Cheating, eh? Whether it be at a game of Monopoly or on a partner to whom you've made some kind of deep-rooted commitment, we've all done (or at least considered) the naughty.
Traditionally, men are accepted as the ones who cheat on their partners, thanks to some patriarchal idea that we're "evolutionarily programmed to be horrible to women because we have to spread our seed", or whatever. But there's a theory suggesting women also have an evolutionary reason to switch partners, too. This theory, and our ensuing articleabout the reasons why women have cheated, predictably pissed off a lot of men. We even got actual emails from very angry adult guys arguing the theory and our articlewere false just because they said so.
So in the interest of journalistic balance, I asked a load of blokes about why they decided to cheat, so both genders can compare reasons/excuses and we can wallow in our shared inability to stay faithful to each other. Hooray for gender equality!
"That feeling of being wanted by someone new is really fucking good"
I last cheated in a committed relationship this year – I was in love with her too, which is pretty fucked up. And it happened more than once. She also cheated on me, which doesn't excuse anything, but basically I have a self-destruct button that just kicks in before I consciously decide to go and fuck someone else. It's pretty awful and premeditated.
It wasn't a drunken mistake at a party: I was up at 3AM trawling through my list of online Facebook friends and decided that instead of messaging my then-girlfriend, I'd try to fuck someone else. Specifically, someone she didn't know and would never meet.
I guess despite being a functioning human I'm deeply insecure and need gratification from everyone, and that feeling of being wanted by someone new is really fucking good. I also think I'm a borderline sociopath because I felt bad, but only for a hot minute, then just blocked out the guilt and went about my life. You just need to separate the desire to fuck other people and the actual act of doing it. Just go for a wank, mate, and then the girl you wanted to fuck at that club night is all forgotten.
— Caspar, 23
"It was a mix of revenge and a sense of 'I don't need you anyway'"
I'd never cheated before; I thought cheaters were scum of the earth. I'd had it happen to me many times, and one of them proper affected me to the point where I was so sure I'd never do it because I knew how it felt on the receiving end.
So my girlfriend went on a girls' holiday not too long ago and while she was away I found out she'd cheated on me not too long before. I was going to end the relationship but decided I didn't want to do it while she was away. But I had a wedding a few days before she returned. I had no intention of cheating or anything, but a girl came on to me at the wedding, and alcohol happened, so we ended up back at my hotel room all night. At first I felt fucking awful: technically I was still actually with my girlfriend, and I tried to resist for a while – but this girl was stunning.
I had a well guilty conscience, but ended it with my girlfriend anyway when she got back, and left out what I'd done. It was a mix of revenge and a sense of "I don't need you anyway", which made me feel better at the time. Now I'm battling with the concept of becoming the thing I despised.
— Neal, 23
"I was bored in the relationship, I guess"
I'd been in a five-year relationship and met this other girl on a dating site. We went for drinks and I ended up being about an hour late due to work. After a few, she suggested we go back to hers as her parents were out for the evening. We went upstairs and were chilling on her bed with a shit movie on. She said she wouldn't have sex with me as I was over an hour late, but she would give me a blowjob.
I ended things with my actual girlfriend about a year later. I was bored in the relationship, I guess, because it was the only thing I'd known since I was 16. I'd got stuck in the routine. Looking back now, I definitely should have ended it earlier, but that's easier said than done when you're so comfortable and haven't ever experienced anything else. I don't think that cheating at any point in the relationship changed my feelings towards my girlfriend; I just think I must have quite a cynical approach to life and women and lack any real emotion – a bit like Dexter or something.
— Kevin, 26
"We're scared of women, so to keep some control we cheat"
I think cheating is the worst lie in the world, to yourself mainly. I realised this because, for once, I was forced to be honest with a girl. I didn't technically cheat, but I'd been messaging another girl for a while and getting quite deep into it with her. Anyhow, it all came out and the messages were read. It was emotional cheating, really, which could be seen as worse in some cases.
Our relationship wasn't working and I wasn't insightful enough, or good enough to confront that, so broke the trust. But we loved each other deeply so tried to make it work. People find it so hard to be honest with themselves and others, because it hurts to hear the truth. But the truth can be a tonic, despite how painful it is. And you can't ever be happy with yourself if you're cheating in a relationship.
A woman is like your backbone. The potential mother of your kids. A great friend. Your sexual intercourse-maker. Yet you'll treat them badly? We're scared of women, so to keep some control we cheat. Perhaps women should recognise men can be sensitive, though. Ultimately if you hurt your girlfriend behind her back or openly, you're doing something wrong. But it's probably a sign that something isn't right in yourself or in the relationship. Naivety made me cheat; I just didn't get that when I was doing it as a youth. I got made into a man by that girl.
— Isaiah, 29
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