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Two Sides to Every Relationship Story: 13 Cheaters Explain Why They Did It

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Have you ever wondered WHY people in relationships cheat? There isn’t any one correct answer, but these 13 AskReddit users tell us their side of the story.

#1. No Excuses

“Me and my girlfriend were in a really rough place (let me preface by saying that what I did was inexcusable. These are my reasons, but they aren’t excusable). We had been dating for 2 years. Our first summer together she broke up with me because she was flirting with a coworker and didn’t know what she wanted. She been emotionally distant for months beforehand though. We eventually got back together and but beginning in March of this year, she was becoming distant again. Our sex life became non existent. She stopped wanting me to sleep over. One night after I left, she said that she was feeling uncomfortable whenever I touched her. She said she was working on being closer, but it was still a reoccurring issue in our relationship. Then, the end of May, a new girl started at my place and we hit it off real well. We got drunk at a work party and kissed real quick. We stared at each other and she said we shouldn’t because I had a GF. Then we kissed again right after the sentence. We kept sneaking out for smoke breaks that night until we ran out of cigarettes. So we walked to get more. At this point I was wasted beyond what I normally get. As we we’re walking by a house, she just pulled me against a garage and unbuckled my pants. We had sex there and went back to the party. I ended up breaking it off with my girlfriend that week. I never mentioned the other girl though. I still feel like shit for it. The other girl was blacked out. She doesn’t even remember.”

#2. Working On Myself

“I have cheated a whole bunch. On just about every single girlfriend I have ever had throughout my entire life. It branches out from an insecurity that I may have developed in middle school when I got cheated on for the first time and I think I figured if I am the first to cheat I cant get hurt if she does the same thing. Later in life my reasoning changed/morphed to a darker insecurity about being accepted by women. “If girls still wanted me then I was doing something right.” I have since grown up and taken a lot of time to work past the narcissistic nature of all of this and had to work through some personal shit. I had to give up drinking and cut party girls and the party scene out of my life almost entirely. But even after doing all of that and having a reasonably functional relationship for the past 2 years I can still hear that dark voice sometimes reasoning with me on why I should try and fuck this girl.”

#3. Relationship of Convenience, Not Love

“When I was in college I had a friend named Lee. He was a nice enough guy; not particularly attractive, but a hard worker. He tended to make some sexist jokes, but I knew he was joking, so I brushed it off. We ended up going to the same graduate school as each other and started dating. In hindsight, we dated because we knew each other. We were married 4 years later. Life was decent, and when we were both finished with school we moved. When we moved, he changed. We used to do things together, but he started pawning me off on male friends of mine. If I wanted to go to a concert, he would ask me to see if one of my male friends would go with me so he wouldn’t have to. He was constantly trying to change me. He was picking apart my appearance every day. Life was a mediocre one. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t very great either. He refused to get counseling, and told me I couldn’t go because that was for “weak sick people”. Eventually I fell in love with one of the guys that he was pawning me off on, Bee. As soon as I realized that my marriage was over and that I was in love with another man I left the master bedroom for the guest bedroom. I told Bee how I felt. He let it sink in a few days and told me he felt the same way. We started dating while I was separated (by bedrooms, not legally), but my husband didn’t know. I had no intention of staying married, but I was trying to give him enough time to process what was going on. So I became a despicable cheater. I still beat myself up over it 4 years later. I didn’t overlap sleeping with anyone or anything physical, I was just still legally married and my husband was in the dark that the separation was permanent. In the aftermath, I forged an amazing relationship with Bee, and we are still together. He’s my soulmate, my perfect half. I never thought that about Lee. I thought Lee was a good provider, not a good husband. I am not proud of that few weeks where I was dating Bee but Lee thought we still had a chance to reconcile (we didn’t). It is easy to justify my decisions sometimes, because Lee ended up being a pretty bad person and Bee isn’t. Bee doesn’t say racist/sexist things that I would have to overlook to avoid a fight. He tells me I’m beautiful every day. Lee ended up finding another relationship with a beautiful woman really into the BDSM community. He is her dom now. If that is what he was looking for in me… I think that explains a lot of the problems we had. We were a horrible fit for each other, but I still shouldn’t have cheated. I freely tell people about this story, because I know what I did was wrong and I consider it my remittance.”

