Cheaters are routinely condemned by society but few people stop to really understand the reasons why people cheat.
For example, when couples break up during a rocky relationship, loyalties divide, with each friend choosing his side or her side, but when they break up because one was caught cheating, friends almost unanimously side with the betrayed.
Sounds reasonable enough, right? But the reasons why people have affairs is oftentimes a little more complicated than that.
We have the tendency to overlook the faults of our friends. We may have noticed that our best friend drinks too much, enjoyed the generosity of a friend who was really hurting the family budget with uncontrolled spending, or have witnessed a little verbal bullying, but our friends have always been nice to us and we’re sure they’d never do anything that could be overly damaging to a relationship.
If they’ve been betrayed, we feel we’ve been betrayed as well. We had placed our trust in the partnership and its contributions to the happiness and well-being of both members.
The cheater is a deceiver who will stab anyone in the back; or at least this is the perception; but what’s really happening when someone begins to stray? Here are some of the early warnings.
Most people take their vows to love and uphold rather seriously, and really have no intention of sleeping around on their spouse. Yet through no apparent design of their own, they become drawn to somebody else.
Physical attractions to others outside of your commitment are common. It’s how you handle these attractions that play a key role in your ability to remain faithful.
In those early weeks of your relationship, your partner was your closest confident. Evenings were often a time for relating the day’s experiences and impressions of those who came in and out of your lives.
If you’ve had an honest, open relationship with your spouse, you should feel free to talk about even the fancies that played through your head when you noticed somebody undeniably hot, as well as all that were decidedly not.
This confidence is one of the most biding forces of a marriage. If you no longer feel you can confide in your partner your deepest thoughts, or if your partner has stopped talking, you’re well on the path to a communications break-down.
You may try one of two things; stifling your emotions, creating an ever-growing rift in the bed; or seek the confidentiality of someone else.
Either way, your marriage is primed for an affair.
The Spark is Still There but the Fire went Out
The most common reason cheaters give for being unfaithful is that their sex life just isn’t what they wanted. They either feel that their sex life is active, but they aren’t receiving any satisfaction, or that they aren’t receiving enough sex.
The vast majority of men and women who have affairs are hoping to improve their sex lives. They still love their spouse, but the bedroom has become a testing ground for an intimacy that is rapidly becoming more uncomfortable.
They seek a surrogate lover to satisfy an unfulfilled need. Falling in love with someone else is the least cited reason.
When marriages reach an impasse where communications have failed and one or both of the partners has become dissatisfied in the bedroom, many spouses, especially among women, will seek an emotional partner.
An emotional need can drive a person into an affair as quickly as a strong physical attraction. An accepting extramarital partner validates the need to be appreciated by being more attentive and caring.
You Were so Mean!
Unhappy marriages often dissolve into name calling and abusive behavior. Except in cases where the abuse is physical, most couples go through their pattern of destructive responses without really noticing the effect on their relationship.
In the end, though, the unhappiness in the bedroom is usually the result of covert-hostile relations.
An argument over a child’s toy left in the driveway can evolve into a drama over a relative coming to dinner, ending with some explosive accusations on how much each one of them hate the other family members, and how their lives together suck.
This is the uncontrolled escalation of pent up emotions and frustrations.
Verbal bullying is often the biggest complaint men have about their spouses. Some of the ways in which women bully is when:
- She ridicules him in front of his friends.
- Accuses him of hating family members
- Tells him he’ll never make anything of himself
- Calls him at work and checks up on him frequently
- Embarrasses him in public
- Undermines his efforts to complete projects or accomplish goals
The Silent Treatment
The most common way for a woman to cope with an unhappy marriage is to retreat. She quits telling her husband what’s on her mind because she feels he doesn’t listen.
When she’s giving her husband the silent treatment, this is what she is usually saying:
- They both work a job but he sits in a chair as soon as he comes home and leaves her to do all the chores.
- He spends more time watching television or surfing the net than he does with his family.
- He can’t afford to take her out to dinner but he can afford to go to the bars to visit with friends.
- He ignores her in the morning, even when she has laid out breakfast.
- He only communicates with her to talk about his work or to complain about other employees.
- He never asks her about her day.
Because It’s Nature’s Way
There is a small percentage of the population who openly have affairs and feel it has absolutely nothing to do with how much they love their partners.
Some feel polygamy is a more natural state, and others feel an occasional affair is good for the overall marriage. Their relationship works only because they were honest and had agreed beforehand an open marriage is one they can accept.
For the majority, an affair is still considered a betrayal of trust. Very few marriages survive a discovered affair, primarily because the waters were already troubled. The affair is simply the announcement that it’s over.
It’s like they always say…if you have to cheat (and there always will be reason to cheat) just don’t get caught.
Being caught is what hurts and what ruins your life. If you can manage to be discreet and choose smart and “unavailable” partners like yourself, you can have the affair of a lifetime without the emotional turmoil.