Falling in love with someone is a beautiful feeling but to see the person you love, trust and respect, cheat on you is extremely painful. Not only is this devastating but it’s also a relationship dealbreaker or as I’d like to call it, relationship killer. Cheating on the person you love or claim to love is not only a violation of their trust and the relationship but it’s also showing disrespect to the other person. Usually, when we find out that someone cheated on their partner, we wonder what went wrong and why couldn’t this person just end his or her relationship instead of cheating but the fact is that cheating is not just a simple affair. There’s a lot more to cheating than just sex or good looks. Recently, I’ve been coming across social media posts wondering how Gerard Pique could cheat on Shakira when she looks the way she looks but let me tell you this, looks have nothing to do with cheating.
Infidelity is extremely complex and understanding why and how people do it is even more tough. The patterns and signs and the reasons that we read online are usually common stereotypes. Before I started writing this piece, I thought of reading up on the reasons why cheaters cheat and nearly all listicles that I came across listed various reasons like lack of emotional or sexual connection, boredom, unresolved issues from the past, unhappiness, distance, falling out of love, commitment issues, dissatisfaction and more. And while all these reasons can be legit but they do not justify abuse. Now, I can understand why someone trapped in an abusive relationship would cheat but in the other cases, I’ve got questions and I’m sure you do too.
From Beyoncé to Shakira, we’ve got a list of some of the most beautiful women who have been cheated upon and while everyone is wondering how someone can cheat on such a beautiful woman, the thing is that cheating has nothing to do with looks or sex for that matter. Infidelity is not about finding or doing someone who looks better. TBH, that’s just something we believe to be true in a bid to understand cheating and cheaters. Cheating is usually about the cheater and not about the one who is cheating upon or about the one the cheater is cheating on their partner with.
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Cheaters often indulge in cheating for self-gratification and self-exploration. They don’t do this because they want to sleep with someone else or are looking for someone else but more because they want to escape their relationship and life to find out who they are and what they desire. This usually happens when one lacks emotional maturity or gets into a committed relationship too soon, even before they’re ready for commitment. Speaking of self-gratification, the fact is that we all want good things in life and when we see something or someone good outside of our relationship and we lack the understanding that one needs to sacrifice something to get good things. It’s like Naina said to Bunny in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, “Life mein jitna bhi try karo, kuch na kuch toh chootega hi.” We’re bound to miss out on some things if we wish to have life-long commitment and intimacy and someone who truly loves us. But when people fail to make the sacrifice needed to accept love and commitment in their lives, they end up cheating on their partner. Cheaters are the ones who value self-gratification over intimacy.
But why do they do it? Well, there are several reasons, one being self-esteem issues. Someone who has self-esteem issues usually values the desire to feel more attractive or powerful or more in control and worthy. They seek self-worth and in the process, they often tend to hurt their loved ones, especially their partner. These people are insecure about themselves and think really low of themselves and in the process of discovering self-worth they end up self-sabotaging. Now, I don’t sympathise with cheaters but the fact is that their behaviour is usually a cry for help because they have underlying issues and unresolved trauma.
We all know people who think they are bad at relationships or are jinxed, right? Now, there are people who believe that they’re not good enough for a relationship and that they always hurt their partner. They believe that they will end up breaking their partner’s heart despite the fact that they love their partner. And believing in the fact that they’re bad, they end up acting out in the most self-sabotaging manner and cheating on their partner and then they justify it by saying, “I told you so.” It’s like someone with a history of cheating believes that they’re going to always cheat and they don’t even try to not cheat and simply end up doing it again (and it’s not always because of habit). Sometimes cheaters cheat due to their unresolved childhood or maybe even adulthood traumas. Attachment issues usually manifest in the form of infidelity.
Some people also cheat because they’re greedy and want more self-gratification. These people often compare their partner and relationship with other people, not because they’re not satisfied with their own partner and relationship but more because they want what others have. In other words, they just want more and more. And all those who say that people cheat because they’re bored and want to spice things up in life. Well, let me tell you this, that’s BS. These cheaters who cheat because they were “bored” are usually selfish and have a sense of entitlement and believe that they deserve much more and they do what is needed to get it without caring about what lines they’re crossing. Such people also cheat because of the appeal of transgression. They want what they can’t have and so they seek thrill in going behind someone’s back to get it because that makes it more fun, thrilling and desirable. The second their partners find out and leave them, the thrill of the said affair is gone and so is the spark which is also why when the cheater gets into a relationship with the person they cheated on their partner with, things usually don’t end very well.
Having said that, I must add there are a bunch of aadat se majboor kind of people. Sometimes people enjoy the thrill of cheating and going behind their partner’s back that they can’t help themselves. In such cases, cheating is more like a kink or thrill that they enjoy and it has nothing to do with how their partner looks like. These people enjoy the thrill to the point that they want to know how far and how long they can go on for, without getting caught. I mean, we do live in a world where we have apps for people looking to cheat on their partners and have extramarital affairs like Adult Friend Finder, Gleeden, Seeking and such. These apps and cheaters usually work on the ideology that says – why settle when you can have more?
Now, there is one more thing that we need to consider in order to understand why cheaters cheat on their partners. The issues here go deep and they’re not something as shallow as lack of sex or good looks. We all know people who cannot confront their life and relationship issues head-on. Sometimes, these people choose to deal with these issues by going behind their partner’s back because they live in the fear of what their partner may say or how they may react when confronted with a relationship issue. Another reason why they do it is because they do not like change. As human beings, we don’t like change very much despite the fact that it’s a part and parcel of our lives. Taking into consideration the fact that humans don’t like change, imagine if that change came at the cost of losing the one person in your life who loves you with all their heart and who is your constant, someone who’s your support system, someone you can depend on and someone who you know will catch you if you fall. Don’t like the sound of that na? Well, yeah, that is why cheaters cheat. It’s because they want more but they don’t want to address relationship problems or lose the person who is their constant but they also want more, so they consciously choose to not break up and cheat on this person. It’s just because they don’t want to let them go. But remember you cannot have your cake and eat it too.
PS this article is not aimed at justifying cheating. It’s aimed at understanding why people cheat and if or not it has anything to do with looks or doing better in life. A cheater will cheat on you no matter how good you look or how rich you are because cheating is not about you or the other person, it’s about the cheater.
Photo Credits: Harper’s Bazaar/Elle