Why Spouses Cheat, Part 2 Why do spouses cheat? As I said in part one, this question became a big deal for me during the immediate aftermath that followed the discovery of my husband Wayne’s secret life. While it was important for me to realize I had made agreements with false ideas as to why a person cheats, it was also equally important for me to learn the real reasons why this occurs, and ultimately why he had cheated on me. My “ah-ha” moment came fairly early in counseling when Wayne began to describe his life as it was when he was eleven years old. His parents were emotionally detached from him because they were dealing with the broken pieces of their own relationship after his Mom had caught his Dad with another woman. Wayne was basically sent outside early in the morning and told not to return home till the sun went down. It was during this time that he began a sexually charged relationship with an older neighborhood boy who also had little parental guidance in his life. Wayne’s Mom and Dad never asked him what he did all day because he was a rule follower. They saw him as the good child of the family, so they assumed he was fine. Unfortunately, their emotional neglect combined with the neighbor kid’s interest, left him vulnerable to eight years of a situation that a boy should never have to grow up in. He was exposed to sex in the wrong way at the wrong time. My heart breaks for him as I think about all the false messages that were sent into his young heart about sex in general, and about who he is in particular. Those messages were the beginning of a sexual addiction that he fights even today. So when I asked myself why do spouses cheat, and why did my spouse in particular cheat, I found different answers than I originally thought that I would. But while the truth of his past was initially painful, I eventually found a lot of comfort knowing that his acting out was not because of me. I clearly did nothing to cause him to act the way that he had because his actions began many years before we had ever met. He simply acted out of old habits that pulled very strongly upon him. He fell in our marriage because he lacked the tools to live victoriously. Before we got married he thought that being married would quiet the insatiable voices that called him to act out, so he was surprised when they continued. He then began a miserable cycle of act out, feel guilt, resolve to be good, act out again. This vicious cycle lasted until the secrets were exposed and he was able to find the help he needed to live in victory. The question of ‘why do spouses cheat’ was a difficult one for me to explore, but I am glad that we traced it all the way back till we found the answer, because it was in that answer that we both found healing and new life.