If You Cheat On Someone, You Want To End It With That Person

Cheating is a byproduct of internal, long-term chaos.

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As someone who has been both the victim and the perpetrator of cheating at large, I feel I'm somewhat of an expert when it comes to this subject.

I’ve seen it all. I’ve done it all. I’ve hurt enough people, burned enough bridges, and felt karma come right back and bite me in the ass many times. So, I get it. It sucks for everyone involved.

There's nothing quite like the exquisite agony of finding out someone cheated on you. There's also no experience exactly akin to cheating on someone.


Sure, you feel guilty, but mostly you’re acting out. You’re not utterly destroying the relationship you have with someone for a quick screw — you’re doing it to screw yourself.

If you cheat on someone, you want it to be over with that person. You may not know it. You may not even want to accept it as you’re reading these words. It may not feel that way at all.

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If you’re the person who has been cheated on, you may not want to believe this either. You may want to save what you have. You want comfort.

That’s not what this is, unfortunately.

Cheating is not just a mistake, a momentary lapse of judgment, or a spark of passion that quickly burned out as soon as it was lit. Cheating is a byproduct of internal, long-term chaos. At the heart of cheating are personal insecurity and self-loathing.

Cheating isn’t about sex or passion. Obviously, there can be passion involved in cheating, because cheating is totally subjective and happens in a variety of different circumstances.

Whether it was a drunken hookup after one too many Jameson and gingers or the culmination of months of fiery flirtation and eventual planning to have an affair, the root of the act is not desired.


What really makes people cheat is unhappiness with themselves. It comes from deep-seated personal anguish and self-hatred. You think you are bad, so you do bad things. You get caught cheating, you deserved it because you’re bad.

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You can desperately want the person you cheat with, but that want itself comes from your own insecurity and discontent.

Cheating is more about the person who cheated.

Those who get cheated on, more often than not, blame themselves. When I was the person who was cheated on, I thought I wasn’t good enough. I figured I was a crappy girlfriend and so I deserved to be with someone who didn’t love me enough not to stray.


Having been on both sides, I know that cheating is far less about the person you’re cheating on than it is about you.

You’re compensating for something and trying to make yourself feel whole in the face of self-loathing. No amount of love from someone else can make you feel whole, so you try to ruin your own life by doing messed up things.

When someone cheats, it’s because they don’t know what else to do. For those who cheat, there is a feeling of stifled terror in our current partnership that comes with cheating.

It may or may not be directly related to what’s happening in our relationships. You think you’re drowning, you become desperate, and with desperation comes actions that have cataclysmic results.


It obviously isn’t your fault if your partner cheats on you, but cheating is not *the* problem in the relationship — it is the end result of a combination of other problems.

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People who are happy don’t cheat on their partners.

We often act out when we’re unhappy. When we’re unhappy, we act out; we do things that are not good for us. It is so much easier to go out and sleep with someone else than it is to confront the real problems we face in our relationships.

It is reckless and careless. Mostly, it is an unwillingness to put in the effort to fix our relationship problems, coupled with a supreme cowardice to just end things with the person we’re dating.


If we really cared about the relationship, we wouldn’t cheat; we’d go to couple’s therapy, or talk it out, and do everything we could to make things better.

Cheaters are selfish and immature people, no matter their age.

Here is the real truth: You cannot cheat on someone you love. I’ve written about this a hundred times and it NEVER stops being completely true. You simply cannot cheat on someone you love.


OK, you might love your partner, but you do not love them enough. If you did, you wouldn’t do something like this.

Cheating may seem like it’s all about you, but you’re hurting someone who supposedly means everything to you. If this person meant everything to you, you wouldn’t do something so awful to them. You’d have more respect than that.

In my opinion, cheating is the end of a relationship. You need to have trust and respect in healthy, stable partnerships. Once someone cheats, all semblance of those two critical, baseline elements is lost forever.

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Gigi Engle, ACS, CSE, CSC, is an award-winning author, writer, and certified sex educator. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and many others.