Some people cheat because they're confused overwhelmed and make a bad decision.
I'm divorced. We had two children.
My ex wife was terrified to just leave. How do you leave your husband, tell your family, abandoned your family....
So she cheated. Not remotely ok but I understand.
She was in a corner and scared of a decision that would be the rest of her life.
She's human. She's also an idiot tbh. But she's human.
People think it's a black and white decision. But sometimes people break and fuck up. But there are consequences and I believe we must have those.
Therapist here: I'll tell you all the reasons I hear about in therapy for cheating and infidelity. No judgement right or wrong on my end- just the reasons given.
-I'm miserable but if I leave I can't support myself/my kids so I'm going to try and find happiness in brief moments with someone else.
-I love him/her but I'm not getting my sexual needs met. I love being with the person but they're not open to exploring other sexual acts or they don't please me sexually and I feel trapped.
-We're both unhappy but we can't afford to leave one another, so we're both cheating without talking about it.
-My partner doesn't care about my emotional needs, and I'm getting those needs met through others. The sex is a byproduct of a better emotional connection.
-I'm expected to stay with my husband/wife because that's what you do when you're married. My parents never divorced and neither should I.
-My partner has severe health/mental health issues. But I can't abandon/leave them but I don't love them anymore. So cheating helps me not feel so alone.
Edit: The responses have been overwhelming, to say the least. I appreciate all of the feedback and responses and I'll do my best to respond. I sincerely hope my answer has provided some context to the question.
This is complicated.
I was with my ex for about 8 years. We were trying to start a life together. We sort of made a pact - if he helped me through school, I’d help him through school.
I finished school and started making the big bucks. It was his turn. Unfortunately, in order to make the big bucks, I had to move and go long distance.
I visited every weekend. He never visited me. About 2 or 3 years into my job, the stress was killing me. The people were hateful and I was working inhumane hours. I’d come home every weekend and just kinda... cry and say I can’t wait till we can be together again. I miss him so much, etc. He would tell me he just had a few more classes to go and would graduate next year. Next year. Next year for real.
I feel dumb cause in hindsight, it’s obvious. Plain as day. But I never thought he’d lie to me.
This part is important - I was always accepting that my SO may find that school wasn’t for them. I was always sure to give him an out. I just wanted him to have the same chance he gave me and to be happy.
Anyway - I paid for all of his expenses. Rent, groceries, everything. I even gave him $100 a week for an allowance. I was sure to tell him to save as much as he could, it could be our/his savings to help him out if he found himself in a bad spot.
One weekend, I come home and I’m stressed to the max. I hug him close and tell him I miss him and I count the days down until we can be together again. Once he graduates, we will be unstoppable!
My ex breaks down and confesses that he was actually suspended from school and has been just sitting at home for the last year. Seriously. He was sleeping in every day and playing video games while I busted my ass. I even cleaned up that apartment on the weekends - he was always telling me he was so busy with school, he didn’t have time to clean... yeah...
About this time I start looking for an out. I knew on some level we wouldn’t recover from this. But we had been together for so long - sunken cost fallacy. I ask him how much he has in the bank... I tell myself that if he can support himself while job hunting, I can leave. Nope, he has $24...
Where in the hell did all that allowance go? Fast food and Magic the Gathering cards.
I know I’m a fool. You don’t have to say it.
Two weeks after his confession, he wrecks his car and its totaled. So he’s got no car, no job, and I’m about to leave him homeless. I didn’t know what to do.
We were still “together” I guess cause I didn’t know how to end it. But I did find someone else during that time and while I never had sexual contact, I guess it’d count as emotional cheating? I still feel guilty about it but this person made me see that I could find better quality partners. This guy had his act together and I realized that my ex made me feel like I was a mom.
Eventually we did split officially when he got a little more stable, and I started dating the guy mentioned above. I still worry about my ex a lot, he’s not doing well these days. But I can’t say I’m surprised. He had a pretty sweet set up, a great thing going for him, and then he managed to blow all of it.
Very expensive lesson to learn on my part I guess... I tell myself it was cheaper then having a baby with that guy. I try not to think about it.
