A common analogy about trust is thinking of it as paper and the saying often goes something like this:

“Trust is like a paper, once it’s crumpled it can’t be perfect again. You can flatten the paper and try and make it as straight as you want, but it will never be perfect again.”

Relationships are built on trust and respect. Infidelity and cheating betray the trust and undermine the respect one’s partner should feel in a relationship. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that there is a growing number of people who cheat on their partners.

The National Health and Social Life Survey found that 4% of married men, 16% of cohabiting men, and 37% of dating men were involved in sexual infidelity in the last year. It also found that 1% of married women, 8% of cohabiting women, and 17% of women in dating relationships were also unfaithful.

Why do people cheat?
The growing trend is concerning and begs the question of why do people cheat on their partners. There are multiple theories surrounding why people cheat but the general consensus leans towards the following reasons:

They have self-esteem issues and require validation.
Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Fragile Power: Why Having Everything Is Never Enough said:
"Sex is not the primary reason people cheat. The primary reason is that there's a deficiency in their life and specifically, in their ego. They feel incomplete."

They may fear that they cannot be the person their partner needs them to be or that they are not worthy of the love their partner shows them. They also fear they are growing older and losing their appeal or “they're being discounted or outright dismissed by others.”Thus they seek validation from someone other than their partner.

They Want To Sabotage Their Relationship
Some people prefer to avoid painful breakups or confrontation. They might want to end the relationship and instead of breaking up with their partner, they instead opt to “sabotage” the relationship. Caroline Madden, PhD, a marriage therapist specializing in infidelity issues and author of Blindsided By His Betrayal, explains:

"Often this is type of person who doesn’t want to be the 'bad guy' and break up and instead cheats, allowing their partner to find out in hopes the other person will do the breaking up. See also, 'Men who cheat at their bachelor party and then confess'"

Attention Seeking
According to relationship experts, another reason that some people who cheated on their partners is that they felt neglected in the relationship. Some of the women revealed, they felt "their husband doesn’t pursue them enough" or that they craved small tokens of appreciation like flowers, or compliments. Their need for more attention from their partner led them to resent their spouses and eventually they began seeking the attention elsewhere.

Did Not Consider Consequences
Another reason Madden revealed is that the person gets caught up in the thrill of the moment and does not consider the consequences of their actions. This usually happens in short-term relationships or new relationships. She added:

“Often people get caught up in the fun of an affair. What they aren’t prepared for is the devastation it causes. That their strong partner will be in the fetal position crying on the floor. They simply aren’t prepared for the pain that they could cause another individual.”

Finding Someone Else
The final reason is a simple one. The person may have fallen in love with someone else especially in cases where they were unhappy in the marriage or relationship.

What is Considered Cheating?
The word cheating literally means to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. However, in terms of relationships, it is believed that any action that requires one to deceive their partner can be considered cheating. One quote states:

“Cheating isn’t always kissing, touching, or flirting. If you gotta delete text messages so your partner won’t see them, you’re already there.”

Can Your Relationship Recover From Cheating?
While many couples have watched their relationships crumble after cheating scandals, others have weathered the storm. A famous example of a couple who remained together after their relationship was rocked by infidelity is Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford.

Their long-lasting relationship nearly crumbled when Frank had an affair with a married flight attendant named Suzen Johnson in 1997. The couple issued a statement at the time saying:

“This experience has been as painful for us as it would be for any other couple. However, we will get through this together. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

Kathie added that the experience was “a tremendous test of your relationship.” However, she forgave him. She later admitted that their two children played a big part in her decision to forgive him. In an interview with “Today,” she said:

“It takes a lifetime to build that kind of friendship and history together and trust, and it takes one stupid decision to destroy. ... Sometimes you run out of time to build it up again. I was grateful that we could.”

The couple remained together until Frank passed away.


Author's Bio: 

Linda has worked for more than eight years in the publishing industry, providing unique and varied writings. She has experience in successfully implementing PR strategies and organization, including events and meetings (congresses, industry symposiums, and training workshops).