Why do people cheat?
When we think of cheating there are different levels we can go to. Our mind will usually go in at the highest level and think of an affair. However, cheating occurs to all of us a lot more often than that. A lot of us cheat ourselves every day, by giving up on a new commitment we made such as to begin a diet, or to remain No Contact with someone who is toxic to us. When we start to cheat ourselves we subconsciously begin to have less respect for who we are, which means we have less respect for others too.
“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”
As an adult one of the rarest traits people seem to have (especially in these modern times) is to be committed, loyal and faithful. The reason it is rare to find people like this, is because to be all those things involves CONTINUOUS HARD WORK. Why do you think so many people buy Slim Fast shakes over hitting the gym? Or struggle with a lack of intimacy in their marriage so have an affair with someone they work with? Because it is EASIER than facing the real problem and putting in the WORK to fix it.
None of us like real problems, dealing with reality is not fun – and adulthood is full of so many un-fun (it’s a word,
okay it’s not) things, that sometimes we want to escape from that. Cheating in any form is like procrastination: it is putting off the REAL issue because we just don’t want to own up to the fact it’s there. Maybe you’re cheating and just continue on that slippery path because it’s easier than confronting the fact that your marriage is dead. Humans like the easy life and commonly we believe an easy life involves putting sh*t off. We also think an easy life involves masking pain – usually with negative distractions such as sex, alcohol, drugs…because it seems easier than dealing with reality. This is by no means justifying that cheating is excusable, and as I said earlier, it could be you cheating yourself or on another person – neither is okay.
What we need to take from being cheated on is that it’s NOT about you. Even if you have been in a stagnant marriage for 30+ years, and you all of a sudden find out your husband cheats – it’s very easy to blame yourself for that. You can say that you should have put in more effort in with your marriage, that you should have had sex more, had more date nights or whatever the reasons are. The truth is that you cannot control another human being and their actions. You cannot make someone commit or remain committed forever – that is on THEM. Just like that diet or fitness plan you wanted to do is on YOU. If tomorrow you decided you wanted to lost 30lb, and then 3 weeks later you gave up your diet and turned around and blamed your boyfriend because he kept buying delicious food – does that make sense to blame him?
Commitment is a mindset that needs regular refreshing. It’s a bit like watching an online auction and towards the end there could be last minute bids that you’re unaware of, so you refresh constantly to make sure you’re still in the running. Being committed is about regularly reminding yourself of your ACTIONS and being ACCOUNTABLE for them. If you find yourself going into emotional affair territory with a colleague, it’s time to reset your boundaries and remind yourself of your commitments. However, you can only do this for you, it’s impossible to make someone do this.
What I will say is that when you regularly reflect on and re-commit to your commitments, you have a lot less tolerance for people who don’t. It will be a lot easier in dating but also in general life, to walk away from people who don’t share your values. You will then begin to attract people who are also loyal, faithful and committed because like attracts like. If you find yourself returning to a toxic guy who cheats on you, that is because you are not facing your reality: That you need to walk away and find better. Because it is EASIER to stay with this loser than find someone deserving – as that takes time, heartache and effort. If you are cheating in any form, again you just don’t want to face the reality of your situation.
The best thing about commitment in any form, is that it breeds self esteem. I have been doing a fitness app called Couch to 5k for 5 weeks now, and the fact I have committed to and continued to work on my fitness helps me believe in me. It gives me a level of respect for myself that I have accomplished something. Even if you find someone cheats on you, remember that if you were committed to them then have the respect for yourself for being that wonderful committed person. Again, you did nothing wrong.
What are you cheating on in your life right now? Leave a comment below and make sure you follow me on Instagram and Facebook for regular updates.