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Motivation for cheating

(60 Posts)
kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 06:54:44

Do people who cheat really have issues that cause them to cheat? I've read posters on here suggest that the cheater goes to counselling to help identify what caused them to cheat. Just wonder if there are some out there who 'just did'. Not because they have problems, not because they are bored etc. Simply because they were in the right place at the right time and took the opportunity. Anyone who has cheated care to share?

The reason I ask is because my OH cheated. I can't figure out why and he can't really say why either?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jan-14 07:07:48

The reasons for cheating are as individual as the person themselves. Everything ranging from romantic love to selfishness to malicious intention to hurt others. Of course some are opportunistic and 'just do' rather than having any kind of personal problem. If you're trying to keep going with the relationship, however, he will have to work out what made him think it was a good idea at the time. Because if the motivation was sheer opportunism, opportunities to cheat will come up time and time again. A recipe for repetition. Perhaps the question that really needs answering was what prevented him from simply saying 'no thanks'?

FWIW you can torment yourself trying to work out why and, if there isn't a satisfactory answer, you don't have to keep putting yourself through it.

KingRollo Mon 06-Jan-14 07:12:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 06-Jan-14 07:16:50

I always assumed that people who cheat go to counselling to learn why most people don't cheat ie to learn about the hurt it causes and how to behave with more respect.

I think people cheat are fundamentally selfish people. That's the bit you can address.

kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 08:08:54

Thanks Cogito. I think the reason why he didn't simply say 'no thanks' is going to be as basic as he was drunk and just fancied it. Nothing more. Still inexcusable of course.

If people are fundamentally selfish, can that be addressed? Can something that is fundamentally there be changed?

AnythingNotEverything Mon 06-Jan-14 08:15:33

I think we're all fundamentally selfish. We would behave like toddlers if we didn't learn that it was not socially acceptable!

We learn to take the impact of our actions on others into account.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jan-14 08:22:39

'Addressed' - I think anything can be addressed but ultimately someone's behaviour choices are 100% their own. Choice to get drunk, choice to fancy a shag, choice to say 'yes please'.... choice to present this as the 'it meant nothing' scenario to you. hmm Can it be changed? Of course it can but not by other people saying 'you must change' or presenting reasons for change. Only by the person themselves. Let's face it, if bad habits, impulsiveness, selfishness and similar could be resolved that easily there would be no-one with a smoking problem or a weight problem.

Goes beyond the behaviour, of course, and what you also lose is trust and respect.

MissScatterbrain Mon 06-Jan-14 08:57:31

There are several reasons why people cheat as a way of resolving their own issues e.g a middle aged person who feels that life has passed him by has an affair to boost his ego rather than take up a new hobby. Its even easier if he has been in the habit of being selfish and entitled at home.

Not everyone choose to cheat, and usually the difference is down to personality, values and beliefs.

This is a good article written by Frank Pittman, a leading expert in the field of infidelity

MissScatterbrain Mon 06-Jan-14 09:02:36

And a good book to read if you need to explore what your issues might be is Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends. By not addressing these, the cheater is at risk of being a repeat offender.

It just happened is not a good enough reason - he needs to think about what was in him that made him justify crossing lines? addressing boundaries is also important.

ScottishPies Mon 06-Jan-14 09:11:40

Are you still with your him or did you seperate?

kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 09:53:56

Thanks for the article. You're right he needs to think about what as in him that made him justify crossing the lines. I'm just asking myself, does any of it matter? He still did it whatever the reasons. We have not separated but might be headed that way. I desperately want to move on from this but I just don't know how. I want our life to be together, but will I ever be able to put this to the back of my mind? Will I ever be able to have sex with him again? It's been months and months since it all came out. I'm still so angry.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jan-14 10:02:01

No-one can really answer the last few questions because it's a very personal and individual judgement. Sexual betrayal is extremely upsetting and, as you're discovering, there is a wide gulf between wanting to forgive and move on and being able to do so in practice. No, you can never forget it and put it to the back of your mind. Even people who successfully move on from this kind of thing will tell you that it's always still there - they just find ways of dealing with it.