Astrology, nobody cares that you're an aquarium
I am NOT AQUARIUM! I am a CAPRI SUN. There is a DIFFERENCE.
I get why you might have that impression from my comment, lol, but no. They divorced when I was 13 and both eventually remarried.
My older sister is 37, I'm 32, other sister is 23. Then our parents remarried and my mom has 13 yr old fraternal twins. My dad has the 11 and 7 yr old boys. (Dad's wife did not think she could have kids. She was very happy). It's been interesting times. At least nobody is pushing me to have my own kids. We have plenty.
The panic attack that the overthinking caused.
Edit: I feel like a fraud, I haven't had a panic attack in like 3 years (although I've had a handful of baby panic attacks since then). At one point, one month I must have had 30+ panic attacks. I was constantly in a panic attack/depression cycle, and my brain worked so poorly that it felt like I lost a lot of my intelligence and almost all of my personality.
But with therapy, lots of journaling, exercise and especially learning to gauge how likely something is to happen when I experience a fear, and not listening to unwarranted catastrophic thinking, I've recovered a lot and my anxiety levels are much more manageable.
Thank you everyone for the awards, but I feel like all these people who still experience the panic attacks deserve them. That shit sucks, big time.
I think they were a bit surprised that we all excepted her so quickly (I am on of them 4, now 5 sibling)! But we all love her, and honestly can't imagine how we could have ever let her go.
It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost alot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time.
My father was mostly non-verbal and not lucid while declining from cancer. I was sitting bedside when he suddenly woke up and started getting out of bed.
"Where are you going, dad" I asked.
He looked at me, his eyes twinkling above a huge smile, and said, "I'm going to get some ice cream, boy."
Edit: There was no way he could support himself at that point so I got him back in bed, then ran to get ice cream. He was lapsing back when I returned, but he did have some ice cream. I'm pretty sure those were his last words to the world.
Edit 2: Many thanks for the responses and awards. It is cathartic to share this memory with you. I like to think my father would have appreciated the humor of the moment as well. This entire thread has been a roller coaster of emotion. The mix of slow fades and unexpected departures remind us that no one knows when the end will arrive, but that someone will remember our last words to them.
I had a bf that cheated (didn't know til later) but I'm 90% sure he waited to break up because he was finishing his second playthrough of God of War on my PS4. Like literally the day after he finished he came over to break up. To be fair it's a really good game.
LOL. It's an old joke between my other sister and I. Apparently it is a description of my personality.
Also, I'm not really that awesome, my parents deserve most of the credit!
I'm surprised by the upvoted 'simple' answers that try to narrow down cheating to a single cause. Relationships are complicated, so is cheating. Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but the adultery subreddit has a wonderful post that covers this by u/asharawasright :
Below is a copy/paste of a good chunk of it. Only some of the reasons also answer the second half of the question of 'why not leave,' which is also complicated and, depending on people's circumstances, can have a wide range of very real financial/family/emotional/health consequences. As can cheating, of course.
From the post:
Reason #1 - Dead Bedroom/Sexless Marriage.
This is the number one reason we see that people commit infidelity. It is also often discussed in r/DeadBedrooms as one means to cope with having a sexless marriage.
Reason #2 - Horrible Sex.
This is dead bedrooms even more dreadful sibling. In some relationships they are conjoined twins - meaning that the marriage is sexless, but when the couple does engage in sex it is horrible sex.
What is horrible sex? Well, it isn't "I want to have sex in a public place and go to anal twice a week and she will only ride me in our bed and let me do anal once a week."
Horrible sex is also known by the names of "Duty sex" and "Starfish." My SO had duty sex (in dead bedroom) in his first marriage and it went something like this:
(a) no foreplay
(b) no oral sex
(c) no manual sex
(d) one position
(f) no movement by the other party - just lying there and getting fucked.
My SO described it to me as not being sex, but as "fucking a corpse."
My SO did not report the following, but other people who have endured horrible "duty sex" report some comments such as:
(a) "Just grab the lube"
(b) "Are you done yet?"
(c) "Hurry up"
(d) "Well go ahead"
(e) "Just roll over and get it"
(f) "Are you done yet?"
(g) "Just use my vibrator"
(h) "Don't touch me; just stick it in."
