You could say there's no way to justify cheating. However, it happens frequently, and the reasons behind it, hard as they are, hold a deeper truth.
Learning the person you’re with has cheated on you can be one of the most devastating things you can experience in a relationship. I’ve always seen it as if the relationship was founded over a huge glass and when one of the parts decides to cheat, a big crack appears on the surface. You know the nature of glass, it can either be shattered into many pieces all of a sudden or resist for a long time, but no matter what you do, the glass won’t ever look the same. Now, this won’t be about me saying how terrible cheating is nor teaching about its moral connotations. For now, we'll focus on the circumstances that may lead to this situation.
You could say that there's no way to justify cheating, and your opinion is understandable and even relatable. I do believe that there are as many ways of thinking and understanding relationships as there are people in this world. For instance, we’ve seen how everyday polyamory relationships are becoming more popular, as well as studies that say we’re more likely to engage in polygamous relationships. That’s absolutely understandable in my opinion. After all, we’re all entitled to follow our desires and wishes in this life as long as we don’t harm others, which is actually the issue about this. If you’re with a person who believes in monogamous relationships and you’ve agreed to be together on that basis, it’s obvious that engaging in a polyamorous relationship would be seen as cheating.
Now, this is only one of the scenarios. After all, relationships possess a wide spectrum of possibilities. Each cheating story, then, must have a reason behind it, which doesn't necessarily mean that their formal relationship is flawed. In most cases, it’s just means there’s something going on there. Remember the glass analogy I made? Well, for most relationships, that crack wasn’t really provoked by the betrayal per se. It was probably a minor and imperceptible crevice that just became bigger. So, bearing that in mind, let’s talk about the five most common reasons why people cheat.
This is probably the most common one. Our sexuality is one of the most unpredictable traits. What do I mean with this? It doesn’t matter how in love you’re with a person, it's most likely that you’ll feel attracted to someone else at some point. I do believe that fidelity doesn’t always lie on morality or self-control, but rather on a lack of opportunities to cheat. If you’re feeling that impulse and the possibility of engaging in a passionate activity with someone else is out there, it’s quite likely you’ll do it, no matter how much you love your partner and how wrong you might feel about this.
To fulfill a fantasy
Let’s agree that, no matter your stand on this issue, having an affair gives you that dose of adrenaline that we crave for in our lives.
We all seek that impulse and extreme sensations we can only find on the forbidden. At the end of the day, cheating with someone doesn’t really mean you stopped loving your partner or that you have feelings for someone else; it just reflects that need for new experiences, which leads us to the next point.
To break the monotony
We’re creatures of routines, and whether we like it or not, at some point in our lives we'll just get extremely bored with doing the same things over and over again. Sadly, this also includes being in a long and lasting relationship. Most of the times, cheating brings out our audacity and makes us feel like we're doing something about our boring and monotonous life. If our relationship has fallen into a dull and tedious pattern, it is natural for us to seek for something to spark things up, even if it’s not with the person we're with.
Falling in love
Well, to be honest, this is also a possibility. You know what they say about love in scientific terms? It’s often explained as a chemical process with an expiration date. Thus the trick to keep it alive is working every day so that it doesn’t fade away. Monotony, boredom, or the everyday routine can really wear off emotion and chemistry, and even when we care for our partner, falling in love with another person is a possibility and, sadly, one of the honest reasons why people cheat. It’s experiencing that excitement and passion for another person, but the circumstances make it morally difficult and a huge taboo.
To feel empowered
Though kind of gross, this is also one of the most common reasons behind cheating. Again, monotony can make us feel dull and just random. It’s in our nature to seek for others' approval to increase our self-esteem. And, unfortunately, having an affair can give us that boost of approval we crave for. We feel empowered, and in absolute control of our lives. Not only do we feel empowered by making more than one person like us in the same passionate way, but it also makes us feel in control of our decisions and actions in life.
As I said, in most cases fidelity is just a lack of opportunity, and cheating isn’t always your plan, at least the first time. Perhaps it’s true in our human nature, and we’re just waiting for the right moment to do so. Sometimes it might just mean that you're looking for something different in your life. I’m not justifying any infidelity, of course. But let’s face it, it happens, and quite often. Thus it’s important to analyze the reasons behind it.
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Images by @marcellalaine