I’ve found a lack of understanding cheaters with perpetuated blind notions of, “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” That quote comes from vengeance, a poison of understanding relationships & the fallen lover. Cheating is messed up, no doubt, but something to understand so healing can happen for the one who stepped out of the relationship, not just the cheated on.
There are a lot of reasons cheating happens. It ranges from a selfish narcissist’s need to dominate multiple partners sexually to feeling unlovable. We’re going to look through the range to understand the different types of infidelity. Most of these could have been avoided with some serious talks with your lover and work on the relationship, but some are rooted in something much deeper that is out of our awareness.
This is the one that’s quoted the most and I’ve seen to be the rarest. This is the woman or man who is out for conquest and to fulfill their quota of sex. There’s a desperate need being sought for, but far from the person’s conscious which makes it far from being worked on. If you find yourself in a relationship with this type of person and they’ve cheated on you, it’s the last sign you need to see to get you moving out of the relationship.
Finding texts or messages between your lover and another person that clearly show they’ve slept together is devastating. One of the ways to deal with those feelings is to not work through them, but to go and cheat yourself. Looks like the relationship is over and that the relationship was having a whole lot of problems before this. Why did it come to mutual cheating?
Sexual Expectations Didn’t Match Up
This happens in relationships of all lengths. Some people really crave sex every day where some only crave it once a week. There’s no right or wrong amount of sex per week, but you have to make sure you’re with a lover that wants a similar amount of sex. If cheating happens because of this there was a lack of communication about this, one partner desperately ignoring the other’s wants or someone in the relationship is being silent about their needs.
Not Expressing Your Sexual Desires
Being silent about your sexual desires to your lover is one way to break intimacy with them and push them away. What’s going on that there’s an insecure or fearful feeling happening when you think about telling your lover those cravings? When infidelity happens here it’s because of a lack of communication again.
Lack of Sex
When a relationship lacks sex, the whole relationship is severely broken or done. Infidelity can happen here because both lovers have checked out of the relationship and are looking for the love they desire outside the relationship. Sometimes you just need to break up or divorce if there is no relationship. This can be complicated because of finances and obligations, but then you have to choose how you’re going to live your life.
Lack of Emotional Intimacy
Infidelity can occur because there is no more emotional intimacy in the relationship. The lover doesn’t feel appreciated. They’re ignored while the other lover is out working on a career or hobby or is just “busy” which brews loneliness and resentment. When the lover is there, the lover doesn’t feel desired. There’s no deep talking anymore, no curiosity penetrating the relationship, no eye contact, no hand holding and the sex is empty. There’s this idea that we can live without intimacy, but it’s known that we can’t. We understand that we will physically die without nutrients, but the lack of intimacy is just as deadly to life. When we become desperately unhappy, we will desperately find what we need to live.
This is where we start stepping away from the ideas of pure pleasure seeking and problems in the relationship to deep conflicts inside one’s soul and sense of self. Those who come across this scenario and don’t know how to understand or don’t want to understand will say that this person, “Cheated for no reason.” There’s always a reason.
I remember the first time I understood how feeling perpetually unloved can bring about extreme action. There was a woman I knew who was just beat down her whole life by her parents and family. She was never good enough, her grades were never good enough, she was never pretty enough, she did nothing right. A life time of emotional messages of being useless, unworthy and unlovable followed her her whole life.
She grew up into a smart woman that struggled with insecurities. She bounced from boyfriend to boyfriend in her 20s and was considered to have a phobia to commitment. She did get married, which she mentioned was out of severe desperation, and worked hard in her professional life.
She was married for a few years and her marriage was pretty sexless, but she knew she had a part in creating that sexlessness. It wasn’t just because they both were busy. Even with this understanding she would get furious with her husband and tell him that he didn’t care about her and became jealous at things she knew she had no reason to, but couldn’t stop herself from acting that way. With many emotions occurring, she found herself having an affair with a man who ignited her intellectual brain and met her emotionally starved heart.
She got herself help and cut off the affair not long after it started. We unfortunately will realize that when we get what we think we want, it actually wasn’t what we wanted. What we believe we want is covering up our true desire. What was her desire though? Why did this happen?
Through much pain, many tears and hard rebuilding and exploration of her life, she realized she was chasing the feeling of being lovable. She had been given the message from utero that she wasn’t loveable, that she was defected. She cheated for two reasons. The more obvious one is that she was getting her emotional needs met from someone other than her spouse. This takes into account the two lovers existing in the relationship. What’s missing though?
Each lover also exists outside of the relationship as their own closed system person. This seems to always be forgotten. Through the healing process she realized that she also cheated because she was unknowingly, unconsciously, invested in the idea that she was unlovable, no good and unworthy of anyone’s love and she could prove it by cheating. She had looked back to her prior relationships and realized that most of the time she did things to make her lovers leave her which reinforced this unconscious feeling. She forgave herself for what she did, reconciled with herself, and started making changes to nurture the idea that she is worthy of love, not nurture the idea that she is unlovable. This drastically remodeled her life and identity for the better.
Being Set Free from Guilt
There are those who we won’t feel any empathy for when they cheat and they deserve no empathy. But, when we start to explore and understand what’s going on, we can have empathy for the pain in their lives that continued to breed pain in their present life. If you’ve cheated, you have to let yourself understand why it happened and work through the mess of it all. “Once a cheater, always a cheater,” is bullshit. A relationship may be lost or possibly reconciliation can happen for the two lovers. But for the lover who cheated, you can be set free of that cheating. It’s not what defines you and those messages that can drive you into madness and destructive acts can be soothed and replaced with love and understanding. When feeling eternally doomed to be seen as a cheater you’re nurturing the negative ideas that you’re unlovable, not nurturing the truth that you are lovable and worthy.
Finding the truth in yourself is what healing is. We, because of the infinite experiences in our lives, end up having these negative messages about ourselves we believe and nurture unconsciously. We’re not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not lovely. There are so many untruths we feel, believe and invest in. These untruths are the major blocks to recovery. In healing, you have to find, hear, understand and accept the truth. You really messed up, but you are also lovely, worthy of being loved and invest in those truths. When you can trust & love yourself, even if it’s for the first time, you can trust & love another person, while letting them love & trust you. When love is freely given and received in a relationship, there is no need or push to look elsewhere.
hare and follow me here at AdamAyala.org & on my podcast Fix Your Fate if you found this information helpful. I blog and podcast weekly on relationships and am also available for individual in person sessions. Take care and keep asking the right questions about your love life.