There are few revelations as unexpected and painful as discovering that someone you thought was faithful to you cheated on you. When you find yourself in a relationship where your partner has cheated, you might be hurt, confused, angry, and, most of all, looking for answers. Why would someone run around on you? What could compel them to cheat?
Well, there is one trait all cheaters share in common. It might surprise you.
All cheaters on the planet have become cheaters by making conscious decisions and pushing themselves into situations that could have been avoided. Other than this specific factor, every cheater has different circumstances and reasons why they have convinced themselves it’s okay to lie to their partner.
But, at the heart of the matter is underlying impulsiveness that all cheaters who act on it share. It would be untrue to claim that no one is tempted. Many people in relationships have had the desire to become intimate with other people. That’s called being human! Some relationships are open enough that this isn’t a problem.
However, in relationships where exclusivity is agreed upon, the people who cheat are the impulsive people. Those who can’t look their desire in the face and say “no” are the ones who end up running around on the person they love.
Impulsivity comes from several different personality factors and is hard to pin on just one cause. However, a significant driving factor for many impulsive people is an upbringing that saw them never denied the things they wanted.
For instance, if someone always got whatever they asked for as a child, they might not have developed the mechanisms for coping with not getting things when they want them. Such a person might see monogamy as a punishment; a trap sprung on them when they just wanted to date someone they found attractive.
People who feel like they’re “trapped” in a relationship might lash out by acting in impulsive ways, cheating on their partner rather than having an in-depth discussion about why the relationship isn’t fulfilling their needs. While other traits, like stubbornness, poor communication, and insecurity, could all play a role in this behavior, the main crux of any cheater’s mindset will always be impulsivity.
There is no magic cure for relationship troubles. Relationships are hard work, and both people need to put in the effort to make it work. If they don’t, and one of them has difficulty controlling their impulses, the result, tragically, is cheating.