In the society in which we live, where relationships are concerned, cheating is the ultimate betrayal. All trust is broken, the spouse who is cheated on is the victim, humiliated and wronged by his or her philandering mate. However, like almost everything in relationships, cheating is not that cut and dried.
Full Disclosure: I have been cheated on, and I have cheated.
It took me a very long time to acknowledge that I am non-monogamous in relationship orientation. It also took me a long time to acknowledge that said relationship orientation, coupled with my damn near unmatched libido, contributed to my ultimate choice to be unfaithful. However, there are types of cheaters who are not automatically terrible people. Hell, there are certain situation in which I’d even argue that cheating is perfectly justifiable.So, without further ado, here are a few different types of cheaters, and how and why they cheat.
1. The Cheater Who Just Likes To Cheat
This is the typical cheater we all think about. This type of cheater doesn’t care how devoted, beautiful, rich, or anything else his or her spouse is. This person gets off on cheating- the thrill, the sneaking, the “getting away with something” right under a primary partner’s nose. This type of cheater is the ultimate scumbag. Happiness will never be met in relationships with this cheater, because, what makes such a cheater happy is, well, cheating. It’s the lies, the sneaking, and, most of all, the power and control held over both the spouse being cheated on as well as the side piece being cheated with.
2. The Cheater Who Is Stuck In A Dead Marriage
This cheater has done everything she can to save the relationship, to no avail. There is no sex, no communication, nothing. The relationship exists in name only. Perhaps this cheater rarely (if ever) even sees his or her spouse anymore. This cheater might be staying because of intertwined finances, kids, or other factors that make separating impractical, or perhaps even impossible. So, to save sanity and humanity, this cheater goes and finds someone who will give what her spouse can’t: Actual companionship that gives a semblance of some kind of life or light at the end of the tunnel in a seemingly impossibly bleak life circumstance.
3. The Cheater Who Is Unfulfilled
It takes two to make or break a relationship, in most circumstances. Happy people do not cheat. This is not to victim blame, but that is just the uncomfortable truth. With the exception of the serial cheaters who just get off on cheating, the uncomfortable truth is this: If someone cheats, it is, at least in part, because of a lack of fulfillment at home. The spouse who was cheated on has to see through her humiliation, hurt, betrayal, and overall pain to understand that she missed something somewhere along the line, that somewhere in there she didn’t listen, she fell short enough of fulfilling her mate to make her stray.
Usually, with this type of cheater, every effort has been made to communicate unhappiness and a lack of fulfillment in the relationship. Generally, these conversations and communications are attempted repeatedly, only to be met with indifference, defensiveness, scorn, or derision. So, after trying repeatedly, this cheater gives up and steps out to find the fulfillment that is clearly not to be had at home.
Another Full Disclosure: I am the third type of cheater.
I have been in relationships that I wanted to end, but with forceful partners who wouldn’t let me go, after repeatedly telling them I was unhappy or unfulfilled. In my estimation, I made the right choice. I refused to allow these women to hold my freedom hostage while insisting that nothing was wrong. To me, life was and is too short to wait for someone to realize their mistakes. Sure, leaving before stepping out might be a better solution, but extracting oneself from a dead relationship is simply not always easy. What are you supposed to do, waste away in the meantime? I don’t think so.
I definitely realize that my views on cheating are a lot different from those of general society. These are certainly not the only three types of cheaters, but they are, to me, the most common. Also, I feel that the last two types are perfectly justified in their infidelity. In those situations, it’s either cheat or go crazy, lose your humanity, become depressed…I could go on, but you get the picture. Cheating in these situations is perfectly understandable, even if not completely right.
The bottom line here, I guess, is that all of the condemnation and scorn is heaped upon the cheater. With the exception of type number one, though, the reality is that the person who gets cheated on is not completely blameless. Remember: It takes two.