Alright, listen up. Think you know all there is to know about cheating? Chances are, things you accept as “common knowledge” about cheating aren’t exactly true. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.
Here’s a list of eight things we’ve always been taught about cheating and cheaters that aren’t always true.
1. The Person Cheating is Unhappy in the Relationship
We’ve all witnessed our friends’ relationships fail over cheating when they seemed to be “the perfect couple.” The truth is, cheating isn’t always an action committed out of dissatisfaction with the relationship in its entirety. Rather, it could be the cheater’s attempt to “find themselves,” to live adventurously, to take part in a life that isn’t normally in their reach. In other words, cheating can be an impulsive way for the cheater to introduce change and challenge into a life they perceive as ordinary or boring.
2. A Cheater will Cheat Again
“Once a cheater, always a cheater,” right? Maybe not. People screw up royally in relationships all the time and cheating is a royal screw up. It may still be just a screw up and not a lifestyle choice for your partner. A lot of times, cheaters will have genuine regret. If this is the case, the cheater can successfully commit to a relationship and remain faithful ever after. Regret and remorse will always include the cheater admitting openly why he strayed, to begin with, and not just promising to change behaviors that led up to the cheating but delivering on those promises. Honest and open communication is vital for the cheater to change their ways.
Cheating is always a breach of trust, and it may take some time to rebuild that trust once it’s gone. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do. While the cheating was generally a one-sided action, the circumstances that led to the cheating usually involve both sides.Cheating is always a breach of trust, and it may take some time to rebuild that trust once it’s gone. Click To Tweet
In a lot of ways, infidelity can strengthen a relationship rather than ending it. The incident can uncover a lot of hidden issues that can be successfully addressed to draw the couple even closer. Cheating can make both sides take a deeper look into the relationship and figure out what is important and what went wrong, creating a happier, stronger and healthier relationship.
3. The Person Cheating Knows They are Cheating
Ok, I know this one sounds kind of dumb, but think about it: If your partner isn’t aware, he is in a
relationship, how does he know he’s cheating? If you don’t have the Big Talk (“hey, I really like you, let’s
make this exclusive”) early in the relationship, you aren’t setting the ground rules and expectations.
Sadie Elder, an assistant professor of psychology from North Carolina’s High Point University explains:
“One of the main predictors of cheating has to do with not having the uncomfortable monogamy
conversation early on.” The beginning of the relationship is the time to set those rules and boundaries.
Obviously, not on your first date;” I’ll have a chef salad and a side order of monogamy” isn’t a good way
to approach it. That said, the earlier the better so that if your partner can’t give you the stability and
monogamy you need, you can let him go and find someone who can.
4. Cheating Means Sex
If you think cheating is only physical, think again. Some of the most painful types of cheating occur when there is no physical contact between the cheater and The Other Person at all. Cheating is more than sex; emotional intimacy can hurt much worse. Knowing that your partner has shared their feelings, thoughts, fears or dreams with someone other than you sucks. Basically, instead of thinking of cheating as an incident defined by physical action, consider it a violation of your boundaries, expectations, and rules in any form. Because cheating may mean different things to every couple, you and your partner should share a clear understanding of what is considered “cheating.” Again, not first date material, right?
5. The Cheater is a Sex Maniac
Just because your guy has a high sex drive doesn’t mean he’s predetermined to be a cheater. Having a heightened sex drive will not automatically equate to grabbing every side piece he can. In fact, someone who is more sexual in nature will happily stay with one person who is as sexual as they are or who love their sexuality.
6. The Person Cheating is a Villain
So your partner is a cheater, and he’s plotting to take over the world? Not so fast. Not all cheaters are inherently evil. Some people cheat to sabotage their own happiness. These are the insecure ones who don’t believe, deep down inside, that they deserve to be in a healthy, loving relationship. Instead of allowing the relationship to deepen and flow, they will unconsciously derail the relationship by having an affair.
7. The Cheater is Actively Looking for an Opportunity to Cheat
As hard as it is to believe, sometimes cheating behavior is as much of a surprise to the cheater as it is to their partners. Even the most innocent of exchanges, like reconnecting with a friend on social media, can turn into something quite unexpected. The internet is a breeding ground of opportunity, even if someone isn’t actively looking to cheat.
Proof of this is in the numbers; there has been an increase of Facebook philandering with an estimated 81 percent of divorce lawyers starting divorce proceedings using Facebook evidence, per the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Meanwhile, in the UK, nearly a full third of divorce cases included Facebook cheating in a 2011 Divorce-Online study, with parties admitting that their partner’s inappropriate messaging to the opposite sex was the reason for divorcing.
You can also read and learn more about infidelity here: The Many Faces of Infidelity
8. Men Cheat More than Women
Well, women’s equality comes into play here more than you’d think. Research over the past twenty years of so from the University of Washington has shown a steady rise in the number of older women who have cheated on their significant others. In 2011, 19% of women admitted to cheating while 23% of men confessed to cheating on their partner. This was following a huge leap from 1991, with only 5% of women cheating compared to 15% in 2006. The reason for the rise? Cheating is no longer the scandalous sin that it used to be for women. Face it, there was a time that men could do as they please and women dealt with it. According to these numbers, that time is over.Cheating is no longer the scandalous sin that it used to be for women. Click To Tweet
It’s also a misconception that women are less likely to cheat physically with someone than their male cheating counterparts. In reality, though, it all depends on what the woman is looking for and what point of her life she is in when she dives into the behavior. Both men and women are guilty of all kinds of cheating, both physically and emotionally.
There it is. According to professionals and research into the minds and lives of cheaters, not everything we’ve been led to believe about cheating is true. What do you think of this list? Drop your comments below.