Cheating Is Always A Choice

Photo: Kenzie Kraft on Unsplash
cheating is always a choice

Cheating in a relationship is ridiculously common. Celebrities and regular people alike are constantly called out by the press, by their now ex-significant others, and the perpetually investigating paparazzi.

Some have taken the road of silence and others come clean right away. But it’s been fascinating to watch the cheaters confess.

Why do people cheat? As a man, I've listened to these tearful laments and I can’t help but roll my eyes. 

These cheating men were just fine traipsing around the town with their mistresses in tow — an unsuspecting wife or girlfriend holding down the proverbial fort, oftentimes dutifully caring for the kids — and now they want me to believe they’re sorry? Puh-lease.

These cheaters aren’t sorry. They’re just sorry they got caught.

RELATED: 4 Honest Men Confess The Real Reason They Cheated On Their Wives

And with infidelity now headline news, TV shows, magazine articles, and blog posts feature "real men" discussing cheating. These men are quasi-experts on cheating — because they did it. And look, I’m not here to pass judgment on their infidelity, I simply have an issue with their reasoning.

These "real men" — like all cheating men — have a wide variety of justifications of why they cheated:

  • "She was constantly nagging me. I had to get out of there."
  • "I felt like I was playing a role. I stopped being real. The only way to shake myself out of it was to cheat."
  • "I didn’t mean it. It was an accident."

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

My response to these reasons (and any others): Bull. 

Sorry, guys. You can pull that line on the press, on your mothers, or on your now-estranged wives or girlfriends, but that doesn’t work on someone who knows — someone who has been there.

But let’s get something straight. I recognize that monogamy isn't for everyone. In fact, many argue that it's not a "natural state" for men.

In many ways, I think those people are right. DNA-wise, both genders are driven by primal instincts to continue our species, not concentrate on the sanctity of marriage.

However, humans now claim to be civilized, and if a person decides to delve into the world of commitment, marriage, and fidelity, they should hold to the ideals that accompany that choice. If you don’t want a commitment, don’t get married!

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Cheating is a always a choice

Those that claim it was "an accident" or offer any other reason are completely and totally full of it.

Why do people cheat? Well, they are choosing to cheat for one simple reason: Selfishness.

They care more about sleeping with someone else rather than their significant other, whose trust they are betraying. And this is betrayal — a special betrayal saved for a man’s spouse or girlfriend.

How is it special? Because men usually don’t betray their best friends this deeply, just the women they promise to love. Simply put, these are men without honor. If you're going to cheat, give the common courtesy to the other party that you would demand yourself: Leave the relationship.

I’ve told men as much and many say, "It's not that simple." Well, if it's not simple, then perhaps you might think about the potential consequences of cheating.

Please note that I say all this as a man who has had more than ample opportunity to cheat. While writing my book, I met with over 1,200 women (and have spoken with thousands more since its publishing), with many of these meetings happening over a meal or other private-ish locations — but all away from my wife.

Have I ever been tempted? Sure, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that many of these women were attractive (with many openly flirting with me). But there was no chance I would ever cheat.

If I made that choice, my wife may not have known, but I would have. I would have had to look her in the eye — my wife, my friend — knowing that I had recently humiliated her, devalued our relationship, and sacrificed my honor. Sorry, not this guy.

RELATED: The Real Reason Men Cheat Is Sadder Than Expected

Is cheating 'just what guys do?'

Evidently, some men can work out in their heads that cheating is "just what guys do."

Yeah, okay, who are you trying to convince, pal? Me or you?

Men, here’s the bottom line: If you want to be married, be married. If you want to sleep with other people, talk about it — or at least have the common decency to leave her first.

There’s no need to transform yourself into a jerk while you trample on her self-esteem. And ladies, I would never suggest that "once a cheater, always a cheater" is an established fact, but before you take him back because you "love him so much," you need to think about how much you love and value yourself.

Because by cheating on you, he just showed you how much he doesn’t care.

RELATED: 55% Of This Type Of Men Cheat In Their Relationships

Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author and relationship expert. Follow Charles on Facebook, where he offers free, street-smart love advice to men and women.