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Why people cheat.

(45 Posts)
Marryoneorbecomeone Wed 06-Jan-16 13:19:02

I love a bit of TED and tripped over this last night. My ex cheated on me, and I found the perspective in this quite interesting.

https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_rethinking_infidelity_a_talk_for_anyone_who_has_ever_loved

Saggingninja Wed 06-Jan-16 13:21:01

Thanks for this Marry. I'm currently dealing with the distinct possibility that my DP is or has been fucking my friend and I love TED too so will look. x

Marryoneorbecomeone Wed 06-Jan-16 13:33:25

I saw your thread. brew
That all sounds very hard, I hope you get some answers.

jillyarmeen16 Wed 06-Jan-16 16:06:58

Link doesn't work what does she say??
My theory is lying cheats will lie and cheat if they think they will get away with it. Is there more to it?
Just found out my dp is a lying cheat. He's greedy weak and stupid I'm not ready to hear there might be more to it than that or this is in anyway my fault.

Thethingswedoforlove Wed 06-Jan-16 16:23:24

I think sometimes people are weak and get tempted. I have never cheated and neither has my dh. So maybe I am just not qualified to comment: but I think the meaning read into it and the vitriol associated with it on mn are not always justified. sometimes people just make mistakes they bitterly regret. Others fall in love with someone outside their relationship and act before they have properly exited their relationship.

cupcakesandwine Wed 06-Jan-16 16:37:15

That all sounds quite harmless Thethings but in reality infidelity rips families apart in the most agonising gut wrenching way. The innocent victims of it learn to carry on, but life is never the same again once you really understand that the closest person to you not only betrayed you, but enjoyed doing so.

I'm sure my exH cheated because he loved the novelty and the ego rush of having a new woman (or women in his case).

Does his pleasure excuse his lying to me for the whole of my adult life and the impact on our children who he professed to love? One of my DC says that she will always remember that it is better in life to be the cheater than the cheated. The others are adamant that they will never have a relationship and in one case at least I'm pretty sure that is true.

I don't really care whether he did it because he was weak or because he had not properly "exited our relationship" (he could have gone at any time just by saying that he wanted to go, I wouldn't have stopped him because I do understand that love can wither away over time. I will just never understand how you can feel so entitled that you feel able to cheat). I do believe you judge someone by their actions because that is how they tell you who they really are.

Marryoneorbecomeone Wed 06-Jan-16 16:42:43

www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_rethinking_infidelity_a_talk_for_anyone_who_has_ever_loved

Marryoneorbecomeone Wed 06-Jan-16 16:45:04

The thrust of her v excellent talk is that our expectations of marriage and our partners have changed massively. And that those that stray may do so because the Other represents something important for them - youth recaptured, the person that they might have been etc, rather than a perceived failing in the betrayed spouse.

jillyarmeen16 Wed 06-Jan-16 18:00:37

I don't think my expectations were out of the ordinary or high. Honesty and respect is the basic really.
All that lost youth bollocks is about ego and entitlement. He could have left without making a dick out of himself and a victim of me.

SoupDragon Wed 06-Jan-16 18:09:39

People cheat because they are self centred wankers.

Heatherplant Wed 06-Jan-16 18:17:11

Lying toad meets fellow lying toad and the 'magic' happens. It causes horrible feelings for years and years afterwards for many parties, not just the immediate couple and is generally a nasty thing to do. Not sure TED will convince me otherwise but will have a look.

Saggingninja Wed 06-Jan-16 18:20:34

It's an excellent talk. And it doesn't make excuses but puts the cheater's behaviour in context.

areyoubeingserviced Wed 06-Jan-16 18:24:04

They want to , that's why
It is a myth that only unhappy men cheat.
They can have the whole world, but they still cheat

Thethingswedoforlove Wed 06-Jan-16 18:28:13

I will look at the ted talk too
I wasn't trying to excuse the actions or minimise the impact of it. I just think people do it sometimes without having thought the consequences through.

Nepotism Wed 06-Jan-16 18:28:13

And presumably women, too.....

LovesPeace Wed 06-Jan-16 19:31:56

At the end, she says most of us have two or three relationships, and we may have two with the same person, if we decide to rebuild.

