially because my husband could have come home at any moment.
And these are just a few people out of million others who betray their partners and lie that they respect them and their relationship.
Obviously, they cheat because there’s something missing between them and their partner. But why do they keep staying in unsatisfactory relationships?
Isn’t the point of having a romantic relationship at all to stay faithful in it? And even if we are bored aren’t there other more dignified ways to get the monotony out of our lives? Can cheating be a means of dealing with the problems in the relationship as some people put it? And last but not least is cheating really a reason to end our relationship?
No matter what answers you give to these questions the one thing we all know for sure is that problems between the partners are usually but not always related to the relationship.
As Emily V. Gordon says
“Cheating is very rarely about the actual act of being with another person.”
The people we’ve interviewed confirm that. Here is why the only way to overcome cheating is to … admit it and accept it. And be willing to find the reasons that led you or your partner to it.
Then it is necessary to ask for help, seek professional therapy, or read literature written by experts. But most importantly talk to your partner.
Do you think couples could overcome cheating?
Please, tell us in the comments.