Why People Cheat Instead of Walking Away
This article was written by Lynn Joseph on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
That’s the age old question that everybody wants to know. The answer is simple, really. Everybody wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. But nobody wants to listen to the real answer that you just read. Everyone wants to matter. Everyone wants to be enough.
The thing is, everyone shows their love and receives love in different ways, which is why it’s so important to understand what each other’s love languages are and respect that. Because the way that you receive love may not be the way that someone else receives love. Which means that the way that you give love needs to be expanded. Love is not easy. Love is blood and sweat and tears. Love is accommodating for someone else and being selfless enough to love harder than we’ve ever loved before or been loved before.
If your love language is quality time and someone’s love language is receiving gifts, the person that you love may not appreciate going out to a basketball game with you as much as they’d like simply getting an autographed basketball or jersey. It’s not about the autograph, it’s about the time and effort you put into going out of your way to track down notable memorabilia from their favorite athlete. It’s about knowing that they even love sports and who their favorite athlete is. It’s about paying attention and listening. People’s wires cross all of the time because they do not understand the give and take of love languages. Love is learning how to live beyond yourself and see the world and interact with the world beyond your singular experience. You get to partner with someone else on that journey if you so choose to.
Miscommunication is a big factor in infidelity. Being absentminded and/or physically absent for periods of time can also be a major factor. There are many factors. It all comes down to not being appreciated and loved in a way that we should be. It comes down to not respecting the space between the people in the relationship and all that encompasses that space. When that space is threatened, even by you yourself, it’s still yours. It’s still a comfort so it may not be something that you’re willing to leave.
Sure, once someone has been cheated on and this truth bomb comes to light, many people often want to show those who have been unfaithful exactly how they were made to feel and so they too, cheat or betray, in secret or out in the open. But that’s not everybody’s situation. Whether or not this second infidelity takes place, some people may not feel that it is necessary to leave and start over completely. Why ruin a good thing when you have built so much together and what’s present now is under construction?
For some people, their relationship is worth fighting for. For others, it is not. It is condemned. Once a cheater, always a cheater. You’ve heard the saying. I personally do not believe in this saying because it might as well be saying once a failure, always a failure. This couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. The truth is, if a relationship goes on long enough, there will be a crisis. There may be a number of them. These come in all shapes and sizes and more often than not, cannot be predicted. To think that there won’t be a crisis along the way is to go into a romantic relationship with a very naive set of eyes and perhaps you’re not ready to be in a relationship if that is the case.
But I have found that we are meant to create. We are all artists. We continue to create beauty in our relationships as long as both parties are willing to put that paintbrush to the easel. Everyone will give you advice but you are the one who knows what is best. You may know the colors that need to be on your easel, you may not. But you certainly know the colors that will absolutely not work. That is allowing someone else to take a small part of you when they already made a covenant with someone else to give each other their all. We are all responsible for ourselves, so whether or not they are doing what they need to do in a relationship does not give us permission to act up. If you want to move past infidelity, you have to be willing to put in the work.
I have found that there are six important foundations of a relationship; Trust, respect, consistency, communication, loyalty, and sacrifice. All of these factors build up a solid relationship as one unit. All of these factors are pillars. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and it’s not up to our partner to do the work for us. They have their own work to do. We grow as individuals just as much as we grow together and we don’t want to build resentment because our partner is unconsciously asking us to do their individual work. That is an impossible task.
Being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to these pillars and being willing to learn and grow and not settle is what will help you move forward in relationships. You can move past infidelity. Not everyone is willing to and that’s perfectly okay. Everyone has different boundaries. But if you are staying in the relationship because you know that it can work, this way of thinking must be clear. It can work if you don’t do the work that your partner needs to do on their own. They have to be willing to do that work. You cannot force them to be. Some people don’t want to renovate an entire house. But if you’re faced with that truth and reach a standstill, that’s a truth that must be accepted.
Perhaps the book on this relationship may have come to a close. Perhaps you’re in the murky middle and you both need some time apart before you can come back together. Everyone has a past that they need to go to therapy for. Everyone has emotions and thoughts that need to be ironed out. So it’s not a one size fits all this is why you need to stay or go. But being comfortable or being afraid to take the next step, which might very well be on your own, can equate to being stagnant at a certain point. Do not get stuck by complacency or fear. There is so much more to your life and your relationships if you’re willing to take some time to get to know yourself and your partner, and check in with them regarding the vision for your life together. Communicate. Be there in both mind and body.
Take a break if you need to. Leave completely if you need to. You know your worth so take the plunge and fight for that to come to fruition rather than escaping into a momentary high of that glory. You’re worth it and so is your relationship.
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