Why Do People Cheat on People They Love?
It's really hard to understand why people cheat on people they love. Sometimes, people decide to cheat because they feel unloved, or like they have fallen out of love, with their partner. Sometimes, they feel the romance is gone from their relationship, and having an illicit romance gives them a sense of excitement. Sometimes they feel deep shame, pain, and regret, and they don't feel like their partner can know about it, so they turn to another person. Other times, there may not appear to be a logical reason your partner has hurt you in this way.
Regardless of what happened, or the reasons they give you, remember not to take on the responsibility or blame. If you've been cheated on by your spouse or partner, their choice to be unfaithful was not your fault. It is their responsibility to understand where they went wrong and accept the consequences of their behavior. Rather than running back to them at the first sign of regret or apology, it's important for you to take the time and space you need to heal. After all, re-entering into a relationship with someone whose dishonesty hurt you so deeply may not be emotionally safe. Talking with a mentor or counselor can help you understand and heal from the pain of cheating in a safe space with someone you can trust.
This is not an "every-guy thing," you know. Lots of boyfriends are honest, they keep to their promises, and they do. not. cheat. When it is time for a dating relationship to end, they end it and move on. In other words, they don't start something with another girl while they are still in a dating relationship.
Some of you girls are already thinking On what planet do those guys live? I've never known a guy like that. If that is the case, maybe you need to start hanging around with a different group of guys.
If you have a history of dating cheaters or know way too many girls who have, then you might need to rethink how you pick your boyfriends. We'll get to that later.
And, yes, I know girlfriends can cheat too, but today we are going to talk about boyfriends.
Reasons Guys Cheat
There is lots of advice floating around in books, blogs, and everyday conversations about why guys cheat. But if you haven't figured this out yet, you will eventually discover that many reasons are really not that complex.
The male approach to dating lies somewhere between that of a caveman and a mechanical engineer, often more like the caveman. So, I have simplified the WHY of cheating by whittling it down to five things. This is not intended to be a complete list, mind you. But understanding these few simple things about guys could help you a lot.
1. Boyfriends Cheat Because They Want Out of the Relationship
Dustin wrote: I think the 2 main reasons why guys cheat goes like this: 1) Guys get stuck with a clingy girl. He figures maybe she'll change over the course of a few months. He really likes the girl for a lot of her character traits but notices that she's not going to let him go.
Miss Insecurity is dating Mr. Self-Confident, and with that relationship, she is trying desperately to plug some pretty big holes in her own self-esteem. She becomes obsessed with her boyfriend. You know how that usually turns out...clinginess, jealousy, anger, tears. But Miss Insecurity doesn't want to press Mr. Self-Confident too hard about his commitment. She would prefer to assume (or in some cases, dream) he is as committed to her as she is to him. But Mr. Self-Confident isn't committed at all and is in fact, trying to figure a way out.
One reason guys cheat is that they want out of the relationship, but aren't man enough to just break up, so they cheat in order to have an excuse to get out.
(BTW, guys have to deal with insecurity just as much as girls.)
Dustin continued: 2) Guys just want sex from a girl. The girl isn't willing to give them sex just yet, so they stick around. They wait for a while, giving promises of everlasting love until they finally get what they want. Then they stick around a little longer and say Hey!...so I've met this other girl (who I've had sex with without you knowing) and I just don't see things working out between us...so Yeah.
2. Boyfriends Cheat Because Their Relationship Goals are Different
Then there are guys who are very willing to talk about the relationship. They make lots of promises, using words like, "I love you," "you're so beautiful," and "spend our lives together."
The girlfriend might be saying the same words, but there is a difference. Some girls give a lot and put up with a lot in order to get what they want most...the relationship. And most often, in the end, they end up with a broken heart.
On the other hand, some guys (including the ones more likely to cheat) come at it from the other direction. They get excited about the relationship too, but only because the relationship is the way to get what they want...usually sex.
It's pretty simple.. she wants a relationship, so much so, that she is willing to offer sex to get it. He wants sex, even if he has to give some relationship to get it. But cheating violates the relationship, not the sex. To put it bluntly...guys cheat because the relationship was never their goal...it was the sex.
3. Boyfriends Cheat Because They Aren't Strong Enough to Resist the Temptation
Boyfriends who cheat don't always do it with a plan in mind. Remember, guys are not that complex. You probably know about some girls who stalk guys like sexual predators- they try in every way they can to get them to cheat. Unfortunately, some guys just don't have what it takes to refuse.
4. Boyfriends Cheat Because of the Influences Around Them
Check this out...when it comes to being faithful to wives and girlfriends, one of the most important factors is a guy's parents. Generally speaking, guys who grow up in homes where their parents cheat, find it much easier to do the same thing.
Counselor Gary Neuman asked 200 cheating and non-cheating husbands about why they cheated. He found that 77% of cheating men have a good friend who also cheated. Some guys give in easily to the temptation to cheat because that is what their friends and family do. You should not judge a guy by what those around him do, but don't underestimate the power of influence.
5. Boyfriends Cheat Because They Got Away With It Before
Do you remember Tiger Woods? He was married to one of the hottest women on the planet, but he was a big-time cheater with lots of women. (BTW, only 12% of cheating husbands in the Neuman study said that the women they cheated with were more physically attractive than their wives.)
