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Why do people cheat instead of just ending their relationship first?

Tagged as: Cheating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 December 2014) 2 Answers - (Newest, 31 December 2014)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

This isn't happening to me (I hope) currently and I hope it doesn't, because I truly love my BF and would be absolutely devastated. However, I was cheated on in the past and it has made fearful it could happen again although I try to trust my BF as much as possible.

Two people are in a relationship. They both act in love, maybe married or in a long term relationship. But one of them goes behind the other's back and cheats on them.

I do not understand the thought process. If you're going to betray someone who you claim to love, why not spare them of the trauma and heartbreak and end the relationship before you go behind their back to cheat? Obviously if you're cheating you don't care about them THAT much. Why not just end it before hand?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (31 December 2014):

Reasons for cheating varies with the person and personality of a cheater. To ask "why?" surely is a rhetorical question; because we are all human and capable of human error. There are deliberate acts of unfaithfulness; because some people have considerably acute character flaws. They want the benefit of having someone close, truly devoted, and available for their own emotional needs. They want the security of knowing there is someone who genuinely cares for them. Yet they seek sex with other people; because they are seeking someone unfamiliar. They want variety, and a cheap thrill. Then to return home like it never happened.

Having exactly what you want and need; doesn't cancel-out the probability and availability of sexual-partners other than the person you're committed to. Humans yield to temptation for a number of reasons. It is a weakness shared by us all. If the right person comes along at the right time, anyone can be tempted to cheat. You can have a high and mighty attitude about it, but you can't guarantee that you will never cheat. There are no guarantees in life.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin.

"Never" means at no time; past, present, or future. Under absolutely no circumstances. If you think you can live up to that, you can consider yourself perfect and above all other human beings.

A cheater may not end the relationship; because they don't want to end what they have. They just want a taste of what they don't. They don't want to suffer the grief of loss or a breakup. They don't want to face a divorce, lose their assets, or have their children taken from them. They don't want to fight, and they don't want to let the opportunity of immediate sexual-gratification to slip through their fingers.

Cheating is wrong any way you look at it. There is no excuse for it. People can be very creative explaining why they do it, but there is no reason they can come-up with that justifies it. It's done in secret to avoid punishment or retribution. It is a blatant betrayal of trust. It is a total disregard for a publicly-proclaimed or matrimonial commitment to someone. It is unfaithful on every level. People do it, because it is a human-weakness. A human flaw built-in to everyone of us. There are those of us with the self-control not to do it. I was able to avoid doing it, but it came my way on countless occasions. I've nearly slipped. I just weighed the consequences. Character has a lot to do with it. But lust is a powerful thing!

Most won't cheat; like most people won't murder. Yet, being human; anyone is capable of cheating on their partner.

Under the right circumstances, we don't know what we'll do until that situation arises in our lives. It will cross everyone's mind, whether you admit it or not.

There are repeat-offenders, who have an issue with commitment. They hide under the disguise of being faithful, but cheating is a thrill. It is narcissistic supply. The unjustified gratuity of having your cake and eating it too!

Some enjoy having more than they deserve. Greed! Sometimes it's a symptom of sex-addiction.

If it is discovered you've been cheated on; you have a choice of how you may address it. You should seek whatever remedy serves you best. First consider the circumstances under which it occurred, the overall character of the cheater, what they mean to you; and whether or not trust will ever be restored. Some violators deserve forgiveness and redemption. It differs case by case. Like any other sin, crime, or transgression.

You can't allow yourself to be permanently traumatized by human nature. You are likely to run into several partners over the course of a life-time who'll cheat. You may at some point weaken and slip yourself. You'll want to be forgiven. You'll want to maintain your relationship with the person you cheated on, in spite of what you've done.

You've hurt people in other ways. It could be equally as painful and just as cruel. Try and argue with someone you've hurt; and see if you can convince them how they should feel about it, and "how much" it should hurt them.

See if you will getaway with rationalizing by making any comparison of what could be worse. They know only the dept at which it affected them emotionally; no matter how small it may have seemed to you. Even if it wasn't cheating!

It happened to me. I was with my partner five-years; before I literally caught him in the act. I had to consider who he was, what he meant to me, and if I could endure the time it would take for him to regain my trust. I took the risk, and our relationship lasted an additional twenty-three years. I've never seen anyone so committed and determined to make up for something for which they truly regretted. I also knew that it was totally out of character.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that well for some who take that same risk. Only because; forgiveness is sometimes misguided, undue, and given to the wrong person. I was lucky.

I will not tolerate cheating within a committed-relationship again. If I can confirm it actually happened, it's over. I would expect the same, if I'm the cheater. I knew my partner very well. I knew his ego. He was successful, intelligent, good-looking, and we were very young at the time. He cheated with someone even younger, and also very attractive. Dumb as a stump, I might add. We had no problems between us. They just threw caution to the wind, let hormones rule, and gave into the heat of the moment. There was hell to pay, but we worked it out. I just don't tolerate cheating now; because there is no room for it in my life at this point. I'd simply end it, forgive, and move on. I'm not dragging that baggage into any other relationship. Burdening anybody else with trust-issues, and playing victim.

I'm more mature, and I just don't have time for that kind of foolishness at this stage in my life. You do reach a point. Experience has taught me not to rush into anything. I've learned to give trust as it is earned, and to let trust grow over-time. So being cheated on has not made me bitter or paranoid. Just wisely cautious. I forgive, because I know I am also capable of weaknesses. The time may come that I may have to beg for it. I want that possibility to always exist in any relationship that means anything to me.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom + , writes (30 December 2014):

Why do people cheat? Perhaps we need to ask the cheats, but I’d imagine there are some common reasons:

1. You love your partner, but human beings are human beings, our nature is to find people attractive. Some don’t want to leave the partner they love, but get tempted by some-one else to the point where they cross the line.

2. People cheat as a form of escape from the problems in their relationship: when overwhelmed, with no more constructive outlet for their fears, anger or frustration, they become more likely to give in to temptation and seek comfort from some-one else.

3. Probably less common, but some people enjoy the thrill. They are risk takers turned on by sneaking around, juggling different men or women. Others perhaps find their kicks in having power and control, these might be the type who appear to be very happy but pay prostitutes on the side.

4. Their partner isn’t right for them but they are scared of the hurt and upset that leaving the relationship might cause to that person. It gets more complicated if kids are involved.

I think these are the main reasons people do what they do, some of which are more the hallmarks of an inherently selfish character than others. They are, of course, reasons, not excuses: cheating is wrong, absolutely and without exception.

I wish you all the very best.

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