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Why Do People Cheat?

Earlier this week I came across an article from The Huffington Post examining why men cheat. Referencing a recent Oprah that showcased Dr. M. Gary Neuman and his book, The Truth About Cheating, and citing Neuman's research that cheating isn't always about sex, the article determined that cheating for men is a result of feeling unappreciated at home.

Though my own thoughts on this are still undecided, I couldn't help but think of it yesterday when clips from Peter Cook's interview with Barbara Walters were released. Cook and Brinkley went through a bitter divorce in which Brinkley publicly exposed Cook's affair with an 18-year-old, and it seems as though he's looking to explain himself. According to Us Magazine:

Asked what he wanted out of his marriage, Cook tells Walters, "a little acknowledgment, a little attention, a little thank you every now and then for my efforts . . ."

Cook seems to echo The Huffington Post article and Dr. Neuman's sentiments about lack of appreciation rather than a sexual need being the reason to stray. But I'm not convinced just yet. I also think this argument is problematic since it puts blame on the person who didn't cheat. But I want to hear from all of you. Why do you think people cheat? If you've been cheated on or have cheated on someone else, does the notion of appreciation ring true?


Join The Conversation
Girl101 Girl101 7 years
I think men cheat when they are not appreciated at home and do not enough sexual attention at home. I try to wear sexy clothes, stay in shape and "satisfy" him at least couple of times a week. Men need sex, just like they need food. Feed him steak at home and he won't go to McDonalds for the pick-up. Some women may not like this advice, but its your relationship, do you want some other woman in the middle of it? This has kept this from ever being a problem for the duration of our relationship.
foxie foxie 8 years
I've cheated on past boyfriends for various reasons; I liked someone else but was too immature to end the current relationship, the sex with my boyfriend wasn't very good but I still cared about him, and even just because another guy was insanely well-endowed. I've been with a married man, too. My bad girl days are WELL behind me, but speaking from experience, the reasons for a person to cheat can be anything from emotional immaturity, selfishness, to just not being able to control yourself. It's sad.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
just to add something...yeah, not feeling appreciated at home might be the reason some people cheat, but it's not an excuse, there is NO excuse for cheating. You can always prevent cheating if you just care more about other people than your own self-centered self.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Cheating is so stupid. If the idiot guy wasn't happy at home, then why didn't he grow a pair of balls and talk about how he felt to his wife/gf/etc. instead of being an @sshole. Stupid boys are just afraid of talking and any kind of confrontation because they are wimps.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Lack of respect for themselves, thus others as well. It takes effort to seek someone else, so if you're so intent on stepping out, why not just leave completely? It's very malicious to go out of your way to hurt someone else. And why should anyone ever take responsibility? It's always easier to be a coward and blame someone else. Hey, it's always someone else's fault, right?
melizzle melizzle 8 years
tomato, check this out:
melizzle melizzle 8 years
For fun.
bbkf bbkf 8 years
I think it's just boredom. People get used to each other in a relationship and it loses the spark it had during the courting stage, and pursuing someone new is exciting.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 8 years
off the topic, how do you create smiley faces here?
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 8 years
Because they are weak. Because they want different sex. Because they think they won't get caught.
ilovemyyorkie7 ilovemyyorkie7 8 years
People cheat because their probably too lazy to get something successful on their own, instead their idea of fun would be to steal it away from another person.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
and a last relationship can be perfect. especially in a marriage where there are kids and bills and chores and errands and could anyone stroke another person's ego 24/7??? Its impossible. People need to realize that, be willing to communicate when they feel neglected, and be willing to work at it with their spouse or SO. A good marriage takes work.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Personally, I think people cheat for all kinds of reasons. It depends on the individual -- there's no single reason. JMHO.
ur_momm ur_momm 8 years
oh and i agree... communicate! if you arent getting something at home, talk to your SO, and if things dont change... give them an ultimatum and if that doesnt work... break up THEN do whatever u want with whoever! I guess cheating is easier than confrontation sometimse.
ur_momm ur_momm 8 years
I think it makes sense. ive been with my bf for 2 years and recently started talking to someone from work more than i should... and i feel like the reason is because things at home werent perfect. if you are completely happy at home, u dont go out looking for more attention (most of the time atleast) If you are not getting any attention from your significant other, or things have just gotten stale and then u meet someone who gives u all the attention and sweetness you were looking for... it can mess with your head and you can lose your common sense. ive never cheated but if i were too... it would be because i wasnt happy at home. i feel like we shouldnt settle for someone who just makes us happy enough, u have to soo happy that u no one else even comes close.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
I think lots of people miss the real reason for cheating and tend to put the blame on the other spouse and what they "did or didn't do" in the relationship. is the wayward spouse that makes the decision to cheat based on some deep seeded lack of self esteem. Yes, maybe the wayward spouse wasn't feeling about COMMUNICATING your feelings to your spouse INSTEAD of going out and having a freakin affair? That would be much less messy and devastating in my opinion.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I think that Oprah thats mentioned made the point that people cheat ultimately because they lacking something in their relationship and usually its thats adoration that you find in the begining of a relationship. I completely agree with that, I think sometimes as women we think that men don't need as many compliments or affection as we do and thats not true. They're just human and they need that affection like everyone else.
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I listen to Dr. Laura once in awhile (in small doses - I like her, it's true!) and she often cites lack of appreciation, respect, and affection/attention. I think this is true in a lot of cases, especially in a marriage or long term relationship where you're supposed to be committed. So, if that's the case, then there is some responsibility to be taken, definitely. But I also think there are plenty of selfish people out there who cheat simply because they CAN. There are so many different reasons, but it's never right.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I can only speak for myself really, who knows why people cheat.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Selfishness, greed and fear of consequences. I've never cheated even when I hated my ex-husband. Neither did he to my knowledge. I can't answer for him, but I didn't because it didn't occur to me. I was concentrating on fixing my problems not adding another. I've been cheated on and it was always selfishness, greed and fear of consequences ('if I tell you I'm into someone else you'll leave') which goes right back to selfishness. It's devastating regardless.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
they cheat because they have no self control. because it easier to say "she doesn't appreciate me" to a stranger than to take responsibility for the failings in their relationships. they cheat because they think they're "entitled" and because they don't think they will get caught. cook sounds like a jerk. he needs to stop trying to convince people that he was the wronged party in their mariage. frankly, the way he blames the issues ALL on his ex he comes off like he has a personality disorder. and i feel bad for their children. this is between the adults and the court battle is over.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
marni7, no problem. I didn't take offense at all. :)
CYL CYL 8 years
Tough Topic, but here are a few stabs: Relationship is over but couples hang on for whatever reason..afraid to be single, family reason, kids, finance, whatever...but then some one else takes an interest and bam... Boredom? Midlife Crisis? Oh my god I am really with YOU the rest of my life? Am I still attractive?
htt3h2e htt3h2e 8 years
I think Bill Clinton says it best. Because they can!
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
oo fairy..just read the rest of ur post where u said not all of them are like that.. my bad ;)
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