Redditors in r/DeadBedrooms often report that they felt "rapey" after the encounter. The consensus is that horrible sex is way worse than no sex for both parties.
Reason #3 - Dismissal of Relationship Problems.
This could be anything under the sun. The reasons are as varied as the couples. Money, disrespect, taken for granted, abusive type behavior. The root cause doesn't matter. You know what your relationship problems are. If your spouse has asked you for marriage counseling and you've responded with any variation of the following statements, then this is one of the factors in your spouse having an affair:
(a) "We don't need marriage counseling."
(b) "Counseling? I'm fine."
(c) "You're unhappy for reasons that have nothing to do with me."
(d) "You're the problem. Go see someone yourself."
(e) "I'll work on it" And then you don't really work on it.
Every relationship has problems. It becomes fatal when one partner does not feel supported or heard by their partner after several attempts.
Reason #4 - Money.
If you are spending more money than the household is making, spending above the budget, or spending when they have asked you to reign it in and you continue to rack up the AmEx this is a real problem of disrespect and they may seek solace elsewhere. This is triple if they are the sole earner and they feel like an ATM.
Reason #5 - Exit Affair.
They're done, but their confidence is shot and they need a soft landing when they leave. Why are they done? We don't know. See above.
Reason #6 - Right Person. Wrong Time.
Some people are married for reasons that are practical and sad. If the person that knocks them off their feet comes along after they are married they will find it hard to resist. Add in #1-4 (especially 1 and 2) and they see no reason to resist. The marriage was vulnerable to ending because of the conditions in it. Your spouse probably wasn't looking, but emotional divorce leaves one's heart open to being won.
Reason #7 - You've Threatened Them With Divorce.
"As soon as our youngest graduates, I'm out of here." When one person makes a declaration like this they've told the other person, "It's over" and can't be surprised that the hearer is now acting like its over. The marriage has just been given a death sentence with a known date of execution. They're eating all the desserts now.
Reason #8 - Belittling.
This is so much more a factor than most of the people on even this sub realize. When you snark at your spouse, make a joke in front of people at their expense, criticize them, dismiss me, etc. you create a negative space between you all that works its way into a brick wall. That opens up the space beside your spouse to someone else. I see a lot of people of both sexes do this and just cringe. You can see the belittled spouse recoiling and eventually most of them will seek comfort in a friend...an attractive friend of the opposite sex. No one is out trolling Ashley Madison here. The intentions of both the SO and AP were innocent and sincere, but it just happened.
Reason #9 - Dirt Ball/Cake eater/Sex Fiend.
Yeah, I don't live in a fairy tale. These folks exist too. If your spouse is one, they probably won't stop. Nothing you can do to make them stop. Save yourself the pain and leave them.
Other questions we get:
Q1. Was the sex better?
A1. We don't know, but probably. It usually is.
Q2. Did they do stuff with their AP that they wouldn't do with me?
A2. Again, we don't know, but probably. It usually is.
Q3. Did they love AP?
A3. Again, we don't know, but probably. They often do.
Q4. Will they cheat again?
A4. Again, we don't know, but probably. We usually do.
Q5. Was it because he had a bigger penis?
Q6. Is it because she was better looking?
Q7. Did he treat her better than me? Like groom, make an effort, open doors?
A7. We don't know, but probably.
Q8. Why don't you just leave?
A8. Money and kids in that order 99.9% of the time. Sometimes its something else (still love the spouse, don't want to disrupt their life, too long and too scared to start over), but mostly its money and kids. IN THAT ORDER. They should leave. Everyone here knows that most of their marriages are shit shows that should end. They don't leave anyway. Guess who else knows that most of their marriages are shit shows? The person married to them. They don't leave either.
Because a lot of answers in this thread are jokes, I want to give you a sincere one - it depends. Here are some scenarios:
If you just want to have sex, not really a relationship - in a dating app or at a date: “I’m searching for something casual, how about you?”
When you’re making out - somewhere outside: “Wanna go back to my/your place?”
When you’re making out - at someone’s place: “Wanna move this to the bedroom?”
When you’re making out - on the bed: “Can I take your shirt off?”
When you are already naked: “Can I/you put it in?”
