Mike Russell | Staff Writer
My editor asked me to write an article about why men cheat, but that is a just a cliché propagated by Lifetime movies about infallible girlfriends who are heartbroken by their scumbag boyfriends.
“Of course Johnny cheated on you,” Susie’s girlfriend says to her. “He’s a man.” Plain and simple, right?
But hold up, I told my editor. Men aren’t the only gender doing the cheating; women cheat just as much as men do. So with all due respect to my editor, I will change my focus to include both men and women cheaters, both of which are responsible for all the broken hearts on dance room floors. (I’m sorry, that was corny, but we are (supposedly) talking about love, which always demands a little bit of corniness.)
So why do we, as human beings in romantic relationships with one another, feel the urge to cheat? Maybe it’s because one of the partners is unhappy in the relationship. This would seem like the easiest answer to grasp. The cheating partner may be angry at their partner and cheat to get some sort of revenge on him. Or, perhaps, the cheating partner is no longer digging their once-lover and seeks to get out of the relationship but cannot bring themselves to exit the relationship cleanly. Some habitual cheaters may also find that they have problems with emotional intimacy, which is not a reflection on either partner, but is something for which the cheating partner may want to seek professional help.
Yet still, some cheaters do their deed, but still love their partner. They cheat and then seek reconciliation with their lover. This is a more complex case. Perhaps the cheating partner was at a club, with a few too many drinks in him or her and too many beautiful men or women just a little too close. In the heat of the moment, we all lose ourselves from time to time. In this case, cheating may come from a simple weakness of will.
Sometimes, cheating can even be the mark of a deeper problem in a relationship. A lack of proper communication between partners can lead to the anger or unhappiness that I talked about earlier. When a couple stops communicating efficiently, resent and ennui can develop in a relationship, which can drive a partner to cheat. In this case, cheating is not the failure of either individual in the relationship, but rather a failure as a couple to communicate openly and efficiently.
Of course there is another, more basic option. Some people may just not be ready or even desire a monogamous relationship. The idea of monogamy has been shoved down our throats since our Christian forefathers took this fine country from the natives. But the history of humankind is full of instances of polygamous relationships. Some habitual cheaters may realize, upon proper introspection, that they simply do not want a monogamous relationship.
But these aren’t the answers you’re looking for, are they? Sure, they may seem reasonable, but the implication of all of them is that both partners have to do some real, hard work in their relationship with each other. And let’s face it: that’s hard and somewhat annoying.
So to those of us who find working on our relationships a bother, allow me to offer you a convenient reason for why your partner has cheated on you: he/she is a scumbag. He obviously doesn’t care about you and only wants to bang as many chicks/dudes as he/she can. Don’t worry girlfriend/bro, you’ll find someone better. A tall, dark, and handsome doctor or lawyer, perhaps. Yeah, that’s the key to happiness right there.