Statistics are alarming! According to recent information it is estimated that around 43% of all men and 27% of all women admit to cheating on their spouses at one point or another. When you figure that these are the ones who either got caught in the act or who couldn’t stand the guilt any longer it is easy to imagine that cheating is much more common than most people would like to admit. All of us know someone who has cheated or who has been cheated on. When we put ourselves in their shoes we can feel a range of emotions from betrayal to anger, hate and dismay to a deep and unsatisfied sadness and disappointment. Cheating touches lives in many ways, some absolutely incomprehensible and most people know this. So why is there so much cheating?
You could take turns running down the lists of reasons that people cheat. You could identify problems and holes in marriages that offer both opportunity and longing and you can blame your spouse or yourself for the behavior. The bottom line is that it is absolutely apparent that people have sexual and emotional needs that are very rarely met by one person. The longer we are together with another person the more humdrum and comfortable the days seem to be; all the while lacking the passion and dizziness that comes from falling in love. Those initial stages of a relationship cause a stir of human emotions and feelings, like the smell of a new car, which can never ever be duplicated. And very similar to that new car smell, it doesn’t last long and it will never come back once it’s gone.
While cheating is wrong on so many levels. While it hurts people and is immoral, against the sanctity of marriage and God the biggest difference between cheaters and non-cheaters is that the non-cheaters had enough self discipline to not act on their urges. It doesn’t matter if we have or are the perfect spouse, if we have the kind of sex that most people only dream about, if we have all the money that we could ever spend, the nicest house, the best kids, the most supportive families and the best gateway to communication ever born between two people. We lose that new car smell along the way and this alone is most probably the primary reason that people cheat. Men and women alike want to feel that newness, that illustrious passion, that feeling of being on an adrenaline rush night and day without coming down. We want to feel loved, admired, desired and special in all the ways only someone who doesn’t know us so well can do. And at the same time, men and women want to come home to that comfortable bed with the sheets that smell of our spouse with the kids playing in the living room and a pot roast stewing away on the stove.
For most people, cheating is not about finding something new or better or even about a lack from our partner. It is about a lack within ourselves that drives us to a new place where we can stand in awe of the scenery without having to spend a week’s vacation. The sad part is that before, during and after the affair people are unable to satiate these random needs at home and they are torn because for most, they love their spouse in that family sort of way. It isn’t love that people seek when they cheat, it is that feeling of freedom that gives us wings and makes our heart beats twenty times faster than they normally do.
What Makes People Cheat?
Yes, there are avid cheaters and sex addicts. When you consider Tiger Woods with the perfect life and wife, you may wonder what drives him to cheat. With him, like with all people guilty of infidelity it is a lack inside themselves. Even if they end up marrying the person they had an affair with, eventually as the new car smell wore off they would simply cheat again. The journey of’ infidelity never starts or ends with one person or relationship and is about the inner insecurities of the cheater. They are dreamers locked in the real world and need those moments to pretend that something better exists for them. This is one of the reasons why it is so sad for men and women alike to be so devastated by the actions of a cheating spouse. If they cheat and you can’t live with it, the only solution you have is to thank them for the lessons and move on as quickly as possible. If you forgive them, they will likely do it again and there is a good chance you will spend many years angry and hateful. The sword is double edged. However, it isn’t the end of the world and it isn’t something that should be taken personal no matter how long you have been married, how much you have done for someone or how many kids you have raised together! You lost that new car smell and they did the only thing they knew how to do which was lease another one.
Cheating is definitely not a desirable verb to find your life centered around. It hurts deeply and the wounds that it causes may never heal completely. It changes people considerably which isn’t always a bad thing. But cheating is not about YOU unless you are the cheater. You have to feel sorry for this person who was so selfish and lacked the necessary means to prosper in their own life. You have to pity them for losing such a special and loving person and you have to make sure you don’t allow the experience to fill you with hate or resentment. You have a choice how you react and how you feel.
As time goes on, there will probably be more and more admitted acts of infidelity. Cheating has always been a part of life and relationships and is just now more commonly discussed openly than ever before. The good news is that now, in 2010, you have more choices and options available if you are married to a cheater. Four decades ago, when someone cheated you kept your mouth shut and went on with life in whatever capacity that meant for you. Today, you are not as obligated to stay and endure. Relationships are tools of learning lessons in life that can be duplicated in no other platform of our existence. Cheating is not something you do, it is something you feel and the victims have no blame or fault in the matter. They in fact should be exonerated immediately. It is something that every person in a relationship has to think about at some point and people need to emotionally prepare themselves for it on the chance that some day the issue will come up. In other words it is one of those things in life that you cannot change it is what it is and all you can do is grow and learn something positive from it regardless of which side of the fence your feet linger.