#4. He Thinks He Owns Her

“Not me. But my dad. He thinks because he gives money to my mom, who has been unemployed for more than a decade, that he’s allowed to do whatever he wants.

#5. Just Thinking About It

“Well I haven’t done it yet. I think I probably would given the opportunity though. Basically we’ve stopped having sex. We’ve talked about it a lot and there doesn’t seem to be any resolution in sight. It’s pretty rough cause nothing else is really wrong. I think if I asked for an open relationship that would just end it (she’s rather conservative in this regard). I think staying with her is better for our child and honestly there’s nothing wrong other than the sex so it’s not like we’re fighting in front of the kid all the time or anything. I’m hoping to think of a better solution but reaching the end of my patience.”

#6. Long Distance

“I always said I would never cheat. I broke that vow recently. My girlfriend or whatever we are now moved across the country a few months ago. Despite our phone conversations, I’ve been pretty lonely. In the meantime, a very close girl friend of mine has been having troubles with her bf. I’ve known her for years and we have always had a connection but both of us were always in other relationships so we’ve remained close friends. Several nights ago we both got drunk and had (great) sex. I felt so guilty about it the next day, though. I told my girlfriend I wanted to break up, but made up excuses as to why. We still talk but the other girl is sticking around and saying she wants to break up with her bf for me. This ordeal is giving me some serious mixed feelings.”

#7. Feeling Trapped

“I know somebody, and this is their situation: They are unhappy, on so many levels. He is selfish, she lacks confidence. They are a shit storm of needing each other without wanting each other. They got pregnant after about a year of dating and now live together in his mom’s basement. So now the kid is starting school, she feels stuck and going nowhere, and doesn’t know where to go if she does leave him. She is lashing out because she controls nothing. She is cheating because there is almost nothing left for her. She can’t go anywhere because she hasn’t the money, or because various family members are in situations that don’t allow for assistance right now. It’s honestly a whole sad twist of events. She is so unhappy that the only thing she can control, the only thing that makes her happy, is having sex with some other dude. I’m close enough to see things, but not close enough to talk to them. I am uncertain if her SO truly doesn’t know, or if he suspects but doesn’t care- I sure as fuck won’t bring it up.”

#8. One Word

“This one’s easy. The all encompassing answer is “selfishness”.”

#9. We Cheat On Each Other

“I cheat because even though I’m tired of her shit and her own cheating, I still find myself attached to her. I guess I still see her as mine, and it would be painful to know other guys are banging her if I let her go. But at the same time I don’t feel any loyalty to her, partly because of her lack of loyalty and partly because I resent her for some of the ways she’s treated me. Not to say I’m a victim – I’m not. One always has a choice to leave. Lately as my resentment has gotten stronger I’ve started being the asshole. Next, I’m waiting to find another girl to form a relationship with before I dump her, so that I can make the process of dumping her less painful for myself (every time I have tried, it has been extremely difficult as I am prone to anxiety attacks). I guess I just don’t want to be alone. I’ve noticed this one a lot in other cheaters, mostly females but some males too. Finally, I just don’t love her anymore and I see her a friend, partly due to my resentment against her. So it’s really a combination of these things, and I suspect for most their reason also is a combination of these factors. But you know what? These are all just shitty excuses. There is never any reason to cheat on someone. I am just weak willed and in the end my weakness is going to cause much more pain than had I a strong will.”

