Why DO people cheat? A loaded question? Well, yes and no. There’s no doubt about it, people do cheat and the numbers are rising. Most people would automatically group cheaters into the “asshole” category but there’s always two sides to every story and when you stop to look at what’s behind cheating, you realize that it’s not one person’s fault and you also realize it’s usually not something that happens overnight. Infidelity is a symptom of much bigger problems in a relationship.
Why People Cheat: The Numbers
The numbers of cheaters is definitely on the rise. However, it’s hard to get accurate statistics on infidelity because most people will not tell the truth or admit they’ve done it. Although the majority of people would agree that cheating and adultery is morally wrong, they still do it. Almost a quarter of committed men and women have cheated on their significant other at least once during their relationship. Some would even say the numbers are much higher than that, other sources put the numbers at 30-60%. According to a study out of Indiana University “19 percent of women and 23 percent of men reported cheating, statistics that seem to reflect a closing of the cheating gender gap. Research from the 1990s found that only about 10 percent to 15 percent of women reported being unfaithful“. What does this mean? It means that cheating is becoming more common.
Why People Cheat: Who Cheats
Quite frankly, anyone and everyone has the potential to cheat. In my post Is Monogamy Natural? I stated that “given the right circumstances and situation every single person is capable of infidelity“. I do believe it’s true. Some people are more inclined to cheat than others because they are not able to control their primal urges whereas those who resist cheating opportunities are better at self control. It is said that typically people in their 20’s and 30’s are more likely to cheat, but it’s still quite common with people of all ages. Some would say that the more attractive a person is the more likely that they will cheat (which is why some people avoid dating attractive people), I’m not sure that’s true, cheating is more about personality and opportunity rather than looks!
Why People Cheat: The Reasons
Essentially, people cheat because they aren’t happy. People who are completely happy and satisfied in their relationships rarely cheat. Yes, there are those few who just can’t be faithful in any relationship regardless, but that’s the exception to the rule. People cheat because there are problems in their relationship. Plain. Simple. The relationship isn’t whole. People who cheat usually say that they aren’t happy with their partner so they look for love, affection and someone to meet their needs outside their relationship. Cheaters cheat not because they are bad people, people cheat because there’s something missing.
As earlier mentioned, there is an increase in the number of cheaters out there. Why? Because the opportunities are there. People are working longer hours and spend more time with co-workers than with their partner, the Internet makes it easier to meet and have emotional affairs that often lead to physical affairs, and one reason that I’ve read that makes so much sense to me is that more and more people have multiple sexual partners before committing to someone and when it comes to being committed to one person they can’t, they need the variety they enjoyed before. I am finding this more common among people who commit in their 30’s or 40’s because they are used to a more free lifestyle. (It is worth exploring if this is why “swinging” is becoming more popular)
I read an article recently published in Psychology Today called “The Eight Reasons that People Cheat on Their Partners” according to the study the main reasons people said they cheated were: the lack of satisfaction in their sexual relationship, the desire for more sexual encounters, lack of emotional satisfaction in their relationship, wanting to be validated emotionally, falling out of love with their partner, falling in love with a new partner, they want to seek revenge and out of curiosity. So, simply put, they have a void that needs to be filled … wait a minute, that didn’t sound right did it? But, well, however you read that it’s true!!
Why People Cheat: The Solution
I have always said that you need to find the right person for you in order to be fully satisfied and happy in your life. This means being on the same page about your needs, wants and desires … being on the same page about what’s most important to you. When you have the right relationship then the likelihood that you will cheat will be very low. The Ask Men website says that “it all comes down to two basic drives: the physical sexual drive and the emotional need. People usually cheat because there is a conflict between their physical and emotional desires. By accepting and understanding these shortcomings — instead of ignoring them — we can hopefully work harder to make sure that our partners are satisfied enough to resist any instinctual sexual urge.” This makes a lot of sense. Relationships take work. See where the gaps are and fill them. Talk about your problems and what you need from your partner, if they aren’t willing to work on it, then it’s better to walk away than to cheat.
Do you agree? Disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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