The guy cheated once, then twice, then three times. It became easier and easier to give in, harder and harder to say no. If you are dating a guy who cheated before, there is a good chance he will cheat on you too, even if from the beginning he never planned it that way. If he has cheated more than once, it is even more likely that it will happen again.
Bears Repeating - This is Not ALL Men
These five reasons don't paint a very favorable picture of guys...so let me reiterate, this is NOT all men. And while it might be hard for a cheater to change his ways, it's not impossible. I believe sometimes people are truly ashamed of a choice they made and would like to undo the past. In fact, if you are the Cheater here are 5 Life-Changing Steps for you! My point in this blog is to point out things to look for and consider if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who cheats.
What Does It Mean When a Guy Cheats on His Girlfriend With You?
First and foremost, it means you cheated too. If you didn’t know he had a girlfriend, it wasn’t intentional, but you do need to step back and respect the person he cheated on before you pursue or demand a relationship with this guy. If you knew he had a girlfriend, then you knowingly cheated, and it’s time to examine why. We all make mistakes, and it’s important to avoid falling into a toxic shame spiral. But it’s also important to be honest and accountable for your actions.
You can’t read his mind, or his heart, or predict his next steps. If you are in love with him and want to be with him, you can communicate that to him, but say it once, say it clearly, and then wait for his response. Continuing the relationship behind someone else’s back isn’t fair to anyone. Letting him continue to speak to you or see you while he’s still with someone else is up to you, but it is a continuation of the cheating behavior.
Once you’ve stepped away from him, whether you’re stepping away from him for good or until he breaks up with his girlfriend, you need to take some time to reflect on what you really want. You can spend time wondering what he wants, whether he’s choosing you, or what it means that he cheated to be with you, but in the end, the only person whose mind, heart, and actions you control is you.
Reflect on what the future would look like with this guy:
- If he cheated on her to be with you, would you be able to trust him to be faithful to you if he met someone else he was attracted to? Or would you be constantly worried about him cheating again?
- Do you believe you have a genuine connection with him? Was lust and the excitement of something forbidden part of what brought y’all together? Is what you have a solid foundation for a lasting, healthy relationship?
- Do you feel your personal values align with his? Is he a person you can imagine a future with? Is he someone you would want to see yourself within a year, two years, five years?
- Do you feel like you are your best self when you’re with him? Is he someone who encourages you to act within your integrity, pursue personal growth, and chase your dreams? Or is he someone who just makes you feel comfortable with the status quo and excuses behaviors you don’t like seeing in yourself?
When you find yourself in the position of being “the other woman,” you have an opportunity. Will you use this opportunity to get to know yourself better, hold yourself accountable to your values, and seek the support you need to grow?
Can a Man Cheat and Still Love His Girlfriend?
It’s important to remember that the choice to cheat rests on only one person’s shoulders: the cheater. There is nothing that the cheater’s betrayed partner did or didn’t say or do to force that choice. Sure, maybe the relationship wasn’t the healthiest, leading the cheater to desire connection outside of it, but there is no excuse for betraying someone who trusts you rather than choosing the brave path of communicating about your problems or breaking up if you’re not happy.
Now, can you cheat on someone you love? Sure, people betray those they love all the time. From borrowing your sister’s sweater without permission to asking the girl you know your best friend has a crush on to prom, you’re going to make a decision that leaves a loved one feeling betrayed at some point. The real question is, what’s going to happen with that relationship after the betrayal?
In this scenario, two decisions need to be made:
- The man who cheated has to decide if he’s willing to take responsibility for what he’s done and work like he’s never worked before to rebuild trust with his girlfriend. He has to be ready to make serious changes in his lifestyle, own up to his failures, and commit to personal growth that isn’t going to be comfortable or convenient. His other option is to let her go. If he can’t handle being faced with the consequences of his actions, like being there for her when she breaks down in tears over random triggers, being willing to cut off contact with unhealthy friendships, going to therapy, or allowing her to see his phone whenever she wants, etc. then he needs to decide to end the relationship. Otherwise, this cycle will most likely repeat itself.
- The girlfriend who got cheated on has to decide if she wants the kind of love this man can give her. Sure, he “loves” her, but he chose to be with someone else and betray that love. No matter what kind of trust is rebuilt from that point on, the past cannot be rewritten. She has to decide if she would rather do the hard work of breaking up with him, grieving that relationship, and moving on with her life or the hard work of grieving the betrayal, healing from the trauma, and learning to rebuild trust with this man she loves. Either path is difficult, and either path is an understandable choice. But the choice has to be made.
Giving it a Reason Doesn't Make it Hurt Any Less
Just because you may now be able to determine the reason your boyfriend cheated on you, it doesn't mean it hurts any less. In fact, it might hurt even more. So I want you to know, right now, that you can and will get through this. Many others have walked this path before. You might learn some tough lessons through the process, but you can come out on the other side of this stronger and ready for a healthy relationship.
In the meantime, God wants to help heal your broken heart. He promises this in the Bible:
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18 MSG
The only condition is that you need to look to God for help, pray to Him and share your feelings with Him
God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. Psalm 34:4-8 MSG
God is waiting to comfort you in your pain. It's up to you whether or not to accept it.
You know they are cheating on you, but what are you going to do next? Read - Your BF/GF is Cheating on You...Now What?