Found Out Who Cheats and Why
Are All Cheaters Created Equally? Should Stay with Somone Who Cheats?
Dear April Masini,
Since I've been cheated on once before, I'm constantly worried that my boyfriend is going to cheat on me. Is there any way to tell if a guy is a cheater? And furthermore, what exactly counts as cheating? If I catch him chatting with girls online, does that means he's cheating on me? Please give me advice on how to tell if a guy is going to cheat and tips on exactly what cheating is. Also, why do people even cheat?"
Signed, What Makes a Cheater
April Masini's Advice :
Dear What Makes a Cheater,
Infidelity happens for a multitude of reasons, some quite complex. Regardless of the reason, it can be extremely hurtful to the people who are cheated on, and it can leave those people bitter for the rest of their lives. In addition to destroying families, cheating can shatter illusions of what love is, destroy one's ability to trust, and cause people to question how people should treat one another.
Who Cheats and Why?
The Cheater In Need is someone whose needs, wants, and desires (physical or emotional) are not being met within the relationship. Often this person does not know how to communicate their needs, or he or she feels uncomfortable asking for what they need. The cheater in need's partner may, equally, not be able to understand what the cheater is asking for, or they may be unable (or unwilling) to meet those needs. This type of relationship vividly demonstrates the need for honest and open communication between partners as these cheaters cheat because they do not know how to get their needs met in a more productive way.
The Passive Aggressive Cheater wants to be caught and left by the non-cheating partner. Rather than facing the partner and saying that they want to break up, he (or she) cheats and hopes to be discovered so that they can get out of the relationship. Yes, it's a passive aggressive way to break up.
The Narcissistic Cheater is someone who wants to have the best of both worlds ...or three worlds, or four, whatever the case may be. He (or she) doesn't have any regard for anyone else's feelings or needs. The narcissist only cares about themselves, period. It is important to realize that someone with a narcissistic personality is unlikely to ever change. These people seek out partners to satisfy their needs -- their needs, and theirs alone.
The Adrenaline Junkie Cheater is addicted to excitement, sex, and risk. These people often get bored in a healthy relationship and crave the feeling of almost being caught and the adrenaline rush that comes with that fear.
The Self Destructive Cheater suffers deep seeded psychological problems and they don't feel that they deserve love, so when things are going well, and they start feeling loved, they will do whatever they need to do to end it. Often that dysfunction takes the form of cheating.
The Symptomatic Cheater is someone whose cheating behavior is just the tip of the iceberg -- a secondary symptom of some other problem. For instance, alcoholics or drug addicts may cheat on their lovers or their spouses as a symptom or a part of their disease. Cheating may not be the main problem -- rather a symptom of something else that's wrong.
Cheating Exposed: How You Find Out Your Partner is Cheating is Important
If the partner confesses his or her infidelity to you, it may be a cry for help. He or she may want you to help him either fix your relationship or end it.
If you find out that your partner is cheating by discovering without his or her input, you’ve got a tougher problem because in addition to the extra curricular activities, there is lying going on.
If your spouse is a serial cheater, which means they have been cheating with more than one person, then it's going to be much harder for them to change their behavior than if it was truly a one time thing.
Is A "More Than Just Friendly" Email Cheating? How About Cyber-Sex and Internet Porn?
It may sound funny, but cheating has taken on a whole new set of definitions today and it means different things to different people. Some people think that cheating involves sexual intercourse only. Others think that cheating is any sexual activity, including oral sex, kissing, fondling, and any sex act that results in orgasm. But there are other ways that cheating can be perceived.
Flirting. Flirting can be threatening to a woman who sees her boyfriend doing it with another woman. Many men get very jealous if they see their girlfriends or wives flirting with another man. On the other hand, some people think nothing of their partner flirting with someone else -- the important thing to them is who they go home with.
Bachelor party incidents. Having sex with a hooker or a call girl at a bachelor party may count as cheating to one person, but not to another, who figures it’s a one time thing with someone he doesn’t know.
Virtual relationships. If a partner has a chat room or an e-mail relationship with someone of the opposite sex that he’s never met in person, the other partner may or may not consider it cheating, even though they’ve never met in person.
Are All Cheaters Created Equally? Should Stay with Somone Who Cheats?
If you find out your partner is cheating in your relationship that involves your marriage and children, you have more at risk than just your relationship. You have a family at risk. If you can solve the problems and stay together, then you should.
If your spouse is a serial cheater, then you have a difficult problem that requires professional help to either keep the marriage intact, or to unravel it. While you are doing this, try to keep the children uninvolved in the drama. If they see you crying or red-eyed, you can tell them that - daddy and I (or mommy and I) are having some grown-up problems, and we're working them out, but sometimes it makes us feel sad. And something that makes me feel better is when I go to yoga (or whatever it is that does make you feel better).
This allows the children the dignity of your not lying to them about a problem, and also gives them the safety of knowing that you are doing something to get help -- even if it's as simple as going to yoga or having lunch with your best friend.
These are very hard wounds to heal, but they can be healed if you choose to attempt this. It is important to discover the extent of the cheating, when it began, and most importantly, why.
If a cheating partner is not something you can ever accept, then your choice to end the relationship is clear.
When Cheating Actually Helps
In some cases, cheating can actually save a marriage that is going through rough patches. If no one’s feelings are hurt, which usually means that someone doesn’t find out, or if the cheating is going on with both spouses, but there is a strong commitment to the family unit, the cheating can take care of sexual and intimacy needs of the individuals, while the business of "running" the family is going on as usual. In many European histories, this was common and accepted, and affairs were a way of keeping marriages that had political ramifications intact.