Getting Answers Via Social Media
This is one of Life’s Big Questions – why do people cheat? It is a quest that we have been on all month. Answering some of the perplexing, trying and even trivial questions many of us have. Years ago, this particular question on infidelity is one that I gave my best shot. As we share our thoughts on some of these big ones, it seemed as good a time as any to edit and republish my response from 2009 to the cheating question.
“Betrayal can only happen if you love.” — John Le Carre
Much of my spare time on Facebook – yes, I admit, I am a Facebook addict. The social network offers me lots of free entertainment. Through Facebook I have reconnected with high schoolmates and friends. I appreciate discussing various topics – some serious and others not so serious with friends around the world.
Take a running commentary a high school mate and I had about Beyonce’s agile waistline and her bare-chested male back-up dancers. Then there was the heart-to-heart another friend and I had about the challenges we both faced with fibroids and whether to have an hysterectomy. I postponed my own surgery as I was not mentally or emotionally ready to be without such an important part of my anatomy. We laughed – virtually – about the ‘getting pregnant’ option. My friend however could not see herself having a child at this stage of the game.
So, Why Do People Cheat?
No surprise then that another friend posted a question about infidelity and it prompted several and varied responses. This Jamaican woman who resides in the United States asked, “Why do people cheat?”
This is an age-old question but a recurring one that is clearly not yet answered in such a way to stem cheating. Preachers have spent many Sundays quoting copiously from the Bible and anything else they can get their hands on to remind congregants the perils of adultery and infidelity. Psychologists have made millions writing books and seeing clients who suffer in the aftermath of affairs. Medical professionals have stitched wounds and pumped stomachs of people who thought they could not go on after the love of their lives said it was over.
“Why do people cheat?”
My Facebook friend would later thank all of us who gave our two cents worth in response to her question. Yet, it was clear that she was not buying wholesale any of the explanations. And I do not blame her. There is no simple answer.
Failure To Be Honest
Looking back on my journey, I have done my fair share of cheating in relationships and was cheated on many times. However, called upon to answer the question why this happens, I could only draw for some philosophical reasoning. It hardly described the devastation my behaviour and that of others caused others who wanted and deserved something more.
I combed through various articles, books and web sites to see if I could come up with a better and a concise understanding of this human flaw and yes I do believe it is a flaw. That is the one thing that I am clear on – that it is a serious character flaw. The excitement of sex – because it is all about sex in the first instance – is so strong that the cheater is dishonest with his/her mate instead of ending the relationship. I found one resourceful and free web site that might offer some help to those grappling with this issue. Whether you suspect your partner is cheating or you are in the throes of an affair would like to confess Truth About Deception could help you.
In my brief search for resources on this topic, I came across some interesting quotes on cheating. I also learned that Oscar Wilde did not seem too big on this love business! One of his more meaningful quotes that I could at least relate to on the topic is:
“Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love; it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.”
Men and Women Cheat
A smile came to my face when I read Helen Rowland’s about the cheat. It reminded me so much of being unceremoniously dumped. After confirming the affair, the person who cheated on me said, “You want too much of me in the vision that hold of me and I am not that big a person!” Rowland said:
Every man wants a woman to appeal to his better side, his nobler instincts and his higher nature — and another woman to help him forget them.”
Hopefully you read that quote and interchanged man and woman to fit your context. Heterosexual or same-sex relationship as women do cheat and so too those in same-sex relationships!
After my act of cowardice and then digging up the courage to confess, I promised never to bring myself to that level again. That was almost seventeen years ago and to this day I have never looked at anyone but my partner in that moment. Scott Alexander explains it best:
“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity [are] easy. Stay away from easy.”
Eating A Rotting Carcass
The quote that I found most perplexing and interesting and that will stay with me for a long time comes from the Sikh’s Holy Scripture.
“Cheating is eating a rotting carcass.”
How often have people said to their lovers “I would die before I cheat on you,” and then go ahead and have a hot and torrid affair? Well is that not what this passage refers to?
For a relationship to come to the point that your interest lies with another that you would cheat, why not end it? To do otherwise means dying to one’s sense of decency and integrity to indulge in an affair with an equally dead soul!
Think about it and share your thoughts with me in the comments below. As well, take part in our poll on cheating. It is anonymous so your identity is safe.
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