Why Do People Cheat on Those They Love? [8 Possible Reasons]

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Why do people cheat on people they love? Love is a complex phenomenon experienced in many ways, but most agree that it’s based on trust and respect. But what happens when we throw cheating into the mix—infidelity, even in loving, happy relationships. This article lists why someone would cheat on a person they love and what happens after an affair.

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Cheating Explained

Cheating is a broad moral concept involving different behaviours in each person and couple. Most, however, agree that being physically intimate with another person besides your partner constitutes cheating. But these matters aren’t so clear-cut. Can you cheat on another, for example, if you practice polyamory or agree on a polygamous relationship? Yes.

Just as there are various reasons why people cheat, there are types of cheating, as well:

  • Physical infidelity includes physical contact with another person, e.g., kissing, intimate hugs, sex.
  • Emotional infidelity includes any emotional or romantic connection with someone other than your partner by talking to, texting, or confiding in the person you are being unfaithful with.

Physical and emotional infidelity are equally harmful, even though emotional affairs may be more challenging to define and notice. A few other questions, however, need to be considered before considering our list of reasons for cheating.

Can Cheating Be Defined?

It’s essential to understand that each couple needs to define what cheating means to them and what’s allowed and what’s not. Both partners must clarify what commitment means to each other and if they have commitment issues. Once these concerns have been addressed, cheating can be easily identified.

But then why do people have affairs if such boundaries have been agreed upon? And how can you tell if someone is having an affair? Consider, first, the following primary indicator of cheating.

Do you feel the need to keep whatever you’re doing secret from your partner? By lying about your actions, you’re betraying your partner and breaking their trust. And that’s a big NO in all relationships, monogamous or non-monogamous.

Why Do People Cheat So Often?

Statistics on cheating confirm that infidelity is a common occurrence57% and 54% of men and women, respectively, have admitted they had cheated on at least one occasion. Even more concerning, 45% and 35% of the male and female population, respectively, have engaged in an emotional affair.

No affair can have a happy ending. On average, an affair can go on for six months before being discovered—39% and 48% of men and women, respectively, are discovered by their partners.

Typically, people cheat because they have fallen out of love with their partner. But there are other reasons people have affairs, including anger, a desire for sexual variety, or simply because the opportunity presented itself. And in many cases, they claim that they still love their partner.

DID YOU KNOW? The average relationship length in the UK is two years and nine months. But the average relationship before marriage is 4.9 years.

Why Do People Cheat on People They Love?

People can cheat on people they love. It’s sad but true. But infidelity doesn’t always mean a lack of love in the relationship or that it’s terrible or unfulfilling. Consider eight of the following reasons why people cheat on the person they love.

Strong Sex Drive

Why do people cheat in relationships? Some have stronger sex drives than others. So one person’s sexual needs may not be met in a relationship. If this happens, the person may have an affair to get the sexual satisfaction they’re not getting from the relationship. For some, sex addiction is another cause of cheating—a serious problem that needs to be addressed and treated promptly. Cheating, however, is not a solution for either reason. To prevent infidelity, a couple should communicate their sexual needs and wants to each other.

Diminished Intimacy

Intimacy is not just about sex; it involves more than mere physical touch. If two people stop being intimate on an emotional or physical level, one of them can start feeling lonely and begin seeking intimacy elsewhere. It’s entirely normal for intimacy levels to diminish over time, but this can be resolved with heart-to-heart conversations.

Neglect

Why do we cheat on someone we love? Unfortunately, in some cases, the answer is neglect. Even when someone loves you, they may neglect you for some time because of stress or preoccupation with a problem. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you; they simply got caught up with other matters. So instead of cheating, be honest and let them know you need more attention.

Commitment Issues

One question that women frequently ask is, ‘why do men cheat?’ Commitment issues can be the cause of many relationship problems, including adultery. Once you learn what commitment issues are and how they manifest, you can see why someone with such issues could retort to cheating. A cheater (male or female) with a fear of commitment may be deeply in love but use cheating as a way out of the commitment. These issues are a serious threat to a relationship and need to be resolved.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a common problem with many people. Whenever a person with self-esteem issues starts feeling bad about themselves, they sometimes seek external validation. When they don’t get this from their long-term partner, they may seek out one who will make them feel better about themselves. And then dopamine is released—the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness.

Self-Discovery

Why do people cheat in a relationship? One answer to this question is self-discovery. In these cases, the affair itself is not so relevant to the cheater. Infidelity occurs because, through their cheating, they discover new aspects of their personality or rediscover a long-lost part of themselves. Some cheat to feel young again or brave and adventurous—something unknown that they cannot experience with their partner.

