Why do People Cheat?

cheating infidelity relationships May 26, 2022

People THINK that people cheat because they're unhappy and they're not getting their needs met. I'm here to tell you that that is not the only reason why people cheat. The truth is people cheat for many reasons:

  1. They have a scarcity/fear based mindset. They believe that there's a shortage of partners and they expect the one they have will cheat on them and dump them. Just like an addict with a drug addiction, they need to have a back-up plan and a security blanket just in case. 
  2. People need attention from other people for their self-worth and validation because they feel hollow inside. Some people are not even worried about actual cheating. They are worried about their image, being tricked/played/fooled/taken advantage of.
  3. They are projecting. You've heard about projection before and it's still true. When someone pushes their fears/beliefs/values on you, you don't have to buy it. You can recognize it for exactly what it is. And then look at yourself. Are you afraid of being cheated on and lied to and dumped so you're doing the same thing? Are you afraid of being seen as a fool so you're fooling others? 

And what exactly IS the definition of cheating?

Is it just sex or is getting to know someone else okay? Is dancing with someone else okay? A certain kind of dancing? Giving someone your phone number? Going to a meal with someone? Sending texts to someone? What if the guy/gal is gay or married? 

Couples make their agreements to be comfortable and to protect themselves. Isn't it all about avoiding what you don't want? People don't want to be abandoned, dumped or for their lover to leave them for someone better/younger/richer/hotter. They don't want to be seen as a fool or to be wrong for trusting someone.

The way I teach/coach/counsel is to first understand WHY. I dig deep and find out what people are trying to avoid and what they value. When you can understand someone's beliefs, values, and fears, you can understand why they're suffering. Their story doesn't match up with reality. They're so afraid that what they fear will happen that they live in a state of survival, in constant vigilance with their walls up in self-protection. 

But guess what? What you fear you draw near. You get what you expect. You prove yourself right. You experience what you focus on. You make your story/identity right. 

So what gives? How can we live in peace? How do we not let our fears lead us? How do we trust after we've been hurt? Guess what? It's a CHOICE! You can critically assess yourself and ask yourself these questions: 

Am I at peace? If the answer is no, then ask yourself: What am I thinking or believing that is causing me to suffer? Why am I believing this? Was it true in the past? What am I trying to avoid or protect myself from? What would life be like if I wasn't trying so hard to avoid being dumped/heartbroken/rejected/played a fool/cheated on/tricked/taken advantage of etc? What if I had a choice? 

I was with a man who slept with at least four other women in the 2 years that we were together and lied about all of it. I believe that being distrustful, possessive, and jealous is a waste of time and that I don't need to seek out that information, that I will find out if I need to. When I did find out, I ended the relationship. And I still believe this.

Those are the facts. People said to me, “I'm so sorry he did that to you. How can you ever trust again?” I could have thought, “I've been cheated on and lied to”. But I realized I had a choice. Facts are facts but stories are choices. So the story I decided to believe was that his sleeping with other women and lying about it had nothing to do with me, that I was fine, that I was now free. I went back to being my usual, trusting, open, loving, and happy self. 

In conclusion, don't believe the old story that cheating means just having sex with someone outside of the relationship agreement. Don't believe that when someone does this, it means anything about you. Take a long hard look at WHY someone engages with someone else. Take a long hard look at WHY you're doing what you're doing. Probe deeply and then be at peace with yourself.

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