Angry is a reasonable thing to feel in the circumstances and sometimes, unfortunately, the only way to get past the anger is to get rid of the source.

kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 10:05:51

So I guess I should look at strategies for how to deal with it. It just seems so unfair! Why should I have to adapt? It's like I would be getting punished (by having to 'just deal with it') whilst he goes unpunished. He got to have the sex but also gets to keep the wife and kid. Not that I want to seek out a suitable punishment or revenge, it's just not fair that I should be the one in turmoil.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jan-14 10:19:08

No it isn't fair because what you want... a normal, happy marriage with a faithful husband that you can trust ... has been blown completely out of the water by his behaviour. Your life has changed for ever, it is truly horrible and it is grossly unfair on every single level.

So either you adapt to life as a cheated wife... or.... you adapt to life as an independent woman. There isn't much middle ground here

AnyFucker Mon 06-Jan-14 10:19:34

What has he done to reassure you that the next time he gets drunk and fancies shagging someone else that he won't do it again

The way things seem to be, it looks like he has the green light to do just that

In fact, he probably still has been doing at every opportunity, you just don't know about the others

You don't have to live like this. He's just a man and an unfaithful one. He's no prize to hang onto at the cost of your self respect

shameisapowerfulemotion Mon 06-Jan-14 10:32:03

I had an emotional and semi physical affair 5 years ago. Never shagged but snogged loads. In short I had married for security and not for love and was trying to have an exit affair. I still shudder at it and wonder how it went from making me feel loved to utterly ashamed the moment we were found out.

My marriage is still intact and I have never done anything since. Too scared of feeling as mortified ever again.

MissScatterbrain Mon 06-Jan-14 10:32:13

So he had the affair, was taken back with no consequences and things were swept under the carpet with no effort on his part to fix things, make changes and invest in the marriage?

He should be the one doing all the hard work, not you. No wonder you are still in turmoil and so angry.

Moving on from infidelity is hard and almost impossible if the real issues were not addressed.

MissScatterbrain Mon 06-Jan-14 10:35:27

And he should be the one exploring strategies for his own mess - not you.

If he blames being drunk then he should be looking to give up alcohol.

His response will tell you everything you need to know about how serious he is about his marriage.

Actions speak far louder than words.

bebbeau Mon 06-Jan-14 10:38:40

there are loads of different reasons

i think boredom is a big one (not saying its right though)

kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 10:41:08

He has made attempts to prove he won't do it again. All emails, phone, Facebook etc. is open. He stopped drinking for months. Now he only drinks a couple of beers at home with me on friday/saturday. He basically doesn't go out if I'm not going. Once he went out with his colleagues and he invited his dad. Another time he went out for about 3 hours with a friend who was visiting. That's the only times he's been out (without me) in 8 months.

I'm not really stressing about him doing it again at the moment. What I am stressing about is whether or not we can have any kind of normal life together or is that us done now. I guess I'm clinging to the belief that things will be fine and rosy again one day.

stickysausages Mon 06-Jan-14 10:42:51

Agree the reasons are many. Closer to home, the wife was going through her dad being terminally ill, and had an affair with an older colleague. Sex wasn't the issue, as she was never keen on it. I'm not a psychologist, but it did point to father issues..?

I wonder if boredom is an issue too, feeling taken for granted at home might make outside attention very appealing.

AnyFucker Mon 06-Jan-14 10:44:51

So basically he is staying in so he is never tempted again ?

Hardly a long term realistic strategy is it. No wonder you are unconvinced you have a future with such a man

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jan-14 10:52:53

"What I am stressing about is whether or not we can have any kind of normal life together or is that us done now. "

Give it enough time and anyone can get used to anything. But this is your 'normal' for the next few years... angry, resentful, feelings of injustice... and that's quite a stressful prospect. That he is outwardly doing all the right things does not change any of that. This... as the man with the red book used to say ... is your life. Is it what you want?

MissScatterbrain Mon 06-Jan-14 10:59:26

Boredom can be an issue but there are better ways of addressing this than shagging someone else.

Basically whatever the issue is, its their responsibility to address it in a way that does not involve cheating - even if it means ending the marriage.

Back to OP - does not sound like much of a life, making him stay in for the rest of his life.

kittenzzz Mon 06-Jan-14 10:59:38

Well the staying in was to help with cutting back drinking. Now we have a baby so neither of us would really be going out much anyway. I just don't know if it's time to call it a day. We could try work it out but is that delaying the inevitable? We'll end up splitting because of this eventually? So best do it sooner rather than later? Aargh I just don't know. We're going to talk about it soon. I don't know what to say.

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