Relationships: Cheating

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“Why would my boyfriend cheat on me?”
“I’m pretty sure my wife is cheating on me. I want to know why.”
“I know that my husband has been cheating on me for years. I don’t get why he does this.”

Why do people cheat on their partners? Why do others have affairs that their partners know about?

Here are some of the reasons for cheating that I have encountered in my many years of counseling.

Ed has been cheating on his wife for years. Ed is addicted to the thrill of conquest. It is not actually the sex he is after, but the sense of power he feels when he is able to get a woman in bed with him. Because Ed takes no responsibility for his own feelings and sense of worth, he uses women to fill him and define him. It has nothing to do with his wife – it is all about his lack of responsibility for his own neediness.

Eloise cheats on her husband because she is seeking the attention from men that she refuses to give to herself. Eloise is constantly giving herself up to her husband and then blaming him for her unhappiness. Like Ed, Eloise takes no responsibility for her own feelings and needs. She seeks validation through sex and attention outside of her marriage because she refuses to learn to love herself. Eloise’s cheating has nothing to do with her husband.

Max is terrified of intimacy. While he claims to love his girlfriend, he has a deep fear of being controlled by a woman. Instead of taking responsibility for his fears and developing a loving adult aspect of himself who is capable of setting limits against engulfment, his way of avoiding this fear is to have affairs. His cheating has nothing to do with his girlfriend.

Here are some reasons for having affairs that their partners know about, which cannot be called cheating since they are being honest about it:

Gene and Gloria married after being long-time friends. They hoped that the passion would develop between them, but it never did. They care deeply about each other but they have no chemistry. While Gene is fine with this, Gloria isn’t and has a second relationship that meets her needs for passion and romance. Gene knows about this and accepts it.Roger has been with Edith for 30 years. While he loves her and doesn’t want to leave her and break up their family, they have little in common and little to say to each other. Roger has another relationship with Angie – a deeply connected emotionally and sexually intimate relationship. Edith knows about this, as Roger spends half his time with Angie. While Edith doesn’t like this, she has accepted it rather than end their marriage.

What I see is that there are basically two major reasons people have affairs, the first being far more prevalent than the second:

  • They are addicted to getting filled up and getting their sense of worth through sex or conquest. They are needy people who emotionally abandon themselves and use sex or power to fill the inner black hole that comes from their self-abandonment. These people generally have multiple affairs.
  • They are in a long-term marriage that they don’t want to leave, but the marriage is completely unfulfilling. These people do not have multiple affairs, but have a committed relationship with another person while staying married. Their partners generally know about it.

Most people who cheat are unwilling to do the inner work necessary to fill their own inner emptiness. Their cheating is addictive, and it is likely that they are also participating in other addictions to fill their emptiness – smoking, drinking, drugs, spending, gambling, food, work, TV, and so on. Until they decide to learn how to love themselves and take responsibility for their own feelings, it is unlikely that they will stop cheating.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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