Why Do People Cheat? A Look Into Reddit's Adultery Forum

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In mainstream society, love is defined by a number of different things. It’s defined as a special bond between two people that involves emotion, experience, understanding, and trust.

When we love someone, we trust that person to do right by us and to be there with us. We define love by honesty, but sadly, honesty isn’t always that easy to find.

Affairs are breaches of the very honesty we expect from our partners — and as such, we as a society rightfully see affairs as bad. They fly in the face of everything that love and commitment stand for.

Out in one corner of Reddit appears to be such a cabal. In the forum known as r/adultery, people stop thinking about the promises they made to their spouses and start talking about how cheating as a lifestyle choice.

Here, cheating partners gush about affair partners while praising one another for keeping things a secret.

RELATED: 47 Hilarious Memes That Capture Just How Bad Cheating Sucks

What is Reddit Adultery?

Reddit is a social media platform that allows users to discuss content on forums with one another.

A quick look at Reddit’s adultery forum will lead you to a lot of different topics. Many of them involve advice on how to convince someone to be a sidepiece or how to avoid falling in love with an affair partner. 

While all adultery is cheating, not all cheating is adultery because adultery exclusively refers to married couples.

I decided that it was time to take a closer look at how deep the cheating subreddit rabbit hole goes and find out why people cheat, according to Reddit.

By now, many people are probably wondering how people can be so chill with cheating on their partners. After all, it’s clear that they know they’re wrong. 

However, there’s something to be said about cognitive dissonance. People who are in the wrong very rarely will openly admit what they’re doing is unethical or wrong.

In r/adultery, the name of the game is denial — or justification. Almost every post will have at least one comment that suggests that a cheater is justified, and scarily, there are some pretty valid arguments at times.

Here are some of the Reddit adultery confessions about why people cheat.

While many will say that the affair is somehow helping their family life or spouses, others are more about the “levels of cheating.” Even more mention the fact that they know they’re in the wrong, but the loss they’d incur from the breakup makes it the only viable option for them.

For some, though, the guilt seems to be very real... sort of.

One theme that you’ll see pretty frequently on this board is how much they wish their affair partner would have been the person they married.

Sometimes, it’s accompanied by how bad their marriages are, or why they’re dissatisfied with their current partners. It's downright heartbreaking at times.

In almost any other circle, people who would hear these quotes would think they are talking to an excited high schooler who just asked a girl out on a date for the first time.

However, it’s not two kids talking; it’s married people discussing the enjoyment they’re getting from cheating on their partner.

When you’re reading these confessions, it’s so hard to remember what they’re doing is wrong... until you hear people mention skills for keeping spouses unaware, talking about how their spouses never care and then discuss why it’s okay to cheat rather than break up.

1. They're in a sexless marriage.

“In a dead bedroom for a few years now. Working on improving things with my wife. I subscribed for a dating site and within a week I was hitting it off with a nice woman I met on there.” —​Fwf84​

“I get the affection, but not the sex. So now, I don’t want the affection either. It’s a hollow replacement for passion, desire, and intimacy.” —​lolachica​

2. They're no longer attracted to their partner.

“Yes I do think of him, in the sense that more and more I feel guilty for cheating on him. Sex with my husband is no chore; he's very good, I just don't want to. I find myself increasingly unsatisfied with the experience and crave the things the boyfriend does and says.” —​Stillfeellikehisgirl​

3. They feel their lives are missing something. 

“And those of us who've found their match, those with that emotional bond, we allow our minds to wander. What would things be like if we'd met just a few years earlier? What would things be like if our partners weren't in the picture? What would life be like if we were free? Many of us end up grieving a life that we never had, a life that will never be. It can be exhausting maintaining a relationship with a firm foundation but no walls. Because those foundations may be strong enough to withstand a powerful earthquake, they may stay firm despite storms and fires and destruction, but foundations alone can never be a home.” —​ohtinystargazer

4. They want to be wanted.

"Because we want to be wanted. Because we want to have sex with people who want to have sex with us. Not "willing to". Not "will". Not "have to". Not "duty". Not "obligation". Want. WANT. Pure desire." — Her_man24601

A lot of cheaters feel as though they're not being desired by their partners, which is why they turn to someone else. 

5. They feel trapped.

"Because you work a stressful job so she can stay home and raise your child, then give her a spa day and reserve a fancy dinner date, thinking you're both going to relax and have a great time. But she complains about the spa service, about the place you reserved not being great, AND later on even complains about the way you drive on the way home. So you both get home, brush your teeth and go to bed neglected, misunderstood, and utterly hopeless. So why do people have affairs? because they feel hopelessly entrapped into something they did not sign up for. I say entrapped because it's not often easy or viable to separate; all things considered, you float on and hope things will get better. Sometimes they do sometimes they don't." — thisastears

RELATED: 'Why I Cheated' — 5 Brave People Reveal The Real Reason They Strayed

The r/adultery page also has a tips and advice subreddit for those looking to cheat.

For those of us who don’t stray, what really sets aside Reddit’s r/adultery and r/infidelity from other forums is the sheer amount of advice given to people who are pursuing an affair.

The “rules” are laid out in plain English, warning others to avoid getting emotionally attached and to keep mum about it to everyone but fellow r/adultery members.

Don't judge.

The denial is strong here.

Don't tell anyone.

"Your closest allies will turn on you once you are branded a cheater. Tell no one in your real life, ever." — alwayswandering__


"Assume your adultress persona only when you arrive to meet your AP (affair partner). Check your real-life persona at the door. Other than those few seconds when you swap personas, never the twain shall meet." — CuriousMDThrowaway

What are the signs of adultery?

After seeing that places like this exist on the internet, it's normal to wonder if it's happening in your relationship. The signs of adultery are not always as easy to spot as you might think. 

1. Your partner is suddenly on their phone all of the time.

2. Your partner is very private about who they are texting and calling.

3. Your partner starts to travel a lot for work all of the sudden.

4. Your partner makes up odd and inconsistent excuses about where they are going, who they are seeing, and what they are doing.

5. Your partner has uncontrollable mood swings. 

RELATED: Cheating Is Always A Choice