#10. Soulmates

“She was my best friend. She was single after coming out of an abusive relationship that I helped her get away from and supported her through her recovery. She didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone. I was in a long term relationship. She was the kind of girl that struggled to have male friends because she was incredibly beautiful and sweet and they would inevitably ask her out or hit on her. She just wanted a friend and that was all I wanted and could ever be. As there no chance of anything romantic we just enjoyed being friends. We grew closer and closer ignoring the signs that we were going beyond a normal friendship. I’ve never been as happy and as content as I was when we were together. Looking back we were so naive but I honestly thought we were just friends. My SO was cold and distant and we had grown apart in recent years. My friend needed me and I loved feeling needed. There was a space in both our lives and by the end I was playing the role of her boyfriend and she my girlfriend without the physical side. One day we got drunk and we kissed. It was a surprise to both of us but acknowledged that it wasn’t just alcohol, there was something there and perhaps we had gone beyond normal friendship a long time ago. We agreed it was a mistake and it would never happen again and that we didn’t want to lose our friendship. But once it had happened once, it happened again and again. We tried so hard but we just couldn’t stop ourselves from sliding back to acting like a couple. Our lives and our hopes and dreams and everything we were was so tightly intertwined. I tried hard to stop myself but we fell in love and had a very intense and passionate affair. We told ourselves it had to stop. I wasn’t willing to leave my SO and neither of us wanted to have an affair but when we were together the whole world just melted away and none of that mattered. I’m sure you will all judge me as I have judged others for the same thing, but it isn’t like it is in the movies. We didn’t want to have an affair or hurt anyone, or be those people. We were good people making bad choices and feeling like dirt for it. How do you walk away from something when every part of you is saying this is right? Neither of us had felt that way before and I believe it’s the kind of thing that you’re lucky if it happens once in your life. But the guilt was too much for me. She broke down when I ended it and said she didn’t care about anything else, what people thought, she just wanted me. She’d never wanted anything so much and had never thought it was possible to feel that way about someone and she begged me not to end it. We both knew it was special but I threw it away. I was resolute that this was an affair and it was wrong and the right thing to do was to end it and work on my relationship with my SO. I told her we couldn’t be trusted to be around each other and that we should have no further contact. After a few months she wrote me a letter wishing me every happiness and that she hoped I find what I was looking for and that she would always love me. That was the last I heard from her. I hear she’s doing well which makes me happy. I still miss her. Any harsh judgements you have for my story is nothing compared to how I judge myself.”

#11. I Do What I Want

“Because I want to. And because I feel that it’s my body and I have to right to do with it whatever I want. So why don’t I tell her, or least break up with her? Because both would emotionally devastating to her. She’s a nice girl and doesn’t deserve that kind of trauma. I certainly have no desire to cause it. But that’s not going to stop me from doing pretty much whatever I want with another consenting adult.”

#12. Worst Mistake Of My Life

“We’ve been best friends since we were 14 and got together when we were 18. I was a stupid athlete in detention and she was a librarian’s assistant and that was how we met. She swore she crushed on me for 3 years but I was too busy not noticing. She was my the complete opposite of me. The light-hearted, care-free really cute girl and I was always more emotionless but we really completed each other. I fucking loved her and I thought for sure she would end up being my wife. I was also her first boyfriend, first everything. I cheated on her when we were 19 at a party. At this time, we were kinda LDR and lived 4 hours from each other. Distance made her miss my birthday and sports and everything, I was just frustrated, sexually and everything. I was also really drunk but that doesn’t matter. The morning after I came home from my friend’s house with the most intense guilt I’ve ever felt, she was sleeping in my room. The night that I cheated? She was on a bus for 6 hrs coming to surprise me. She woke up and jumped on me being really happy to see me. You have no idea how much this girl trusts others and especially me. Seeing her smile, I broke down and cried. She freaked out and tried consoling me thinking it was stress until I was able to tell her what I did and her expression just broke my heart. She didn’t yell. I wish she did but that’s not how she is. It was just disappointment and hurt. She stayed for the weekend on the couch and her being her, tried making the situation okay but I would hear her cry at night and in the shower. Now we’re both 22 and still best friends but she’s terrified of dating and relationships. She’s terrified of being cheated on again. I ruined her fucking self-esteem. She doesn’t admit it to me but I see the way she reacts when someone asks her out. She lights up for a moment and then brushes it off. She considers liking someone only to think that it would never work out. I’ve only had flings from then and never been in another serious relationship because I still love her. Do you know how perfect she is? She encourages me to go out with girls and keeps reminding me that I just need to let go of mistakes because she trusts that it wouldn’t happen again. I know that we shouldn’t stay friends because it still hurts but I can’t imagine life without her and she feels the same way. She forgave so easily that my own roommate felt angry for her and because he had a crush on her, fought me the day after she left and then asked to change rooms. He didn’t like seeing her be “okay” after what happened. With everyone that knows us, I’m still called an asshole. I don’t even remember the name of the girl that I slept with and I just regret everything. Don’t cheat, not even once.”

#13. Just Say No

“Because I thought I was bored. Because I thought there might be something better. Because I thought I could get away with it. Wrong, wrong, and seriously fucking wrong.”

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