Why we cheat when we love our partner.
According to a study, over 80% of people who cheat love their partner. But how can that be? Isn’t an affair an obvious proof that you neither love nor respect your partner. It’s actually not that simple.
A Forsa survey found that 45% of Germans consider cheating to be unforgivable. Another survey found that only 3% of all women and men who were cheated would leave their partner. This shows how ambiguous the facts are here.
Can it still be love if you cheat?
It is often the case that cheaters cannot give the exact reason why they cheated. That is why it is so difficult for them to explain to the partner how the affair could have happened. The desire for clarification and clarity of the betrayed is enormous. Over 80% of all people who have been duped want to find out how it came about. Of course, doubts about the love of the cheater arise.
Obviously, this has to do with ownership, which is usually associated with love. The feeling of belonging that arises with a relationship is therefore not only connected with pure love, but also with a certain claim to ownership. The problem here is that love is associated with a condition. The much-praised unconditional love is therefore not quite realistic. If this condition is not met by cheating, this is often equated with a statement of the termination of love.
Another problem is that under love everyone has a little different ideas. The definition is not entirely clear. So basically everyone understands something different, often in connection with romantic and also slightly unrealistic ideas. Contrary to the attitude that romantic comedies and other Hollywood films like to convey, love always has a very selfish aspect. Everyone wants to be loved, that is, to receive feelings and affection from other people.
Can a lack of love be the trigger for cheating? Rather not. Only 16% of men and 33% of women said in surveys that an unfortunate relationship was the trigger. Of course, this can lead to an affair. But that’s just one possible reason. Curiosity, excitement, high spirits or a diffuse longing can also trigger an affair. This does not necessarily have to have anything to do with the quality of your relationship.
The prevailing opinion in society is that true love is always accompanied by sexual exclusivity. If you really loved your partner, you would never cheat. Unfortunately, however common this attitude is, it is a very childishly naive attitude. Human relationships, feelings, emotions etc. cannot be that easy.
In addition, cheating is often consciously or unconsciously seen as something very cruel that you do to your partner. This implies that an affair has the intention of causing harm to the partner. On closer inspection, it is obvious that this should only be the reason in very few cases.
“You can only love one person”
In addition, many people have the idea that you can only love one person at a time. Anyone who has ever been in love with two people and is now inevitably faced with the choice knows that this is not always compatible with reality, because apparently you cannot love several people at the same time. How this conviction was able to establish itself on such a broad front is also rather difficult to understand if you think about it a little. Here too, according to psychologists, the right to ownership plays a central role. In a relationship based on socially recognized rules, you claim that you have to be the most important person in life.
According to several book authors, it is enriching to share love with more than one person. According to the motto “love becomes more if you share it”. This does not mean love for family members and friends, but sexual love. According to proponents of the taboo topic polyamory, relationships have different focuses. So it may well be that you sincerely love someone but prefer to have sex with another person. Accordingly, sex and love do not always belong together. This view is also shared by Robert Betz, who describes this fact in more detail in his book “True love leaves free”.
Healthy handling of an affair
A clear sign that the cheater still loves his partner is, of course, when he ends the affair, when it has been a matter of several times. 80% of all men and women are willing to forgive an affair, provided that this will never happen again. Even if it is difficult to assess to what extent such a promise can be made, it is still a proof of love.
If the side jumper invests more in the relationship after the misstep, this is also a clearly positive sign. While the relationship may have been characterized by dreary everyday life before the affair, it is now possible to come up with some ideas to escape the monotony and bring more fun and variety into the relationship.
If the partner speaks openly about their feelings and needs, it can also be a very healthy way of dealing with cheating, provided the other partner is open enough for such a conversation.
Relationship-threatening behavior after an affair
If the situation is downplayed and is not addressed and discussed clearly, that is not a good sign. Simply pushing aside such a serious event can have serious consequences for the relationship.
It may also be that the cheater blames the partner. That is, he gives reasons why the behavior and actions of the other have driven him to commit an affair or to flee into an affair. This is very comfortable behavior and of course does not help to save the relationship.
If it happens again, that’s not necessarily a good sign. According to a survey, 15% of all infidelities are repeat offenders. Here it depends a little on the circumstances. But if the partner seizes the next opportunity for an affair after a thorough discussion, this is not necessarily the best sign.
No matter how perfect the relationship, an affair is never completely impossible, because lack of love is just one of many possible reasons for cheating and is far from the only one that comes into question. Cheating usually has more to do with the person who cheats and less with the relationship.
If estrangement within the partnership is the trigger, an affair is a clear sign that something is wrong with the relationship. There are also some other individual causes. On closer inspection, it also becomes clear that love does not necessarily entail unconditional fidelity. That shows reality day by day. It has also been shown that we have a very rigid, possessive and sometimes unrealistic idea of love and relationship, which obviously does not lead to the fact that the partnership produces infinite happiness under these rules.