Why People Cheat

Somewhere along the way I just gave up and figured Samantha was going to be a great mother but a terrible wife. In my mind, I was left to satisfy my personal, emotional and sexual needs elsewhere. Although a harsh statement, it reveals my utter selfishness several years ago.

At least that’s what I had told myself to justify my affair. After all, that’s why people cheat: because they can’t get their spouse to care about their needs. So after a while, they just go elsewhere. I tried to control the affair, and keep my affair partner at a distance throughout different seasons and times. But really, all I did was have moments of clarity, regret, and shame which would force me to have to confront how wrong my choices and behavior was. Yet it didn’t stop.

I think many people who cheat actually come to a point of extreme compartmentalization where they feel like their only hope is to have their affair partner on the side who meets all their needs, and their spouse on the other side who is the one they SHOULD be married to. It’s more like extreme selfishness as they use almost everyone in their life for their own personal good. It’s my opinion that why people really cheat is their own selfishness and self absorption. Then we lie to ourselves and justify our behavior in order to live with ourselves. If we didn’t lie to ourselves to justify the affair, we’d probably feel crushed under a sense of conviction and humility at what wrecking balls we’d become.

After all, there was a litany of alternatives I could have done before having an affair. I could have drawn a line in the sand and said unless we talk about these issues, we’re done. I could have demanded counseling. I could have gone to several friends and asked them for insight, prayer, help, and even support. I could have threatened a separation if things didn’t change, and even separated if I didn’t think Samantha got it. I could have begged and pleaded with Samantha. I could have sought the best counselor/therapist out there and spent a ton of money on it. After all, the mess I created caused us to lose thousands anyway.

But I didn’t do any of that, and even if I did, it wouldn’t have justified why I cheated at all.

There is hope today for all of us. Hope to see our marriages restored and to get help to understand and utilize the process. Samantha and I just had our 7 year anniversary to the mess I created. I’m honored to say our marriage is better than it’s ever been and my past is no longer master over our present. Why people cheat involves a complicated answer, but regardless of the reason, there is help and hope for you today.

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