Being cheated on is reportedly one of the biggest fears people live with when in a relationship. When someone has been cheated on, they often reflect back on their relationship and identify where they may have missed a red flag or when their relationship with their partner took a downturn. When did they stop going out on dates? When did they start fighting more often? When did they start to shut each other out? It is usually assumed that there was a problem with the person or the relationship itself.
But what happens when someone in a perfectly happy and seemingly healthy relationship cheats on his or her partner? Why does a woman cheat when she is still in love with their boyfriend? Why does a husband have an affair even though he still has a solid and loving relationship with his wife?
Most people attribute cheating to an unhappy relationship, to ungrateful partners or even to emotional immaturity, but according to five men and women in relationships, these are some of the reasons they have cheated on their partner even though they also reported being in a happy relationship:
- Reconnecting with a lost piece of themself. A new partner can remind someone of who they once were when they were younger. A new partner can elicit old feelings and memories that make them feel like a younger version of themselves again. Someone may involve themselves in these relationships because they want to capitalize on those old feelings, despite being in a perfectly happy relationship already. It may remind them of their teenage years when they snuck around and they may get a kick out of breaking the rules and doing something forbidden.
- Insecurity. This is more a personal factor than a factor involving the relationship. As happy as someone may be in a relationship and as happy as they may be with one particular partner, the nasty emotion of insecurity can cause people to be unfaithful because they feel the need to seek out confirmation of their desirability from other people (sometimes many people).
- Use of illicit sex to temporarily mute the pain of unresolved trauma. Someone who has suffered a recent (or even an old) trauma can use illicit sex to temporarily distract him or herself from the pain they are in. While it cannot be assumed that everyone who has suffered a trauma will cheat on their partner, it has been reported amongst other activities (i.e. drugs, alcohol) to be an activity of distraction.
- Perceived lack of physical intimacy in current relationship. Someone may be in a perfectly happy and healthy emotional relationship, and can report being very good friends with their partner, but if they perceive a lack of flare or excitement in the bedroom, they may search for it outside their relationship.
- Self-Exploration. Sometimes cheating is the result of a longing to explore parts of the self that have not yet been explored. Particularly when people in get into a relationship at a young age, they may feel as though they have missed out on certain experience and relationships that they were deprived of. When these type of individuals are unfaithful, it is because they are looking for another version of themselves, not necessarily another partner.
Whether or not someone who cheats reports already being in a happy and healthy relationship, being cheated on hurts. If you suspect your partner of cheating, make sure you are aware of the signs and consider hiring a Private Investigator to get to the bottom of it for you.