It might not surprise you to hear that 90% of Americans think that cheating is completely unacceptable and unforgivable in a relationship. That makes sense, obviously.
What doesn’t make sense is that 30-40% of people cheat anyway.
Why does this happen? How could 90% of people find something completely unacceptable and then do it in their spare time? Are we all hypocrites?
Cheating has many awful effects not just limited to relationships, including domestic violence, divorce, depression and even murder. It’s fair to say that infidelity is pretty much the most destructive thing that could possibly happen in a relationship.
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So knowing all that, why do people still cheat? And once you’ve cheated, are you a cheater forever?
The way to start talking about this issue is by looking at the reasons people cheat:
These are the 10 signs he’s cheating on you.
1. People cheat for individual reasons
If you’ve ever thought about (or said) that once someone cheats, they’re a cheater forever… and that they’ll cheat in all their relationships, what you’re really talking about are the individual reasons that person cheated.
What I mean is – the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” means that there’s something about that person and their traits that makes them more likely to cheat in all their relationships. So what are those traits?
People who are less empathetic, less agreeable, and less conscientious about their actions are more likely to cheat – which makes sense. If you don’t hold yourself accountable for your actions, of course you’re more likely to cheat.
Religion and Politics
This one isn’t that surprising either. Those who identify as very religious or very politically conservative are actually less likely to cheat due to their extremely rigid value system.
Overall, men are more likely to cheat than women, due to the fact that men have much more testosterone, and therefore likely a higher sex drive.
2. People cheat because of reasons stemming from their relationships
No discussion of cheating is complete without examining the risk factors in relationships themselves that can lead to cheating. A lot of the time, infidelity can be tied back to aspects of the relationship that one or both parties find dissatisfying.
Most of the time, when people are in a relationship that’s working and where both partners are happy, it greatly decreases the risk of cheating. Even people who have cheated in past relationships are much less likely to cheat in satisfying, well matched relationships.
The relationship risk factors for cheating include unsatisfying sex lives, unhappiness, and lots of fighting and conflict. Plus, the more different the two partners are in terms of what they’re like, what kind of education they have, what their politics and religious views are – the more likely they are to cheat.
Here are 8 reasons to let go of toxic people in your life.
3. People cheat because of the situation they’re in
Sometimes, infidelity doesn’t stem from personality traits, or a deficiency in the relationship. Things might be great – but if the wrong situation comes up then infidelity could occur anyway.
There are some situations that make cheating much more likely, and they’re pretty easy to guess. If you’re in a situation where you’re spending a lot of time around very attractive people, of course the risk of infidelity is going to go up.
Same with the type of work one does – jobs that involve personal discussion with other people, physical contact with other people, and a lot of isolated alone time with another person carry a higher risk of infidelity. Like working alone with someone at a store. Or a male photographer whose job is to take pictures of beautiful models.
One risk factor includes living environment – people who live in urban areas are more likely to cheat than less populated areas – due to both the more uninhibited attitudes towards sex common in cities as well as the greater concentration of population.
Another risk factor is when the gender ratio is unbalanced, and there are far more men in a workplace than women – or vice versa.
So with that said…
What’s the best way to stop cheating from destroying your relationship?
The best first step you can take to protecting your relationship from infidelity is to have a frank and honest talk with your partner about your definitions of infidelity.
Nail down exactly what both you and your partner consider cheating – you both have to agree on what kind of behavior is cheating. That way, you both know the boundaries on the relationship so you don’t inadvertently hurt your partner, or vice versa.
That, plus having open, honest lines of communication in your relationship, are the two best ways to prevent infidelity. When you can honestly talk about what you’re dissatisfied with, as well as agree on which behaviors are acceptable and which are not, you’re much less likely to experience infidelity in any way in your relationship.
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Here Are The Reasons Why People Cheat
- Less empathetic, agreeable, and conscientious people cheat because of their personality
- People who have a less rigid personal value system are more likely to cheat
- Men are slightly more likely to cheat than women
- People cheat when their needs are not being met in the relationship
- People cheat because a situation arises in their life that they are unable to resist
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