Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

Together with family psychologist and psychotherapist Marina Travkova, we understand why betrayal occurs and what to do if you find yourself in this situation. In addition, our expert conducts a major study about cheating. If you want to participate, look for details at the end of the material.

- First of all, let's immediately note that they happened, are happening and will happen. Man is a biologically non-monogamous creature, and this applies to both men and women.

Of course, Monogamous people are found, but they are rather a rarity. Most live in serial monogamy, that is, in his life a person is able to fall in love several times. It is no longer surprising that during life people can have several relationships - this is key - several. Rather, the situation is surprising when, at the age of 16, young people get married and live together until they are 90 years old.

What determines whether the partner will change or not? There are many factors, and one of them is situational, that is, well, the stars have developed like that.

One of the most common motives is romantic, when a person says: "I am missing something in life." Not married - this is important, namely in life. There is such a stereotype that since a person has changed, it means that something was missing from his partner, and the injured party begins to look for a reason in itself. This is absolutely wrong. I repeated and will repeat that the fault for treason always lies with the one who cheated.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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Many people lack something from a partner, but marriage is a dynamic characteristic, it’s impossible to be equally tender, accessible, in love all your life, like on the first day of dating. Any relationship goes through its ups and downs, and mature people understand that there are periods of crisis like pregnancy or illness. Nobody thinks that if a partner falls ill and cannot take care of another, is this a reason to abandon him? But in this situation it is just necessary to have your desires, to discuss your “not enough” with your partner. And if you do not discuss, it is your choice and your responsibility.

Often infidelity happens along such a chain: something was missing for me, I did not bother my husband or wife with these problems and just went to look for it on the side. But what does "do not disturb" mean? If you don’t speak, the partner simply won’t know that something was missing. In this conversation, it may turn out that your partner is also missing something, but he did not run to cheat on you.

Any betrayal includes a combination of factors and motives. Oddly enough, people often do this because of feelings of anxiety.

Anxious people are more prone to betrayal - they seek support, and if they do not find this support in their immediate environment, they begin to look for it somewhere else. Often, anxious people enter into a parallel relationship on the principle of "alternate aerodrome." That is, they are afraid to put everything on one person and secure themselves, making new connections. This is more likely a story not about one night stand, but about novels, about parallel full-fledged relationships. For example, the husband is busy at work, so you can call a friend-lover to help him with something, well, at least he changed the wheel.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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This happens with both women and men. In terms of cheating, a man and a woman do not differ much in motivation, but they differ very much in social approval. Men most often hide (even from themselves) this alarm, arrange relations with two or three women. There is an old joke: he told his wife that to his mistress, said to his mistress that he was to his wife, and to the library himself.

This behavior helps you not get very close to anyone: because it is alarming, because you start to depend on the partner, because your own reactions to him become too painful - his approval or disapproval.

In an amazing way, anxious men look cold, or, conversely, seducers, conquerors of hearts, boast of a series of victories, but in fact, this behavior contains anxiety and the inability to be completely open with one person. Outward behavior can be very confident. Even if it seems to you that a person is brave, beautifully caring, emotional, this still does not mean anything. Just the characteristic of such novels and such betrayals is that when a woman gets closer, gives in, agrees, enters into a circle of intimacy, overcomes the threshold when there is a period of courtship and grinding, often it ceases to be interesting to a man.

Why? Well, they themselves say: conquered - and she’s tired. But the reason is that further you need to build a relationship for real. People often confuse courtship with real life. The courtship period is often such a theatrical demonstrative, that is, people do not show themselves as real, but some attitudes and roles that they have learned, know how to do it. I often come across stories when, before marriage, a man takes care of him beautifully, and after the wedding he sits down at home, clasps his hands and says: "Well, now why all this?" No need to look at the period "before" and take it for what will be "after".

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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There are five to nine types of cheating. Situational and non-situational, that is, a person was looking for this betrayal. One option, when he thought through everything and started looking for the possibility of treason. And the other option, when he lived, did not think about anything, but then an opportunity turned up for him.