Fun

Why do guys cheat even if they love you? Although it’s normal to be attracted to or even lust after another person besides your partner, you’re crossing a red line when you decide to act on it. Sometimes, people get bored in long-term relationships and start cheating for fun.

Revenge

Can you cheat on someone you love out of revenge? In some relationships, one may become frustrated with their partner or resent them for something they’ve done wrong. So they decide to cheat on them to get revenge—toxic behavior that doesn’t bring any good to anyone, including the cheater.

DID YOU KNOW? Love and lust are similar phenomena. But one of the ways you can differentiate between them is by asking yourself if you see a future with the person of your affection. If you cannot do so with that person you’re having an affair with, then it’s lust.

Key Takeaways

Cheating means betraying your partner’s trust, physically or emotionally.
People can cheat on someone they love due to neglect, commitment or self-esteem issues, lack of intimacy, or even revenge.
A person who cheated once will likely cheat again, but this is not true for everyone.
Infidelity doesn’t signify the end of a relationship; a couple can repair their relationship after an affair.

Can You Love Someone and Cheat on Them Simultaneously?

People often ask if you can cheat on someone you genuinely love. There’s no clear-cut answer to this question because emotions are complicated; we can’t always define what we feel. Many who cheat claim they still love their partner and have feelings for the person they cheated with.

The concept of polyamory is nothing new. It is possible to love two people at the same time. But, in the end, everything comes down to individual beliefs—whether or not you can accept that your partner is capable of loving you and another simultaneously.

Can a Woman Cheat and Still Be in Love?

Both men and women cheat for various reasons, but it’s been proven that women are more in touch with their feelings. Many women who have affairs claim that they love their partners and don’t want to end their relationship or marriage.

If you’ve been cheated on, you may have asked yourself if the ‘lovebetween you both was even real. But if someone has cheated on you, it doesn’t mean that there was no love between you and your partner. It’s good not to reevaluate every moment of your relationship. You know there was love at some point in your relationship. So try to look into other reasons for cheating.

DID YOU KNOW? Humans often want what they can’t have—known as the forbidden fruit effect, where people think that forbidden indulgences are somehow better than they seem.

Does Infidelity Signify a Pattern of Cheating?

How does it feel to cheat on someone you love? You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’. But this maxim is not necessarily true. Some view their past transgressions as a mistake and would never repeat them. If you ask these vow breakers about how it feels to cheat on the one they love, they’ll tell you that it feels terrible and wouldn’t do it again.

Unfortunately, though, it’s more likely that a cheater will cheat again. A person who cheated once is three times more likely to cheat again. Of course, it all depends on the person and the relationship. If you know your partner well enough and are convinced of their sincerity when they promise not to cheat again, you can think about giving them another chance.

DID YOU KNOW? According to stats on divorce rates in the UK, adultery is the third most common cause of divorce—10.5% of all divorces happen because one of the spouses was unfaithful.

How to Love Someone After They Cheat

Infidelity doesn’t have to mean that your relationship is over. If your partner shows genuine remorse, and you still love them and are willing to forgive, you can make things work. Of course, your relationship moving forward will not be easy, but it can work with time and effort from both parties. If you decide to try and make things work, consider applying the following tips.

  • Take time to process
  • Both must be 100% honest
  • Make sure of genuine remorse
  • Work on rebuilding trust
  • Consider therapy
  • Don’t tell everyone

Would you still be able to love someone after they’ve been unfaithful? Some cannot love the person who cheated on them, while others can overlook past transgressions and keep loving with the same intensity.

Remember, nothing is over unless you or your partner want it to be over. Tailor your relationship to your personal standards and make sure that whatever you do makes you happy.

DID YOU KNOW? Facts on love reveal that broken heart syndrome is real. Those going through a breakup or have been cheated on feel physical pain caused by severe emotional trauma.

Conclusion

So why do guys cheat even if they love you? There are several (noted) reasons why a man or woman would cheat on a person they love. But these reasons don’t mean that someone doesn’t love you and that you did something wrong.

FAQ

Do you love someone if you cheat on them?

You can love someone, even though you’ve cheated on them. There are many reasons why someone cheats, and a lack of love isn’t always one of them.

What does cheating say about a person?

Not all cheaters are bad people. They may have commitment issues and avoid long-term attachment, feel insecure, or have been hurt and may have cheated out of revenge.

Do cheaters feel guilty?

This question relates to the one of why do people cheat on people they love. Most cheaters express feelings of guilt and remorse. But some cheaters (typically narcissists) have no shame or feel guilty.

Sources

ABOUT AUTHOR

I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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