By Harriet Bensaah (a.k.a. Lady Godiva)
Let me begin with the definition of infidelity…Infidelity, also known as cheating, is the violation of a mutually agreed upon commitment made between two parties in an intimate relationship. (Let’s be clear, cheating is not just physical, but can be emotional as well.)
Cheating can be:
- Spending time with a person without sharing this information with your mate (deceit by omission)
- Having any form of sexual contact with someone other than your partner, without telling your partner (yes people do have open relationships and are okay with this just as long as they are told before hand)
- Having sexual intercourse with someone other than your partner, without telling your partner prior to engaging in the act (once again, people in open relationships can handle this)
- IM, text, e-mails, or talking to someone in a way you know is inappropriate (a.k.a sexting)
- Kissing someone who isn’t your mom, dad, brother, sister, dog, or partner (I was going to say cousin, but there has been a lot of kissing cousin situations, so yeah that counts as cheating as well)
As soon as we hear the term cheating, automatically a lot of us assume it is a male act. Why is that? I am here to set the record straight – IT IS NOT JUST MEN – A GIRL’S GOT NEEDS TOO!! As much as we want to believe that women seldom cheat, that is an incorrect misconception (Yes men, I am not all about the women, I am all about EQUAL OPPORTUNITY).
The decision to cheat is never a lucid decision, but more so irrational. Cheating is usually driven by certain circumstances and emotions. Although men and women cheat for different reasons, all humans are capable of doing it at one point of their lives, but not all will.
Allegedly, research shows monogamy is a man made rule that has been in existence for 5% of human existence, and that long-term monogamy is difficult for humans to achieve, but possible (we do have some people out there that have a conscience).
Women of today are different. A lot of women are more financially independent, part of the work-force, and simply running their own show. These characteristics can cause a cheating foundation, as these scenarios were usually a man’s thing! If he had money, he could get any women he wanted. If he was seen attractive by a co-worker, he could get the co-worker. If he was educated, doing great things, and had the “it” factor, he could get any woman he wanted. So, a lot more women want to be able to do what a man could do on all levels without anyone passing judgment because they are a female, but more so they want everyone to realize it’s not just a man’s world!
Women and men cheat for different reasons. Men usually cheat when there is an opportunity – “She pushed up on me, and I tried to say no, but I was so drunk she took advantage.” Men in general have the desire to cheat as ego embellishment as well as a need for variety. But one thing some fail to acknowledge about men cheating is that some do it due to lack of self love. But enough about the men, my focus here is the women (sorry ladies).
So let’s talk about why women cheat!
Relationship Issues: When problems arise in a relationship, both men and women look for a scapegoat. It may be a friend, or it may be someone of the opposite sex that can give you their point of view from the opposite’s standpoint. What women fail to realize is, when you are discussing your issues with another man, this is ammunition for them to make themselves seem like the hero, causing you to fall victim! Your emotions become intertwined, and now all of a sudden, you see this friend differently. This happens all too often because you are in a vulnerable state.
Lack of Attention from their Partner: Women require attention (men do too)! Women need to feel wanted and appreciated. When there is a lack of attention, they tend to stray away to different sources to get that attention. Although woman may not stray physically, she may stray for that emotional bond. Men, listen to your women’s cries.
Fade of Passion: The first few years of your relationship were great, but now things have gotten boring and monotonous. Women desire thrill and excitement outside of the home. Try new things!
Lack of Sex: Although, this can be a man’s reason for cheating, this goes for a woman as well. Women are sexual beings! Sex plays a powerful role in bonding emotionally (mostly for women, or individuals in a committed relationship).
Lack of Self-Esteem: Women require reassurance about their physical appearance. Often, men forget it is the little things that matter to a woman. Something as simple as “Baby, you are so beautiful.” can do a lot for a woman’s self-esteem (Yes I know you are thinking she doesn’t need a man to tell her this, but some women need that boost). Sad to say, if her man isn’t doing it, there is someone else who will!
Revenge: “He did it to me, so I am going to do it to feel better about the situation.” This reason for cheating is very common. What many fail to realize is, it doesn’t solve anything. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but for a woman it can make her feel good. She is using revenge to mask her hurt.
Loss of Attraction: This one goes for men as well, but although you may love a person, letting yourself go can cause a person to lose attraction. We are visual beings! Men, the way she met you is the way she wants to keep you. A lot of men expect their women to keep the hair, nails, feet, and body right…but this is a double standard! No ifs, ands, or buts about it! If you don’t keep her attraction, someone else will.
So I know some of you are wondering why I chose the title I chose “Cheating – Not Just a Male Disease.” I refer to cheating as a disease because it is in fact curable. I often hear the statement, “Once a cheater, always a cheater!” That is false, I think it should read, “A cheater until understood!” Cheating is a result of lack of communication, dishonesty, and lack of being true to yourself.
Cures for Cheating (PLEASE NOTE: Although these cures can help, if a person wants to cheat despite all I have listed, they will!):
- Communication – The key to any relationship! Talk! Let your partner know what’s going on.
- Honesty – As much as honesty hurts, it keeps everyone on the same page.
- Be faithful to yourself – Allow each other to be yourselves. Stay true to who you are.
- Repetition until you suffer – I think this is self explanatory. It takes a life changing experience for people to realize where they have gone wrong. It’s sad that this can make them stop, but it works.
So if you’ve been cheated on, or have been the cheater, please realize it is not the end of the world. There is a cure for everything. If you were cheated on you could stick it out and hope that she/he will change or you can leave. Or if you are the cheater, you don’t have to continue to live your life this way, just become one with yourself, understand why you are doing it, and if you want to fix it take the necessary steps to righting your wrongs!