I think people cheat because it is in their nature and when I say « their » I mean « our ». Yes, let’s not point the fingers at them because everyone can cheat even though most people choose not to.
Faithfulness is a conscious decision a lot of people aren’t willing to take. It isn’t a good or bad thing. Only, a fact. Human beings aren’t born faithful.
There are born with free will – the ability to act at one’s own desire without constraint.
Through social, educational, and religious institutions, people have been taught about fidelity, monogamy, and faithfulness.
Since the beginning of humanity, people have had multiple partners. The difference is that it was considered « normal » at that time. Why do you think the term Polyamory exists? In Greek, poly means « many, several », and in Latin, amor defines « love ».
Next, came religion and the marriage institutions, which disapprove of polyamory relationships and encourage monogamy relationships and commitment to one person.
What happened next? Polygamy, which is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. Again, having multiple partners was a notion accepted in some countries.
I don’t think infidelity is linked to having another partner or seeing another person. Infidelity is assimilated to lying.
The lie hurts more than the act of cheating because there is a commitment to honesty and faithfulness: « You committed yourself to me, you promised to tell me the truth and to love me forever ».
And, here is the pain.
Would infidelity exist if polyamory and polygamy were normalised and accepted by society and religion? Perhaps, who knows. I can’t tell.
I can tell that you can’t control, withhold, or imprison someone’s love and emotions.
People are being taught about fidelity and monogamy as the perfect kind of relationship, but different possibilities might work for them on their life journey (polyamory, singlehood, open relationships).
Why do people cheat?
In my opinion, a person cheats because we’ve made relationships a forever commitment. The in-love person agrees until they realised that they want something else.
But, because they committed, they feel compelled to stay with their partner while having another one. Hence, putting themselves into an entanglement or twisted situation.
There is also the desire to avoid causing pain to a love one, which creates more suffering than forthright honesty. However, the lack of courage, to tell the truth, shouldn’t be used as an excuse.
Communication can prevent from cheating
Unfaithful people aren’t bad people. Faithful people aren’t good people. The difference lies in the conscious decision one has made regarding relationships and his/her values around it.
Does it serve you to be faithful? Why?
Does it serve you to be in a polyamory relationship? Why?
Does it serve you to be married? Why?
Maybe a solution to prevent cheating is communication. It might sound obvious and boring but think about it. What if you and your partner sit down for 10 minutes to discuss both desires in the relationship?
You could learn a lot about your partner’s opinion of monogamy relationships and infidelity. You could realise there are sexual or emotional needs you can’t fulfil for your partner.
If so, would you be willing to make an effort to meet it, or would you agree for a third person to satisfy your partner’s desire?
The belief that you can only be in a monogamy relationship to be happy and that your partner is the only person who can satisfy your needs is a fantasy.
No one can satisfy all your desires. You can have a deep emotional connection with someone and a mediocre sexual experience. The reverse is also possible.
I am not saying the solution to cheating is to open your relationship. That isn’t necessary at all.
What I am suggesting is that you need to ask yourself questions about your belief around relationships (romantic and sexual). And your partner must do the work as well.
Cheating is the result of miscommunication, misunderstanding and unmet desires. Hence, make sure to be in alignment with your partner to avoid being disappointed and cheated on.
You might be interested in a blog post I wrote on 3 types of non-monogamy relationships.
Please read it and let me know what you think!