The 2 Main Reasons People Cheat (Over And Over Again)

Here's why chronic cheaters are the way they are.

Last updated on Nov 27, 2023

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You're in a relationship with a guy. You're falling for him and then... he cheats. You're hurt and you're devastated. You confront him about it and he comes up with an explanation. He'll never do it again. It was a one-night thing that just happened. He couldn't control himself. She was an ex; she was in town; she knew the right buttons to push.

It doesn't matter how many excuses he comes up with, he's likely going to try to sell you back into the relationship and sell you back into this never happening again. Some men may be honest in their intentions, others may not. 


But here's the thing: did you pre-qualify him? Did you find out about his relationship history? Did you even ask him if he's ever cheated before? 

If not, this is the time to do it, to communicate honestly about the past so you can try to "predict" the future. 



RELATED: 4 Little Things Women Do That Men Count As Cheating


Here are two reasons (of many) that explain why some people cheat over and over again:

1. Some cheat because they don't get what they need emotionally or physically

Often, these people don't have the guts to go and break up that relationship and don't have the skills to communicate clearly what's going wrong. 

In this case, we cheat because we're too afraid that our truth going to hurt the other person, or we're too afraid to leave a relationship.



2. A few people may cheat because it's like a sport that they enjoy

For a very small number of people, cheating is "fun". We probably used to steal things at the toy and party store when we were growing up. We probably liked to go into the grocery store and steal a loaf of bread, even though our mom gave us money for it.


Often, chronic cheaters will always blame other people for their cheating. But in reality, they do it because they enjoy it.

How to help prevent being cheated on by people who cheat for these reasons

So what you need to do when you're dating a man is to pre-qualify his history. You need to literally ask him if he cheats and listen to what his answers are. 

If he's blaming all the relationships, then chances are he is just a cheater. If he cheated once, he probably did it just one time because he was emotionally hurt and distressed. And if you buy his story (and it's a real story), and he's looking you straight in the eyes when he tells you why he cheated, then he's somebody who probably did it because he wasn't happy.

A cheater who cheats regularly won't even look you in the eyes when he tells you why he cheated.


He's going to look all over the place because he doesn't really believe the story he's telling you. If his story is really slick and well thought-out, he's probably a chronic cheater. It's all about eye contact.

Look, I've cheated on somebody before. I'm going to give you my reason right here: I wasn't really happy. I wasn't that attracted to her. I didn't feel the desire with her. I didn't feel a lot of things that I really wanted in that relationship.

Here's the truth: I never should have cheated on her; I should have broken up with her. I should have not cheated, and when I tell that story to somebody that I'm dating, I tell the truth. I was being a coward and I didn't break up with her. I tell the truth that I knew all along she couldn't satisfy me.

RELATED: Why Guys Don't Tell Their Friends When They Cheat


And she's not the only one that I've ever cheated on. Every time I meet a friend of mine who's a chronic cheater, he's always got a reason behind it, not his partner.

But, the real reason he always gives his male friends is that he's just not a monogamous guy. But guys who feel they're not monogamous and still get into monogamous relationships are not being honest. They are not communicating what hteya ctually want.

So you've really got to really asess someone's past and their history, and you've got to ask the tough questions. You've got to ask them if they believe in monogamy and be vulnerable and open enough to hear the truth.


Ultimately, it comes down to communication. If the guy you like cannot communicate honestly, then the relationship probably won't work — and not just because of his potential to cheat.

Editor's note: This article was originally written 2014

RELATED: What It Really Means When Your Partner Cheats On You, According To Research

David Wygant is a dating coach who spent the past 20 years helping men and women transform their love lives. As a lead writer for Ask Men and Huffington Post, his advice has been offered across television, newspapers, and magazines, including MTV, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, E! Entertainment Television, and more.