Do You Really Love Someone if You Cheat on Them? Why We Cheat on People We Love

Опубликовал Admin
8-11-2023, 12:00
People who cheat often claim that they really loved (or still love) the person they cheated on. But can that possibly be true? Love is complicated to begin with, and infidelity doesn’t make it any easier to find the bottom line here. As a result, a lot of this will boil down to your personal beliefs. If you’re trying to explore the relationship between love and infidelity, we’re here to help you out. Just keep in mind that no matter what has happened to you, your feelings are valid, you are worthy of love, and you can come back from whatever dark place you may be in right now.

Can you truly love someone and cheat on them?

  1. It’s complicated, and there aren’t any clear and cut answers. Love is an exceptionally complex thing, and infidelity isn’t always super straightforward either. People cheat for a variety of different of reasons. It might be frustrating to hear this, but it’s impossible to know if you can love someone and cheat on them at the same time.
    • It may still be possible to rebuild a relationship after infidelity and find love—even if you truly believe that you or your partner never experienced true love in the first place.
    • You could claim that cheating doesn’t necessarily mean you never loved someone, although it might mean you don’t respect or honor them.

Why do people cheat?

  1. Some people cheat because they feel neglected, or forgotten. If someone is in a relationship where they feel like their partner doesn’t care about them, they may end up looking for that emotional fulfillment somewhere else. Even if their perception isn’t accurate, they’ll go wherever they need to go to feel cared for, loved, and appreciated.
    • This isn’t to say that the person being cheated on deserves it. Even if someone is neglectful, there are always better ways for the other person to address it. Nobody deserves to be cheated on.
  2. There may be mental or emotional issue that make stability difficult. People who suffer from an addiction to sex, love, or some other vice may cheat because it scratches that addictive urge. People with certain emotional or mental health issues may be more prone to cheating as well. For example, people with bipolar disorder appear to be more likely to act out sexually during periods of mania.
    • Attachment anxiety refers to someone who develops increased levels of fear the closer they get to someone—often as a result of a traumatic childhood. People with high levels of attachment anxiety may be more likely cheat.
  3. A percentage of people cheat due to low self-esteem or stress. Cheating may have nothing to do with someone’s significant other. Some people cheat because they don’t feel they’re worthy of a healthy, loving relationship, while others do it simply because they feel bad about themselves. Some cheaters do what they do simply because it makes them feel better and they don’t have a more productive way to take the pain away.
    • This isn’t to say that this is a healthy way to deal with pain. Being stressed out, scared, or feeling bad about yourself is not a good reason to cheat on someone.

If a partner cheats, does that mean they were never in love?

  1. No, cheating doesn’t mean your love wasn't real. We have this idea that something has to be wrong with a relationship for cheating to occur. In reality, happy people in fulfilling relationships go out and cheat all the time. Whether you believe that someone can love their partner in the moment of infidelity or not, it’s difficult to argue that there was never any love in a relationship just because someone cheated.
    • People fall in and out of love all the time. Even if something went wrong or someone made a mistake, you could theoretically say that love existed before the infidelity, and after the infidelity, even if it wasn’t there in the moment.
    • There’s some good evidence that it’s possible for someone to love more than one person at the same time. This is what polyamorous people experience (although cheating isn’t polyamory and vice versa).

Can you still love someone after cheating?

  1. Yes, nothing is ever over unless you want it to be. Rebuilding a relationship after an affair can be difficult, but it’s definitely possible. Don’t make any rash decisions for now. Think about what you want and create some space for the two of you to process how you feel. If the two of you want to work this out, seek out couples counseling. This will dramatically increase the odds that the two of you can heal.
    • This process is different for everyone. Some couples find it easy to come to an understanding, take ownership for past indiscretions, and start over stronger than ever. For other couples, it can take years for the healing process to take place.
  2. Some people cannot love again if they’ve been cheated on. There’s nothing wrong with you if you have been cheated on and you feel the love empty out of your heart. That’s a totally normal, understandable reaction, and a lot of people experience this. If you’ve been cheated on and you just can’t find it in your heart to keep pursuing the relationship, it’s okay to move on.
    • This can be true for the person who cheated, as well. Some people lash out at their partner and cheat intentionally to “get back at them” because they’re mad and they feel like they’ve been pushed to the brink. For these cheaters, it can be hard to let go of all that anger.

Can a man cheat on you and still love you?

  1. Gender doesn’t have an impact on whether the love is there or not. Men are statistically more likely to cheat than women, but not by much (23% of men vs 19% of women). However, anyone is capable of cheating, and anyone is capable of loving. Regardless of how you feel about those two things being related, the gender of the person who cheats shouldn’t play into the way you perceive things.
    • A lot of the perceived differences between genders and cheating likely comes down to who is willing to admit it. It’s likely that men are just more likely to acknowledge the fact that they’ve cheated.

Do cheaters feel guilty?

  1. Most cheaters feel extremely guilty about their behavior. Cheating is a serious violation of someone’s trust. This kind of dramatic boundary-crossing usually carries all kinds of feelings of regret, guilt, shame, and despair. The vast majority of people deeply regret cheating, and it can conjure all kinds of guilty feelings if they never hold themselves responsible.
  2. A small percentage of cheaters don’t experience guilt. Some people cheat because they’re adrenaline junkies—they enjoy the thrill of tricking others and getting away with something. While it’s likely a small subset of people who cheat, these people don’t experience guilt (although they may act guilty if they’re caught).
    • If you’re in a relationship where infidelity has occurred, don’t assume they don’t feel guilt. You can never know what’s in someone’s heart, and even if they claim to not feel guilty about it, they’re likely just trying to excuse their own behavior.

Do cheaters always cheat again?

  1. Not always, but cheaters are more likely to cheat again. There are plenty of examples of people who cheat once and never do it again. However, studies do demonstrate that a cheater is roughly 3 times more likely to cheat in the future than someone who never cheated. In other words, while “once a cheater, always a cheater” isn’t true, the odds are higher that they’ll do it again.


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