Cheating seems to have become more common than ever before. Not for everyone of course but in recent times it seems to be ever so slightly embedded in modern day culture. So why do we cheat? I once worked with someone who told me he loved his girlfriend with all his heart but sex was sex. His explanation was that sex was simply a meaningless act and that the occasional misdemeanour would never compromise his feelings for his girlfriend. I found his outlook fascinating but extremely concerning. I could never condone cheating, but I do acknowledge that things aren’t always as cut and dry as they seem. To find out more I decided to hear from a few guilty but refreshingly honest parties.
Scott, 26, Cardiff….
I and my partner met on a night out at university, we messed about a lot for around a year before we decided to ‘officially’ get together. We had a good relationship for about six months or so until my partner got suspicious whenever I did literally anything without her, whether it was going out with friends or even just wanting to study on my own for a bit. Her attitude eventually led me to cheat on her. Unfortunately I had developed the attitude of ‘if you’re going to accuse me of doing stuff behind your back I may as well just do it’. After another five months or so the relationship eventually broke down completely. Once the relationship started to go downhill I cheated on three separate occasions and as far as I’m aware she never found out. I feel bad about it looking back but at the same time the relationship had started to deteriorate before that point and I knew it wasn’t going to last.
Emilia, 31, London….
We had started off as really close friends, then he left his girlfriend for me. It was a summer romance that just kept on going. We both grew as people but in very different ways which ultimately led to us growing apart. He became very manipulative and to be honest just a bit twisted. We fought a lot, fault on both sides, then one evening he hit me and things got steadily worse. He bailed on me on New Year’s Eve, I got drunk and slept with a guy from work.
We broke up a few months later because the trust issues that were already present had only got worse. I had realized just how easy it was to cheat on someone without them finding out so in the most peculiar way my own infidelity had made me not trust him. Crazy I know. But I don’t think cheating is as black and white as people make it out to be. The person who got cheated on isn’t always in the right, even if the cheater is always in the wrong.
He never found out about my actions but I never found out if he had cheated on me either and I strongly suspect he did. People told me he had but they weren’t exactly my biggest fans so I took it with a pinch of salt. Oddly enough, no matter how much I hated him for the things he had done to me, I had never wanted to throw it in his face.
Ben, 37, Manchester….
I was with my girlfriend for about 4 years. She was perfect on paper: gorgeous, kind-hearted, funny, loving, pretty much everything a man could ask for. Looking further ahead I also knew she would make an amazing wife and an even better mother. But for the longest time I always felt something was missing. We worked well together but there wasn’t that spark, that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you just couldn’t live without them. It was a ‘nice’ relationship but I craved ‘spectacular’. I loved her but was I ‘in’ love with her? I still don’t know, but then maybe that just means no? I found my eye wandering on several occasions. I wasn’t proud of it and I didn’t tell a single person but I felt like I had to spend time with someone else to truly know how I felt about my girlfriend. If I’m honest it didn’t help, I wasn’t really getting that spark with anyone so maybe it was me that was the problem? I can’t excuse my actions in any way I realize it’s not acceptable to treat someone like this, especially a ‘good’ person but I’d spent so long lost in confusion that I desperately needed some answers. I still haven’t found them.
So there you have it three very different reasons for cheating: boredom, abuse and indecision. It’s not for me to judge what’s right and what’s wrong but I do believe in hearing both sides of the story before we do. Could we handle these situations better? Of course we could, but nobody’s perfect.
Tell me your story.
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