For most people, defining infidelity or cheating is easy, as we all develop these definitions through experiences and interactions.. Seeing a cheater before they ensnare you in their trap is much more difficult. Although there is no clinical definition to help you spot chronic cheaters in your midst, there are tell-tale signs that make them easier to pinpoint. What do cheaters have in common? Let’s find out.
Cheaters Can Justify Their Cheating
Many cheaters feel that they have reason to go behind their partner’s back to get what they need. Rather than doing some introspection to find where they lack in the relationship, a cheater blames their partner for everything that went wrong.
You may hear a cheater say:
- I didn’t get enough sex
- There was no emotional support
- You didn’t give me enough attention
- Our relationship was going nowhere
Because the cheater did not get enough of something, they feel entitled to go beyond the relationship for fulfillment.
Should this be the reason for someone’s cheating, then they can rehabilitate themselves. First, they must learn how to communicate in a more healthy manner. By learning how to talk about their needs and share those desires with their partner, they become better. This can be done by attending couples therapy somewhere like Couples Academy. In the end, cheating may become less important.
Cheaters Are Opportunistic Individuals
If there was one trait to seek out in a potential cheater, it would be their ability to zero in on an opportunity and strike. Cheaters, particularly those who are chronic philanderers, tend to be in positions of power where they can manipulate and calculate to get what they want. But what kind of opportunity do cheaters seek out? Usually, it is whenever a potential partner is vulnerable, such as an emotional week after a bad breakup, or after a parent has passed away.
Since cheaters are also charming and kind at first glance, their target is often more susceptible to their acts of compassion. Plus, when people are emotional, they are more willing to do something risky and impulsive, such as sleeping with someone else, because they are not grounded yet.
The Fear of Being Alone Drives Cheaters to Cheat
A shared irrational thought of many cheaters out there is that, if they sleep with as many people as possible, they will never be alone. They will never be abandoned because someone out there will eventually understand them. However, all cheaters are doing is creating shallow relationships that never get any deeper than sex. In the end, they hurt themselves.
Such actions only perpetuate the fear of abandonment and insecurities cheaters bury inside. Also, because their cheating is going to be found out, they often end up alone after their unfaithful acts.
Cheaters Feel Like They Are Unlovable and Misunderstood
Most people go through periods where no one seems to get what you are going through. The thing is that most people who do not cheat know that those dark feelings will pass. Cheaters are not like that. Typically, because they feel like no one gets them, neither will their partner. Instead of communicating, they jump immediately to cheating (and continuing the search for understanding).
Some of these misunderstandings that cheaters create stem from insurmountable inner demons. Insecurities about who they often drive them away from the people who would listen the best, who would forgive and love them, if they were just given the chance.
So cheaters cheat because they believe themselves unworthy of love. Therapy can be a tremendous help with this and may even make prolific cheaters far more faithful.
Cheaters Believe They Are Unable to Stop
Serial cheaters sometimes believe that they cheat because they have a condition of some sort. They believe that they lack the self-control required for a relationship, or that they were not hardwired for monogamy. Sometimes, cheaters believe their appetites are so big that a single human being would never satisfy them.
Sometimes, it is a mental illness driving cheaters to be wildly impulsive and frisky. But most of the time, cheaters can develop long-lasting, healthy relationships. It simply requires work—work on themselves. When cheaters make an effort to truly change their patterns of thought, they can break the patterns that drive them to betray their spouse or partner.
Cheaters who attend therapy do better with this than those who try to work through their problems alone. Therapists work with the person, teaching them healthier coping skills.
Cheating Does Not Have to be the End of Your Relationship
At the end of the day, how you choose to view a partner’s cheating is up to you. Keep in mind that some people are not ready to heal. A chronic cheater may hurt you in the end. However, if the two of you are committed to strengthening your relationship, rebuilding trust, and moving forward together, there is no reason you cannot succeed.
At Couples Academy, we believe that cheating is not the end; it’s a catalyst. With couples therapy and marriage counseling, you can learn skills that help you connect on a deeper, healthier level. Get in touch with Couples Academy to learn more about our programs.