Cheating, deceit, untrustworthiness, disloyalty, infidelity; whatever name you choose to call it, has been a stumbling block in many relationships. We often have that perception in mind that maybe we aren’t good enough, we didn’t give enough or maybe we did something wrong. The big question should be why do people cheat? If you would ask me well, I would say it’s as a result of dissatisfaction. Well, that’s my opinion, others might have different beliefs, some might say it is a result of unmet sexual needs or an oversized need for self-gratification, or maybe the lack of real intimacy. We think that people who cheat do it because they are unhappy in their relationships and although that could be true, in reality things are usually more complicated than that. There are lot of people in perfectly healthy and happy relationship who also cheat. Sex therapist Vanessa Marin says “We have a really black and white way looking at infidelity, but it’s more important for us to see that there are lot of shades of grey to it.” She understands the pain that cheating can cause, but she warns against generalizing those who have been unfaithful: “People who cheat, they’re not terrible, evil, horrible people. There are plenty of really great, wonderful people who cheat as well. People do bad things. That doesn’t make them bad people,” she says.
When my ex-boyfriend cheated on me years ago, I was sad, exasperated, flabbergasted. It threw me into mental exhaustion to pointless comparison like is she better than me, what does she have that I don’t, is she better looking than I am, I realized that the more I did this, the more I kept on hurting. I forgot to ask him when he fell out of love for me, was it my fault? or should the crucial question be “why did he do it?”.
I was carried away with my emotions, I was frustrated,I couldn’t swear or do something bad to him, though I didn’t think of that because even with that you still love that person regardless, I actually did pick up my phone to call him and asked him why, but his voice alone calmed every storm ravaging within me, and with uncontrollable tears you ask yourself how can I hate this person, how can this be, why did this guy betray me, how do I hate someone I am love with. Would knowing the answer turn back time and make him undo his wrong, No! but it would provide some sort of clarity to a situation I had no control over. Oh, I forgot, the courage, in the midst of the argument that follows your uncovering of the betrayal, how do you get the courage to stand your ground to tell the love of your life that you aren’t interested or stop yourself from feeling that way towards your partner. Well, I did it anyways, that’s why the word inscribed is ex-boyfriend, trust me it was hard, really hard and the truth is that I still love him notwithstanding, but that love wasn’t enough to keep a perfectly healthy relationship. I didn’t give him a second chance, right? You might ask, trust me I thought about that.
I just couldn’t maybe I wasn’t strong enough at that time, did I regret my decision? Hell yea! I did sometimes, but other times I am glad I made that decision. It did make me strong; I realized my shortcomings and I worked on that for my next relationship. He now has a new girlfriend and he is very happy, we’re still friends, funny right? throw away that delusion in your head that he would never find someone better, he would a thousand times over, because he cheated doesn’t make him a bad person. Sex is not the primary reason people cheat, says Paul Hokemeyer, PhD psychotherapist and author of fragile power: The primary reason is that there’s a deficiency in their life and specifically, in their ego. They feel incomplete.
People that have been cheated on knows that it’s extremely painful learning that your spouse has strayed outside your relationship and it changes everything, trust me it does. That’s why it was once quoted that the foundation of any relationship or marriage is trust. It is vital to think about that first before emerging into a world of infidelity. Have you cheated on someone? or maybe you are about doing that, why don’t you try thinking about the pain, you are going to inflict on your partner, the person you claim to have feelings for.
According to Hokemeyer, the thrill of an indiscretion and the work it takes to keep it a secret can be exhilarating as the person they’ve cheated on you with. He further explained
“This expenditure of energy is a distraction from the hole they feel in their soul. The complex and exhausting process of managing an affair enables them to soothe an ache through an elixir of power, sexual validation, and endogenous opioids like dopamine and oxytocin, which our body produces when we connect romantically and sexually with another human being,” he continues. “It also creates a huge distraction that keeps them from looking at the real problem and taking responsibility for it.”
By Jane Tominiro