Why People Cheat & Why It Doesn’t Matter if They Do

Why People Cheat & Why It Doesn't Matter if They Do.png

I really hate the Maury show.  When it isn’t paternity test, he’s giving someone a lie detector test to see if they were cheating.  If in fact the person passes the lie detector the couple is all of a sudden happy again, hugging and kissing on television.  But how is it forgivable that your partner distrusted you so much that  they brought you on Maury for a lie detector test?  And if you are the accuser, how did you go from months of distrust and anger to instant love and happiness upon finding out your partner hasn’t cheated.  It just makes no sense.  Any couple with this many trust issues has deeper problems than whether or not someone is cheating.  This is why I argue that it doesn’t matter whether or not your spouse or partner is cheating.  If you suspect they are, you already have a a big problem.


A healthy relationship can’t exist without mutual trust.

But How?  How can you simply choose to trust someone?  What if past significant others have cheated on you leaving you weary and distrusting?  What if you suspect your current partner because they’ve given you legit reason to distrust them?

If your past partner(s) cheated on you and this left you with trust issues, you have to get over it.  Not all men/women cheat.  Understanding why people cheat may help you to get past cheating.  So what are some popular reasons why people cheat?

People cheat because they are insecure

They need to prove to themselves that they are desirable and dating/messing with multiple people makes them feel validated.  If your partner cheats for this reason then there is no point in trying to make a relationship work.  The bigger issue is that they need to work on themselves and develop their self esteem.  It is not your job, nor can you be successful building a person’s self worth to the degree needed for them to engage in a healthy happy relationship.  Furthermore, if you do invest the time to help them reach this point, the new rejuvenated them will likely find a new partner.  Rarely do people stay with the person who has helped shape, mold and develop them.  This is because you have seen them at their most vulnerable. They may find it easier to be with someone new who has only ever seen their new and improved self.  Are you fixing the right person? How investing too much in significant others can be detrimental to your own growth.

People cheat because they are uninterested in a committed relationship

pexels-photo(1)First understand that it’s not considered cheating unless both people have declared that it is a committed relationship.  You can’t be upset that someone is seeing multiple people if you haven’t communicated or mutually committed to exclusivity.  If you have committed and the person is still not honoring that mutual exclusivity then maybe they never wanted it in the first place.  Maybe they enjoy the relationship with you and felt that the conversation to be mutually exclusive was an ultimatum.   They didn’t want to lose you so they committed knowing they would continue to see others.  Or maybe they committed to be exclusive thinking they were ready for a commitment but then changed their minds.  Either way this isn’t someone that is ready to be committed and if you are, then find someone who is also ready.

People cheat because they are uncomfortable or afraid to break up

pexels-photo-246805Maybe you’ve been in a long term relationship from a young age. Maybe you’ve grown apart but there’s so much history that it’s hard to admit this.  Or maybe the other person just needs to experience things without you before committing to a lifetime with you.  This reminds me of that Donnell Jones song:  Where I Wanna Be   The ideal way of handling things would be to break up rather than cheat, but if a person is conflicted they may not handle things so gracefully.  If this is the case be disappointed or even upset about the cheating, but understand the end result was likely inevitable.  The break up needed to happen.

People cheat because something is missing in the relationship

hands-437968_1920It could be sexual, emotional, monetary, or something else that’s missing in the relationship.  Regardless what’s truly lacking is communication and loyalty.  In a healthy relationship couples will talk about their needs and be loyal enough to work through any problems without stepping outside of the relationship.  If your partner cheats for this reason then don’t dwell on the stated deficiency.  Whatever it was you did or didn’t do is only relevant as a learning experience for the next relationship.  Maybe in the next relationship you will try to be a better listener, or more emotionally supportive or whatever the complaint was.  But for this relationship, the bigger problem was a lack of communication and loyalty on the part of the cheater.  Regardless of  their perceived deficiencies in the relationship, they chose not to communicate and work through things.  They chose to cheat.

People cheat because the monotony of their everyday lives has caused them to temporarily forget how valuable their built life is

pexels-photo-377058If you are married with a mortgage and children you are pretty committed to a life you spent effort building.  There is a lot more to lose in cheating than if you cheated in dating or even an early childless marriage.  It almost makes you wonder why anyone would risk losing so much.  But for some people the stability, responsibility and monotony of marriage and parenthood might be something they sometimes wish they had a break from.  They may temporarily envy their single friends freedom and desperately want to relive those days.  If someone cheats for these reasons, it is really hurtful that they would be willing to risk so much of the life you’ve built together.  You will have to decide if you want to make it work or if the life you’ve built together is finished.  No one can or should decide this but you.