But - why would you? I would rather take my chances with a new partner, than someone with 100% record of being a lying cheat.

Lurkedforever1 Wed 06-Jan-16 19:36:10

Because they are weak minded and pathetic. Nothing wrong with having a wake up moment and realising you're with the wrong person, but it's spineless not to just tell them and move on.

Marryoneorbecomeone Wed 06-Jan-16 19:55:55

But that misses the point of the talk. People don't cheat because they want a new partner or are totally fed up with the old one. They cheat because the affair partner represents something else.
If it was as simple as anyone who cheats then leaves their partner for the new person then all would be a lot simpler but it isn't, is it? And she makes the point too that the betrayals in couples are not always sexual - you can betray your marriage by being neglectful, or contemptuous, or prioritising something else, but society says that sexual betrayal is FAR worse. She says it isn't, not necessarily.

Bobblehat10 Wed 06-Jan-16 20:17:45

Marry, you are wasting your time here. you might as well put your fingers in the blender - it will be more fun and productive. It suits the MN collective to (believe / assume / suit their narrative) that all men who cheat are complete twats, utter cunts, and do so because they are weak willed, stupid, entitled (etc etc etc).
We are all human, and the reasons for adultery are varied - so it's interesting to hear some insightful comments into this behaviour. But this 'aint the place for those comments.
The thing I wonder though - off all the people who post on here regarding their cheating spouse, do you think all of them were fuckwits - every single one?

jillyarmeen16 Wed 06-Jan-16 20:24:52

No bobble I'm sure most of them are lovely guys hmm
There will always be temptations or things in a relationship that aren't quite right. But if you make a commitment to someone you should honour that or walk away. To lie to your partners face, the one you are supposed to love and protect, to deceive them again and again is the ultimate betrayal and so disrespectful.

Lurkedforever1 Wed 06-Jan-16 20:25:11

mary I agree with you, but my thoughts stand for whatever form/ reasons/ outcome the cheating is. It's just weak not to face up to it and tell the other person. And my view isn't because I'm bitter, I've never been cheated on, nor have I picked up the pieces of a close friend being cheated on. It's just my opinion that abuse/ mh aside, not being honest in a relationship is spineless.

viridus Wed 06-Jan-16 20:46:53

The cheater has plenty of opportunity to first finish with their partner before starting the new relationship. These affairs happen over some time.
So there is ample time to sort out what they want, and who they want.
With cheaters they seem to want their fingers in all the pies, and another thing they do is compartmentalise.
What I find shocking is how they ignore the damage they cause.

SoupDragon Wed 06-Jan-16 20:54:18

It is perhaps not unnatural to want to cheat for whatever reason. However, to actually do it, one must be a selfish, self-centred wanker.

Saggingninja Wed 06-Jan-16 21:47:49

Marry I found it very interesting and despite my fog of ragey pain, understand what she is saying - that the 'other' represents something. In my partner's case I expect it was a combination of the sheer forbidden(ness?) of shagging his partner's close friend/power trip, plus his own fears of getting old and less 'potent'. He is older than me and has a significant birthday coming up.

He said that he cheated in his previous marriage because his wife was 'coldly indifferent and unaffectionate to him' and 'permanently in a bad mood'. Maybe she was. But maybe she was in a bad mood because he was busy fucking other women throughout his marriage. Oh and she didn't have sex with him either.

I had sex with him a lot and the spunktrumpet still cheated on me.

Probably better not to watch this on the very day I find out my DP has betrayed me with a friend.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Wed 06-Jan-16 22:20:34

Having read "The Chimp Paradox" I believe that people cheat because the part of their brain that wants sex and excitement is not the same part that wants a loving stable home.

The two just don't link up and the rational 'human' side of the brain can't compete with the 'chimp's strong desires and 'needs', so people who have an otherwise happy life just don't have the mental capacity in that moment to step away from temptation. The chimp is selfish and immature and will justify it's actions to try and make sense of them.

We all have a chimp and I think we are all capable of cheating, but most of us allow our sensible rational human to intervene and prevent it from happening, whereas the cheats allow the chimp to take control and block out the voice of reason. When you wonder how they could possibly throw away their home and family life, hurt their partner and children, it's because the part of them that values those things is not the same as the part that cheats.

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