Student essay: Why people cheat and how to prevent it

I caught my ex-boyfriend cheating on me a few years ago. At that time I asked myself – am I responsible for this? What am I doing wrong? What was his reason for cheating? In the end I concluded I wasn’t completely responsible, he was more so, but I realized I had given him the opportunity to cheat, on top of other reasons I think he already had. I believe people cheat for a number of main reasons and that understanding those reasons can help us prevent cheating from happening.

Some people are in bad relationships and they look for closeness with others. Some just cheat because they can’t be faithful to one person. But even those who are not in bad relationships can find themselves cheating or being cheated on. Sometimes all it takes to turn a faithful partner into a cheater is opportunity. It’s possible for someone who’s in a long-term relationship (about 10 to 15 years) to change surroundings and meet new people who have the same interests as they do. This can be an opportunity to cheat. Especially at work, because most people spend a minimum of eight hours there and they know their colleagues better than their partners. Today we spend more time with people at work than with our family. It’s no wonder that cheating is most common among co-workers. Opportunity is first step which can “help” people start cheating.

Why people cheat and how to prevent it

Another reason why people cheat, one that often arises before an opportunity, is that they feel their partner is taking them for granted. They might feel that way if we start to distance ourselves from them and don’t show our emotions or share everyday events. This can be a way to push our partner away from us. All people need attention; we shouldn’t take that for granted because they are with us. Today, it is very important to tell your partner everything, but what’s most important is to listen to your partner; he/she will have needs and wishes. Don’t let your significant other think you are taking them for granted.

Similarly, we should tell our partners if we are not happy with something. If we can let them know that something isn’t good in the relationship we might be able to “fix it”. It is easier to have a good relationship with an honest person by your side. What is the main reason for distance in relationships? If my boyfriend tells me that he wants to spend more time with me, I need to be aware of what that means and if I want our relationship to succeed I need to find time only for us. If we want to be in a “healthy” relationship we need to be open with our partners and be prepared to compromise.

Why people cheat and how to prevent it

Those are some situations which are preventable. A tough reason for cheating to prevent is if a partner has a sex addiction. If this is the case it is hard to change their habits. They just enjoy life, and don’t care about other people. One of the reasons for that behaviour, as I mentioned above, is focusing on ourselves and having the opportunity. If a sex addict is not happy with their partner in a relationship, and if they have bad sex, they will probably look for one part of happiness through sex with someone else.

Fortunately, in spite of all these situations which might give rise to cheating, there is a way to prevent it. Bad relationships or lifestyles don’t have to be a reason to cheat. We need to communicate, share happiness and sadness, and trust each other. Only with true honesty are we able to have good relationships and only then can we expect our significant other to be faithful only to us. If you have everything in one person, including honesty — the possibility to say everything without fear of judgment — you will be faithful to one person. Be honest in general. It’s the only way you can keep people from cheating.
Written by: Vesna Jurilj

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