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Cheating In A Relationship: Why It Happens


"He Cheated On Me!"

This is an expression you hear very often, right before a girlfriend of yours comes running towards you, bawling her eyes out. Time to get the ice-cream!

Sadly, this has become the harsh reality of today as more and more people choose casual relationships and breakups over having to sort out issues with each other.

But this isn't new. In the ancient Roman religion, Vulcan was distraught when he discovered his wife, Venus, having an affair with Mars. This eventually lead to them having a loveless and childless marriage.

In today's world, The National Health And Social Life Survey found that 4% of married men, 16% of cohabiting men and 37% of dating men engaged in acts of sexual infidelity. This was in comparison to 1% of married women, 8% of cohabiting women and 17% of women in dating relationships.

Sad numbers, isn't it?


The Science Behind Cheating

Even though cheating is frowned upon, it doesn't stop people from doing it. And while some might regret it, others continue to do it in all of their relationships.

But what might be compelling them to go ahead with it?

Research says that a lot of this has got to do with issues the person has with themselves more than it has to do with you. (So, think about this the next time you decide to blame yourself when your partner cheats on you!)


Growing up, many people feel a sense of insecurity about themselves that remains unresolved even as adults. Now, that may have risen because of being bullied at school, unavailable parents, dominating siblings/friends, being told off for less than average grades, racism, sexism and hundreds of other things that crush morale.

And while you were lucky if these problems were addressed for you early on in life, most of us had to just keep quiet and go on as though all of these were a normal part of everyday living.

It is surprising how many things we consider to be normal just because that is all we've known since childhood. For someone from a dysfunctional family background, a healthy relationship of his/her friend/partner with their own family may seem very uncomfortable and odd. Since it's human tendency to runaway from conflict in order to keep ourselves safe, we tend to run away from what doesn't identify as 'normal' to us.

This insecurity wraps itself around our head so strongly to the extent that the person (who still wants to be in the relationship because it's the kind of dynamic they've always wanted but never got) find it easier to cheat to feel secure about themselves.

Sadly, such people might not even know why they're cheating on you. And these things are resolved only after sessions of therapy where professionals can help you work through your issues.


Due to above said reasons and various others which may be unique to each individual, many tend to cheat for self-validation.

The insecurity makes such individuals constantly seek some kind of confirmation from others around them that they are loved and seen.

Healthy relationships progress at a slow but reasonable rate, where the two people involved don't find it necessary to constantly keep reminding each other that they are loved.

But with an insecure person, this becomes an issue. Once the "honeymoon period" is over, when the relationship reaches a more stable phase, these people start feeling 'claustrophobic'. They tend to keep seeking the thrill that comes with a new relationship, the constant showering of attention by their partners. Hence, they resort to cheating.

These kinds of people may never stop such frivolous behaviour, no matter which relationship they're in. The ego feeds on self-validation. Forgiving and taking back such a person into your life could gravely backfire.


Lack of communication

Communication is key in making any relationship last longer and grow stronger. Some conversations can be difficult but need to be undertaken.

Nobody can read minds and this is crucial to understand. Many of us are guilty of thinking that our partners should just "sense" how we're feeling and act accordingly.

The only way someone can understand how you're feeling and give you exactly what you need is if you tell them. When the barrier of communication comes up, the distance between two people starts to grow. That's where cheating creeps in.

If you're feeling unheard in your relationship, it is only natural that you would feel drawn to where you feel like you're understood. But this is never the solution. It only weakens the bond. Unsaid feelings remain unsaid, only to blow out of proportion later on.

It's absurd to simply assume that your partner wouldn't understand what you have to say! But the fear of conflict stops you right there, which brings us to our next problem...

Fear of conflict

Fights tend to get ugly. Things are said, hearts are broken, tears are shed. That's how they're meant to be. But they're also very necessary. No relationship is perfect. In fact, it's the imperfections that make each bond special. Ever individual brings his/her own uniqueness to the relationship which helps the couple grow. You learn to love each others flaws and embrace your own.

But if you're someone who, as a child, constantly saw your parents fight or had to witness an ugly divorce/separation, confrontation may seem like a very distressing thing. It brings up everything you hated as a child and prayed would just go away.

Many children learn to live in such environments by choosing to ignore whatever issues surround them. By blocking it out, you never have to face it. So, then they find solace elsewhere: pets, imaginary friends or toys, places where they know they won't have to expect any fights.

As adults, these very people sadly carry this into their own relationships. They tend to avoid confrontation at all costs. They make sure that they're definitely never the ones starting it. When things start to get uncomfortable, instead of addressing the situation at hand, they tend to wander. They go where they won't have to face sadness.

While some may resort to isolating themselves or pushing themselves headstrong into their work, some resort to conflict-free relationships elsewhere (might include flings or one night stands). They're so worked up trying to deal with their own issues, they forget to consider how it might affect their partner.


And while this one may seem very hurtful and disrespectful, some people might just resort to cheating for the "adrenaline rush" that it provides. The hiding, the lying, the running around might actually appease to some. Makes them feel like they're "in demand and sought after". Such individuals seek out relationships with people who they think will be especially forgiving so that they can go about with their ways, knowing you will always take them back.

This can be extremely difficult to grasp but is sadly true. Again, this also has an underlying issue (most probably from their childhood) that the person themselves needs to realize and decide to address.

It's all you've known all your life

Now this one's a little different. It pertains to why you always find yourself being a victim of cheating. It's a well known fact that you attract what you truly believe in your mind to be true.

In my previous article, which I shall link at the bottom, I have described the idea of how our subconscious mind plays a significant contribution to the kind of choices we make in life. And while it may be an article about why we tend to slack off on achieving goals, it pretty much applies here too.

Many a times, due to things that we witness growing up, our subconscious mind picks up on things and stores them deep within. This then becomes the blueprint on which we base every decision we make. And while in some instances it may be helpful, in others it could prove absolutely disastrous.

This is because not everything your subconscious mind believes is good for you. It has a deep connection with the kind of life partner each of us chooses. But this topic deserves an entire article of it's own (Let me know in the comments below if you would like to know more about this and I shall write an article that discusses this in detail).

Bottom line, your subconscious programming could be causing you to attract certain kinds of people into your life because at some level, those are the only kind of interactions you've always known.


Final Thoughts

Can You Prevent Yourself From Becoming A Victim?


However, this requires first understanding the reasons given above which can help identify such traits and steer clear of them. Professional help, without doubt can do so much for the person who cheated and the one who got cheated on. There's absolutely no shame in seeking help.

If this article has been able to help you, I'll be very glad. Also, if you wish to know how to keep your relationship cheat-free, let me know in the comments and I will definitely write my next article based on that. I will now link below two of my articles which I feel may help you more. Have a great day!

links for articles:

He didn't break my heart, I did (this is real story of how I got over a breakup)

The real exit: what stops us from achieving our goals (this will help understand a little about how our subconscious mind functions)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 poorvi


poorvi (author) from India on May 08, 2021:

Thank you so much for reading my article! That is true, some do feel a need to do it

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 08, 2021:

Well-advised on cheating in a relationship. You have written an informative hub and this happens often in relationships. Cheating is not part of relationship but some couple feel they have a need to do it.

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