Infidelity is an emotionally and financially devastating thing to experience in marriage. Cheating is always hard to recover from, even for couples who are not married. Reasons for cheating vary in nature as much as the individuals in relationships do, but views of cheating have changed drastically over the years. At one time, people held the view that a cheating spouse wasn’t getting what he or she “needed” at home. Most people now realize and accept that cheating is the responsibility of the cheater alone.
A feeling of being unloved or unfulfilled is a common motivation to cheat. The cheater feels like the spark in the relationship is gone. Sometimes these feelings manifest as a fear that the relationship has failed and the cheating partner worries that he or she is missing out on finding “the one” by staying in the current relationship.
Sexual incompatibility is one of the biggest sources of stress in long-term relationships. One partner wants sex more often than the other, or the sexual acts each person is comfortable with don’t mesh. Sometimes one partner loses interest altogether and begins to see it as a chore. Mismatched sexual preferences cause resentment, and resentment eventually eats away at the foundation of the relationship.
Boredom is another possible motivator for infidelity. Cheating is likely when one partner no longer feels any anticipation or happiness when the other partner comes home from work or travel. The desire to answer a text message or phone call from a partner fades away and communication turns into another chore to be done. The partner that turns to cheat wants to feel “butterflies” again and enjoy the rush of excitement prompted by a new romantic interest. The act of cheating itself may even provide excitement and illicit thrills.
One partner in a relationship may feel disappointed in life, the relationship itself, or in promises that weren’t kept. Ambitions and plans that seem feasible and realistic on the day of the wedding can fall by the wayside over years of living as a couple. This is a problem when one partner loses interest in goals and promises while the other partner expects those promises to be kept.
Ending the Relationship
Cheating can be an indirect way of ending a relationship when one partner can’t muster the courage to be direct. The rationale for cheating as a break-up method isn’t always a conscious, purposeful decision. A person feeling unhappy and depressed in a relationship might see and communicate with an affair partner carelessly. The cheater might even make it easy for the other partner to discover the infidelity.
Cheating in response to emotional neglect from a spouse or partner can be seen as the fault of the faithful party. One person is not being a good partner so the other partner finds someone else. This situation is debatable in terms of which partner is to blame, but the honest way to deal with the situation is to end the relationship maturely and move on.
Cheating sometimes occurs as a reaction to infidelity. One partner cheats, so the other partner cheats too as a way to ‘get back’ at the original cheater. This type of cheating is the result of being hurt badly and lashing out in response. This situation can easily spiral into a continuous back-and-forth cycle of both partners trying to hurt each other.
Sometimes cheating isn’t planned at all. It occurs spontaneously in a moment of excitement or during a night out. The cheater may struggle to explain why he or she cheated. The cheater may feel shocked and regretful, but he or she may also feel excited with no regret at all. This type of cheating may not be discovered by the faithful partner if the cheater chooses to conceal the incident.
A person in a struggling relationship might cheat as a last-ditch effort to save the relationship. The rationale is that the other partner will realize what is at stake and put effort into the relationship. This is a truly awful idea and it rarely has the intended outcome. Betrayal will not fix a relationship. Cheating just adds one more problem to resolve, or it may be the final straw that ends the relationship.
“Wired” to Cheat
Cheaters using the “wired” to cheat excuse claim that they just can’t control themselves. Reasons for this lack of control include a high sex drive, natural attractiveness that draws sexual partners, the belief that “people have always done it,” and even excuses based on gender or “biology.” Cheaters claiming it was inevitable and beyond their control are selfish. They want their needs met, and they want to pursue anything that makes them happy without consequences.