Why Do People Cheat?

Infidelity fascinates me. I don’t want to take any pain away from those who have suffered as a consequence, but my fascination is in the ‘why’. People have made theories and even excuses, but when someone cheats, we all seem to jump on the bandwagon and think of them solely in a negative way.

When the Ashley Maddison scandal hit, millions of people’s profiles were at risk. Yes, millions! And that’s only considering the people cheating on this one site. Look around you. Think of the people you have in your life. The odds are that at least someone you know, someone you work with or run in the same circles as either has a secret account like this online or is actively cheating. Infidelity is all around us. How many stories do we get told about a spouse cheating? But instead of simply accusing someone of having an evil personality for doing so, maybe we need to better understand infidelity in order to know how to deal with it in our lives and even protect our relationships from it. The attitude of “it won’t happen to me” doesn’t do much at all. Do you think anyone who found out their partner was cheating started a relationship thinking, “They probably will cheat on me one day.”  Many will bury their heads in the sand and never consider if they could be one of the now common ones having to deal with infidelity in their lives.

To explore this topic further, lets for a moment look at the Kardashian girls. Many would envy their life and their looks. But in the space of a few weeks, 2 of the sisters were rocked by cheating scandals. Now if a Kardashian can get cheated on, so can you.

If you don’t read stories online, both Kylie and Khloe caught their partners cheating. From the outside, one might think these guys would be crazy to do so. Both girls are extremely attractive and flaunt a level of sexuality not to mention power and wealth. But maybe it’s just that that. Their power and wealth.

I need to be careful when writing about infidelity because I never want to assume that someone cheated because of a reaction to what someone else did. It’s not exactly that easy nor should we ever blame someone else for our own actions. There might be circumstances combined with other factors, but I won’t go down the path of looking at this as an illness where someone is not responsible for their own behaviours. Maybe the problem is people need to be more responsible when and if they do cheat. Things can happen, I understand that and people do cheat, I also understand that. But unless someone was holding a gun to your head and making you have sex with someone else, you still have a choice in the situations and at least own that. There might be a reason as to why It happened, but it’s still a choice. The reason you chose to though, might give you further insight into why you did in the first place and if you are ever looking for forgiveness then that’s something that needs to be shared with those you hurt.

Some people think that cheating is just a matter of sex. My father has a saying, “if he isn’t getting it at home, he is getting it somewhere else.” Referring to sex of course. He always seemed to use this example when it came to men cheating, but for the record I would like to say that just as many women cheat too. My partner also commented when I was discussing this story that maybe these guys were just not getting it at home. Just because someone looks sexy, doesn’t mean they are having sex. As much as I hate these comments, I can’t deny that there is truth in it when it comes to infidelity for some. For some people, it’s about sex and wanting more of it or wanting it from different people in order to have their egos stroked. But for the Kardashian scenarios, of course not knowing exactly what went on in their bedrooms, I did however suspect there was something more at play.

Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson (left) and Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott (right)

Before Travis and Tristan entered into this famous family, they were names of their own. Travis was a well-known basketballer and Tristan a famous rapper. They might not have had the notoriety of the Kardashians, but they were still famous with adoring fans. With fame though often comes an ego that needs to be constantly boosted and an insecurity that the fame will one day go away.

So, if we consider these men’s ego and potential insecurities for a moment, how must it be entering into this famous clan? The women seem to have all the power, most of the money and control. Instead of being known for your own craft, you become the partner of someone and known for only that. The irony is, this is something many women have fought against for years, wanting to make their own name for themselves.

In these scenarios, you become and feel like you are second best, not as important, not the one in control all the time. Maybe it was these insecurities that set in. The need for the attention and control could quite possibly take over with common sense and the thought of possible consequences or outcomes going out the window. A few drinks, a bit of flirting, feeling wanting and in control again. There might have been other factors at play, we don’t know. But with two girls out of the same family and their history with marriages not being so great, one does have to wonder if a woman in too much control can be threatening to certain men. But a note for women who are strong and powerful, choose a man who respects you for that.

I don’t know these people and even this scenario might not be right. But I have seen this in play many times before and it’s a possibly that this is a scenario that should be put on the table. Sometimes cheating has everything to do with sex and sometimes it has nothing.

The best advice I can give is to talk about infidelity with your partner. What you think it is, where the lines are drawn but also what might lead someone there. Don’t get emotional or jealous as to what might be said, but talk openly and honestly so you can discuss where the warning signs might be and alert each other if you think either of you start to get there. When working on a relationship, safeguarding it from infidelity and the issues that might contribute to it, also need work.

Infidelity is a complex subject. The one thing I have learnt is that as much as there might be some similar scenarios, every case is different and has its own line of reasons as to why it occurred. Next time you walk down a busy street or in a packed shopping mall, look around you and think, you are most likely walking past people who are either cheating or have partners who are. Maybe it’s about time we spoke about it more openly and addressed the real issues at play. People don’t cheat for no reason. There is always a why.

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