The No. 1 Reason Why Men & Women Cheat


I've cheated (although my partner and I were in an open relationship at the time) and I've definitely dated a cheater, too. In the first relationship, I wasn't sexually satisfied, and so, when I traveled for work, I dabbled in extracurricular affection. He knew about it most of the time, but I broke our agreement when I started seeing one man over and over again.

When I dated a cheater, he wasn't cheating on me, but he was cheating on his girlfriend who lived across the country. I can't say what was going on in their relationship, but I can say, it obviously wasn't working. Without justifying my actions, for better or worse, I wouldn't do either again. 

Having been there, done that, I have thought a lot about the whole cheating issue. People in power seem to cheat more (or is it get caught?), but when it comes to regular folk, 23 percent of men and 19 percent of women will cheat at one time in their relationship. Why does this happen?

I believe the primary reason why men and women cheat is because they are NOT able to communicate. In other words, cheating happens because we can't talk with our partners about how we really feel. Maybe it's that we can't tell them that we don't feel the same love that we once did, or that our needs aren't being met, or that we find our new boss extremely sexy -- whatever the reason, cheating happens when talking stops.

When one person in a committed relationship -- and I don't believe committed relationships can just be assumed, they need to be discussed, negotiated, and understood -- goes outside of their verbal agreement, that's cheating. It's not about how many people you sleep with, or about how many photos of your wiener you text to various women. Cheating is a lack of communicating honestly and openly with someone you've vowed to be honest and open with. Charm, googly eyes, and body language can tip you off to a flirt; but it's not so easy to spot a cheater.

So, how can you tell if you're dating a cheater?

According to a University of Guelph study, personality is the key predictor to a cheating man; for a woman, it's satisfaction. Men who take risks are more likely to risk their relationship as are men who suffer from sexual performance anxiety. The happier women are in their relationship, the less likely we'll want to hump another human. Unless the unhappiness has to do with sexual incompatibility, then we're more than three times as likely to cheat.

The study, while being criticized for its flaws, has also summed up the key factors in cheating. In fact, the above factors are more relevant than the ones we assume would matter: Gender, religion, marital status, and education mean less than a guy's personality and a woman's happiness. 

Before you rake me over the coals in comments for cheating, I know what I've done and have spent a lot of time thinking about my actions. I've learned a lot and can take what I've learned into further relationships.

That being said, have you ever dated a cheater?


Image via denharsh/Flickr

cheating, commitment


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psugal psugal

Found out after my relationship ended that he had cheated with at least 4 different people. My parting words, "I just got a head to toe STD check and I recommend you do the same!" Buh-bye!

dirti... dirtiekittie

cheaters suck. sorry, but that's just how i feel about it. it's not personal at you, blogger, or anyone else who might have cheated. (but if you did, well, own it.) the thing is, even if you DO have the most understanding, wonderful, amazing significant other at home who will forgive you, you don't just change your relationship. you change that person's life. even couples who survive someone's indiscretions will tell you it's a LOT harder to work up to where you were before than it ever is to stay on the right path. to me, a cheater is just selfish - putting themselves and their own 'needs' above everything else... in some cases, including sacred vows or a family with children. and that's just heartbreaking. :(

MrsSi... MrsSimonsen

I dated a guy who knocked up two girls in six months. One being me (it was rape ). He's still exactly the same. It's the worst experience ever.

thudt... thudthud88

i cheated when i was in my first serious relationship when i was in college. the sex was good and we had fun together but i didn't trust him so i used that as an excuse, and also he went to another school so we could only  see eachother like once a week which wasnt enough for me lol. i would never ever ever do it now but live and learn

Ellen Seel Anello

Sorry- I think cheaters cheat because they're cheaters...if it's not working- fix it or get excuses.

bianc... biancalina20

Yup... A lady with a baby 2 mos younger than my dd showed up at my house and it looked exacly like my dd and their dad. I left!

Courtney Paige Neale

I don't think cheaters cheat because they are cheaters. I'm not a cheater. Never have been but I do think a lot of what this article says is probably true. I've been with my love for almost 4 years. Lately I have found myself looking at other guys and thats weird for me. I would NEVER cheat on him and don't want to be with anyone else so I really do think it is because of our lack of intimacy lately(and lack of communicating what I need). I'm always tired from working 9 hour days and not gettin enough sleep and his bi-polar meds seem to take his sex drive away as well as make him tired too. What she wrote makes a lot of sense to me. I obviously need to sit down with my boyfriend and tell him I need more attention in the bedroom.

Ellen you are right though - fix it or get out, cheating should NEVER be an option.

momav... momavanessa

When I was younger I dated a cheater and as soon as I found out about it I dumped him and never looked back! Months later I met my future husband! So I am glad I made the choices I did. I will not put up with a cheater!

daydr... daydreaminmom

I discovered a guy i'd been with for 3yrs had been cheating on me so I left (he beat me in front of my son when I confronted him about what I found out). In the months following I discovered he'd been actively cheating on me the entire relationship INCLUDING while I was in the hospital giving birth to our daughter. Yeah, i've dated a cheater and will NVR tolerate that shit again!

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