Is Cheating Part of Being Human?

The reasons people cheat have been studied for decades. Mostly people claim to cheat because of loss of passion between themselves and their partner, feeling lonely and disconnected from their partner, and other general relationship problems resulting in unhappiness with the relationship.

Being 100% faithful to one person over a lifetime seems to be more difficult than it sounds. Studies have found that 30-60% of people will cheat on their spouse at least one time during their marriage. 60%!

Most people who cheat, do not go out with the intention to cheat, decisions about sexual behavior are rarely pre-planned. When your spouse stood beside you at the alter and promised to be faithful to you for the rest of his/her life, they more than absolutely meant it, sincerely. When it comes to love, it is sometimes hard to separate emotions from logic and these emotions can lead us down a path that logic would never allow us to go down. There are actually three emotional systems that come into play when cheating;

  • Sexual desire
  • Attachment
  • Love in a romantic way

This goes to show you that most people commit infidelity because their emotions overwhelmed them and logic was nowhere to be found.

Putting oneself in certain situations (some of those you may not even be aware that you are in) can cause you the temptation or make you more susceptible to making the wrong choice. These situations include:

  • Spending a lot of one on one time with someone other than your spouse
  • Being unhappy or angry with your spouse
  • Not feeling a connectedness or passion in your relationship
  • Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Being somewhere with someone and you know you won’t get caught.

Wouldn't, SHOULDN'T someone have the willpower to not be a skeez? How many times have you vowed and promised yourself (and really meant it). That you were going to kick your cupcake addiction and go on a healthy diet? You really meant it and were sure you could do it, but three days later you find yourself in a closet shoving cupcakes down your throat. Willpower isn't something to be trusted. A lot of eastern cultures believe this, that’s part of the no alcohol, Burka wearing stuff. While here in western society, we spend more money on beauty products than education! Admittedly, dieting and cheating are very different and have very different consequences; however, this example goes to show you how hard it is to have self-restraint especially when the actions are emotionally driven. And just like dieting, you try to avoid situations where the “bad” food will be so you are not tempted and can succeed with your diet. Being faithful requires staying away from people and situations that incite out worst behaviors.

Infidelity goes as far back as time. There was no monogamy, because those who went out and had more than one partner, created more offspring and therefore had and increased chance of their genes carrying on throughout the ages. A caveman who was more sexually reserved would not. Through evolution, cheating became innate in our nature and although we are all capable of committing adultery, that does not mean everyone does or will.

Since cheating is a situational mistake, here are some factors that may give you an idea if your partner is more likely to cheat than someone else. (Again, this does not mean they will) People who are attractive (Physically, socially or have money), People in positions of power, People with higher than normal sex drives, People who don’t mind taking an opportunity, Someone having relationship difficulties, that person’s view on love and attachment, risk takers, and people who have a sense of entitlement.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Meeting your partners needs at a high enough level will ensure that they will meet your needs at a level you need.  You meet their needs -- they meet your needs -- no one will cheat.  If you are not getting your needs met, nor is your partner. If you are not speaking up to discuss your needs, you are are both ripe for cheating.

Having a healthy relationship with lots of understanding, trust, caring, passion, mutual respect and laughter can also help prevent infidelity.

Whether you’ve been cheated on or the cheater, you know how much it hurts and you know the grave consequences of an emotional spur of the moment bad decision. Even if your relation cannot be saved, the best thing is to, with time, forgive each other and forgive yourselves.

There are plenty of people out there who have happy, faithful, healthy marriages. There are many happy relationships that have survived cheating. If you feel yours is rocky, speak up and get help!  If there is love there, it’s worth saving.