How would you react if I told you that cheating in a relationship is actually acceptable? I’m sure most people would immediately click off this article. Let me preface this all by saying I do not condone cheating on someone you have committed yourself to; however, there may be psychological and biological reasons that we feel the urge to cheat, even in the happiest of situations.
Most obviously, cheating is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If your partner consciously makes the decision to have an affair, it’s indicative that there are issues in communication and compatibility. Simply put, you two aren’t on the same page. But sometimes, it’s actually an act of self-discovery for the offender. They might not be unhappy with you, but actually unhappy with themselves. As they try and delve and find a new version of their self, they are more likely to behave in a risky situation.
That’s not to say that there’s never a revenge factor. Yeah, some people get mad at their significant other and manifest that anger by cheating. Psychologically, it gives the cheater power, showing their lover that they did something wrong. It’s basically a threat that says “I’m close to leaving you, and if you still want me, you need to change.”
Lastly, let’s take a look at the biological instinct to cheat. Our psyche has both consciously and unconsciously adapted to a more safe world. Humans were never programmed to be monogamous, and now that there are less dangers in the world, it allows our brains to focus on the goal of reproduction: finding the partner with the best genes to produce the strongest offspring. Even if you have a great guy or girl in your life, our minds are instinctively looking for better choices physically, mentally, emotionally, and even economically.
So does that justify cheating? That’s a matter of perspective. I don’t think it’s ever right to intentionally hurt someone, especially if you’re in a committed relationship. On the other hand, why would you deny the opportunity to be with someone you are more compatible with? At the end of the day, it’s the individual situation that needs to be analyzed. I know the pain of being cheated on, but if we care about someone, shouldn’t we want them to be with their ultimate match, even if it isn’t us?