Are these the only reasons people cheat?  Of course not.  There are probably tons of reasons, however many of the specific reasons can fit into the above five categories.  And with the exception of the last reason, most of these cheating scenarios are reasons for you to move on.  Cheating in dating is not the same as cheating in marriage because the stakes are lower.  The commitment isn’t yet permanent.

If you suspect that your partner is cheating you should ask yourself why.  Am I suspecting them because someone has cheated on me in the past?  Am I extra sensitive to suspicion?  Do I have trust issues?  If the answer is yes then it’s unlikely you can have a healthy trusting relationship with anyone until you resolve your trust issues.  Just remember, not all men or all women cheat.  Everyone deserves a fresh chance without being punished for the doings of your previous partner.

If you suspect that your partner is cheating because there is legit reason to suspect this and/or you have strong intuition telling you not to trust them, then be done.  I encourage you not to play Inspector Gadget.  Please don’t take them on Maury!  Don’t waste time going through cell phones, hacking emails or social media accounts.  The thing is, if in your gut you feel uncomfortable and uneasy about trusting them there is something to that.  It ultimately doesn’t matter if they are or aren’t cheating.  The sheer fact that you don’t trust them means you can not have a healthy relationship with them.

What are your thoughts?  Can you learn to trust someone you initially didn’t trust?  Can a healthy relationship evolve from that?


4 thoughts on “Why People Cheat & Why It Doesn’t Matter if They Do

  1. C Moore says:

    I find this article very thin and flimsy on the topic of cheating and not well covered. I would argue that there are a lot of people with trust issues, regardless of age, sexual orientation, race, etc.; its universal. Each is a case by case basis. You simply can not go down a list and select which one you think applies to your partner and choose how to react. The one thing I did not read in this is communication with your partner if you think they are cheating. Our past ideas, thoughts, reactions play a part in our futures everyday. How we change or grow from them is up to each of us. However, it is flippant to say that if someone suspects cheating, from intuition or previous trust issuses, then theres no trust and you should leave the relationship because its not healthy. If that were the case, more people would be single.

    I think it also takes away from providing knowledge to all of your readers about cheating with the statement that being cheated on while single is not the same as it being done while married. Again a case by case basis that shouldn’t be marginalized in one sentence. True, more paperwork involved to dissolve a marriage but one can not say the commitment isn’t permanent yet. Marriage is not for everyone but if you are in a committed relationship with a partner and sharing your lives, the committment is there just as much. If you arent married but have children with someone, sharing a house, etc., the committment is there and the heartbreak that ensues from your partner cheating is just as valid as someone that is married; minus the lawyers. Plus, there are plenty of marriages that are just for the show and piece of paper with two people leading different lives in which no commitment is found except for the marriage license. I think talking about what happens after communication has broken down between lovers and signs of that is a better article.

    • Nora Nur says:

      Thanks for sharing. I think it is important to address the comment about cheating in marriage vs. cheating in dating. When I state that cheating in dating is not the same as cheating in marriage because the commitment hasn’t been confirmed I specifically mean short term dating relationships. This wasn’t clear. If someone is dating for 8 months and the relationship ends due to cheating I don’t think this is the same as a marriage ending due to cheating. HOwever, I would agree that if two people are living together for years, have children, combined finances, combined lives this is the same as marriage. I would argue that this fits into the same category as marriage and dissolving the relationship due to cheating is more difficult. It can’t be a cavalier decision. I would agree that it’s the same principle and equally valid i.e. why some states have common law.
      With regard to classifying reasons people cheat into only 4 categories, you are correct, there are more reasons people cheat. I think these are 4 common broad reasons but of course there are many more. What other reasons can readers share? The general point emphasized in my article is that spending the bulk of a relationship in suspicion, always investigating your partner is unhealthy and un-fun. If it feels this way consistently it may be time to move one rather than continuing the constant investigating. It would be interesting to hear more about communicating post cheating in order to save a relationship. I will look for a fellow blogger to guest post on communicating through trust issues and/or post cheating. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  2. Ryan says:

    Great post. Cheating is awful but I agree, if you suspect someone of cheating then you probably have some serious problems in the relationship that need to be addressed regardless.

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