The Real Reason(s) People Cheat


The Real Reason(s) People Cheat
Spoiler Alert: It's NOT about sex!

With Tori Spelling's new reality show premiering in just a few days, the internet is buzzing once again about Dean McDermott's infidelity. The Lifetime series is sure to show Tori acknowledging, and dealing with, her husband's affair — I'm guessing, ultimately, viewers will watch as she decides whether or not her marriage is 90210ver.

I feel for Tori, I really do, I even have a "Donna Martin Graduates" t-shirt buried somewhere in my bedroom closet. But I kind of have to wonder how Dean's affair could really come as that big of a surprise... Tori and her husband originally got together while they were both married to other people. Hence, Dean has a history of a wandering eye, and, apparently, a wandering penis.

Now, I don't know Tori personally… a restraining order prevented that. Yet, she seems like a cool girl. She is obviously successful, an attentive mother, funny, exciting, and good-looking. She seems like the type of girl many guys would be more than happy to be faithful to for the entirety of their lives. Thus, I can't help but wonder why Dean would risk hurting his wife, ruining is already shaky reputation, and alienating his family for a little roll in the hay.

Perhaps the proverbial hay is magical, giving him eternal powers or making him the second most interesting man in the world (second to the Dos Equis guy, naturally). Or, is it something much simpler?

Is it that cheating isn't always about sex? Instead, could it be that cheating is often about……

Emotional Dissatisfaction

M. Gary Neuman, a marriage counselor, rabbi, and psychotherapist, revealed many secrets about infidelity while researching his book, The Truth About Cheating. One interesting thing he uncovered was that nearly half of men who cheat — 48 percent — do it because of emotional dissatisfaction.


People who hang around others who cheat are much more likely to become cheaters themselves. Perhaps this is due to the age old concept of peer pressure — "VD! All the cool kids are getting it!" — but, it more likely has to do with the concept of normalcy. When you surround yourself with friends who cheat, it becomes acceptable. You no longer view it as wrong, hurtful, or immoral and so, you find yourself more likely to do it.


Another common reason people tend to cheat is for revenge: they see it as "tit for tat" — if you cheat on your husband, he gets to cheat on you. Of course, revenge doesn't always have to be about an actual affair: a husband may cheat because his wife has been platonically hanging out with a new man, because his wife spends all her time with her friends, or because his wife uses sex as a weapon.

The relationship is over

In a perfect world relationships would be forever (and tacos would fall from the sky). Yet, we all know this doesn't happen; some relationships go the course, others succumb to the obstacles. For some cheaters, they view their relationship as the latter: a union that is all but over.

Even when two people are physically together — they live together, they are legally married, they discuss paying bills and picking up the kids from dance class — the root of their relationship, the love and passion, may have left long ago. This allows some cheaters, claiming that their relationship is dead, to view infidelity as something that isn't wrong; merely, it's something that is to be expected.


Technology makes it easier for people to cheat:'s tagline may as well read "Lighting a fire under infidelity since 1995." This is because online dating allows you to start an affair — albeit an emotional one — from the comfort of your computer desk. But, this isn't the only way technology aids in cheating.

A survey conducted Victoria Milan — a website purely devoted to helping people stray from monotonous relationships — found that 45 percent of people cheated because of their partner spending too much time on tablets and smartphones. In other words, your partner might have an affair with someone else, if you're having one with Siri.

In the end, people cheat for all sorts of reasons, but very few of them are physical ones. Infidelity isn't a sign of being a "horn dog" or a "sex fiend." Rather, it's a sign of being involved in a relationship that — in some way or another — is dangerously damaged. Dangerously damaged, but rarely irreparable.

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Michael Griswold

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