You could also tell the other person what you would like to do, rather than asking a question (like “I would really like to kiss you right now”) but that may requires interpreting their body language. If you have problems with that, just stick to the questions.
Edit: There are some people who claim that „Can I put it in?“ is unnecessary. I sometimes like my foreplay to last a little longer, so I think it’s a valid one to ask.
hopefully that's not all that came...
Well consider yourself lucky, because it's a lot more common than you think, and happens to people of both sexes. Abuse varies, and if it's not obvious physical abuse, it is very hard to find support, at least among friends and family, because many people will just brush it off and say you're overreacting. Moreover, you probably aren't even going to be aware you're being abused until you're so deep in it, invested in the relationship, and your power has been steadily chipped away over time.
We have a tendency of allowing people to do shit to us because our parents did the same shit, increasing our tolerance for bullshit because at that time, there actually was no other choice. Run away from home? Cops will just track you down and return you to them, and no questions will be asked as to why you did it. So when you grow up completely powerless, it becomes acceptable that you should be powerless in your adult relationships too. When you do finally become aware of how fucked everything is, that awareness still doesn't make breaking free an easy task.
Sure you can leave, but that requires having a place to go. Living on your own is wildly different and renting a new place requires a deposit, which you probably won't have saved up. Many abusers alienate victims from family members, so they can't ask them to move back in. Even if they didn't, there's enough social stigma to prevent adults from moving back in with their parents, or if they had an upbringing like I described earlier, they might even be worse off if they did.
Sure, you can change your number, but you're probably gonna have to let other people know about it, and it's unlikely that everyone you know will be on your side. Someone careless might just give out your number without thinking about it, and you're right back in it.
Sure, you can file a restraining order, but they aren't magical force fields. They have to be enforced, and in a lot of places that's pretty low on the police's list of priorities. Someone who is willing to break a restraining order will almost certainly escalate it, to a potentially fatal conclusion. Even if the police do respond rapidly, it'll still take a few minutes, and your life can end in seconds.
I don't blame you for not understanding, and that's certainly not a bad thing, since no one should have to understand these things, but hopefully maybe having a better grasp on the topic will allow you to be more aware and to help others who may be in need in the future.
edit: wow, gold, for the greater good, kind stranger
I was round at my buddy's place, he had kids about 7 and 5. Both super nice kids, nice family. We were sitting in the garden with a beer.
The eldest had a foam-covered baseball bat that he'd been hitting foam balls with. Out of nowhere, he calmly walks up behind his dad and takes a full home-run swing at his head. Fucking clobbers him. This bat is coated in foam but it's still wood beneath it, so it's basically mid-level assault, maybe attempted murder. Dazed, the dad turns round to defend himself, at which point the 5-year old sees his opportunity and grabs the beer from the table and starts chugging it.
Not just drinking it, full on frat boy chugging it out of nowhere. In the three seconds it takes me to recover from the shock and reach across the table to stop him, the kid's drank about 2/3rds of the bottle. Not much for an adult, but a fucking skinful for a kid weighing about 1 stone.
Within about 3 seconds, we went from nice family BBQ to concussed adult, domestically abused by a psychopathic 7 year old, and a wasted 5 year old. Went real dark real quick.
That’s called a hobosexual
I'm a man and i've always kept a regular tampon in the glove box of my car. It's a small thing, but it's resolved an emergency on more than one occasion.
Fellow fellas, it's something to consider adding to your car's first aid kit (you all have a car first aid kit, right?).
Going back wayy further than 2020, I found that the most annoying this are white friends of mine who think that things are so bad they circle around to pitying and infantilizing. Like I had one friend come up to me tipsy at a party and say something like "Sorry if you ever felt discriminated against." I was internally fuming because I was like, "You've known me for decades. We grew up in diverse suburban Maryland. I have literally nothing to complain about." But I'm supposed to see myself as a victim constantly, see every transgression as because X is racist instead of X is an asshole. And if I don't, then that means some suburban white kid that went hipster and moved to DC or Baltimore at 21 is going to come up to me and say that no it's because I've been whitewashed or have internalized racism. Fuck that.
Just live your life and don't try to guilt trip others into getting mad about things that don't matter.