“Why do people cheat?”
That’s the question that has been weighing on my mind all week.
Just last week, a cheating scandal rocked the marriage of a Nigerian celebrity and the news was trending on social media. In case you missed it, let me give you a summary of the gist. These two dated for about 12 years before getting married last year. Now the ‘beloved’ husband has impregnated his ex-girlfriend and she’s off to birth the child abroad. Ouch!
When I read the story at first, what I felt was pure sympathy. Imagine having to deal with such level of betrayal especially in the full glare of publicity. It must really suck. But my sympathy was soon replaced with confusion because I don’t get why people decide to cheat. Yes I said decide because I strongly believe that CHEATING IS A CHOICE!
You know how there are endless articles about how to prevent your partner from cheating or how to know if they are seeing someone else, the weird thing is that even after you do everything by the book, they will still cheat. Why?
If we say it’s because of unhappy/unsatisfactory relationships, why don’t you just leave instead? Why cheat? And if leaving is not an option, why not try to work on your issues? Every relationship has its fair share of troubles after all. The reason might even be that you are attracted to someone else (which I think is completely natural), but why act on those feelings when there’s someone you’re already committed to?
Just so we’re on the same page, what qualifies as cheating? Because what counts as cheating to me, may be different from your own perception of cheating. So, in my own opinion,
Cheating is getting emotionally or physically involved with someone else outside your relationship.
That means that even if you’re not sleeping with him/her yet, if you have feelings for them and you nurture those feelings through your actions, you’re cheating!
After asking myself these questions a gazillion times, I decided to ask a few people and I got some really interesting answers. Unfortunately, I can’t share all of it here. However, one that struck me particularly was from a guy who has cheated before, he said;
Most women are under the illusion that they are special and the men should treat them as such. Yes, they might be special but the man is special too. They should try and figure out the man. Usually it’s the guy that figures out the girl – her likes and dislikes, in a bid to win her heart. Women rarely do that and even when they do, it’s just halfhearted. It’s not something they go all out to do. If you really want to keep your man and not share him with anybody, you need to know what he does and doesn’t like.
Another one worth sharing is the answer I got from a single lady in her early twenties. She said,
I think why most people cheat is because the relationship becomes boring. And most times both parties are to blame. Because they are used to each other, they stop doing the little things that made them fall in love in the first place. A thirst for some excitement can push some people to take drastic steps.
Whatever the reason though, cheating is still wrong. And I don’t think there’s like a precise list of reasons why people cheat. I’m not a relationship expert but what I think is that it doesn’t really matter if you’re doing all the right things or all the wrong things because whoever will cheat will still cheat. So it’s not entirely your fault if you got cheated on. You may have made some mistakes but they chose to cheat. You’re not responsible for that. However, this shouldn’t be a licence to be lax in our relationships. A good relationship is a lot of work.
Now the big question is, what next after the cheating happens? Should you end the relationship? Or should you forgive and try to work things out? Is cheating enough reason for divorce? How much cheating is too much cheating? And if you got cheated on, what would you do? I’d love to hear your opinions. Sound off in the comments section!
PS: If you have cheated before, you can share your reason(s) with us. Why did you do it? And if you’ve been cheated on, how did you cope with the hurt?