It can be divided according to the principle of fidelity - into the tempted and the inexperienced. Many are faithful simply because no one seduced them. Someone remains faithful by stepping over himself, even when he really wanted to be seduced, but this is a completely different story. For reasons (why am I doing this?) There is a romantic option and there is an escape from anxiety. The second may look beautiful - permanent flowers, twenty messages per evening, but there is no real closeness there and will not be.

It happens that betrayal is committed out of revenge, that is, the partner cheated, and you - in return. It happens that he did not change, but somehow annoyed, and you - in return.

There is an option when a person needs to confirm his significance in the marriage market: "I can still, I still like, I still quote." For this reason, women often change. Treason happens to just finish relationships, put an end to.

This is often done by men. Instead of leaving the relationships that bother them, rather than honestly saying that I am unhappy, let's split up, they are looking for the so-called separation agent. They find someone with whom they rather defiantly cheat, after which their wives most often expel them. Often the relationship with this third person is no longer glued - they simply used it as a lever to pull themselves out of the relationship.

Each marriage is unique in its own way, each relationship is unique, they have their own internal rules, their own resources, their own conditions: there are children — there are no children, there is a mortgage — there is no mortgage, what is the degree of relationship depth, did this happen by chance or by chance, how did they find out how long it lasts, are there any children on the side.

There are so many possible factors that the only universal advice that I can give in this situation is not to spoil the fever. You need to think about yourself and help yourself in all possible ways, from psychotherapy, yoga, sedatives to spontaneous holidays, to whom it helps. Someone goes to the monastery, someone gets drunk with a friend or girlfriend, but it is important to understand: in this situation, you must first ensure peace. Take a break.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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Another stereotype: "changed once - will always change," but this is only a stereotype. Suppose a woman finds out that her man cheated on her. He swears that he was once drunk and will never be again. What to do? Forgive? Stay? Leave? Let's take statistics: 30% of marriages after infidelity break up immediately, in another 30% of cases the spouses live together, but they suffer and at each opportunity recall this incident. About 30% of the spouses remain together, step over it, betrayal even strengthens their relationship.

There are couples where treason has become a structural element of the relationship, turning the husband and wife to each other and improving their lives. It happens that someone has to go through hell and lose a partner in order to begin to truly appreciate him. If you were cheated, this fact (this one fact) does not mean that you have to tear everything and run.

There is another stereotype: if a woman (and especially a man) remained in a relationship after the betrayal of a partner, then she lost respect for herself, but this is also not true. Here it is necessary to pay attention to something else: is there a partner respect for you in these relations.

If we return, for example, when a woman found out about a husband’s infidelity, then the husband must again prove to his wife that this will never happen again. His task is to explain exactly how he will not allow this again. It is about restoring confidence and whether he really is ashamed and wants to fix it. Then you can discuss specific steps, how he will correct the situation and prove to you that he really cares about your relationship. And when a man in such a situation says: “You are a fool, why didn’t you go to this country house with me?”, This is a bad prognosis.

The main thing is to understand whether a person respects you and your relationship. The important thing is not treason in itself, which is certainly painful. The question often arises: how could he do so if he respects me? But like that.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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Even in more advanced cases, when it comes to parallel relations, confidence can be restored.

Spouses who have been cheated are asked in such a situation: “how do I find out that the relationship has really ended?” “I often suggest setting up geolocation for a while (3-4 months) so that the spouses at any time see where the second one is.

If you live together for a long time, you will always feel that the person is not with you, but if you don’t feel it, then the question is about the emotional depth of your relationship. Although there is another story when the woman who was cheated , becomes suspicious, constantly suspects her husband of treason, but if in We’ve changed, you actually have a completely logical cause for concern, and again, your partner’s task is to prove to you that there is no reason to worry. Then, during therapy, we discuss a set of measures. For example, a woman says: “I believe if he will be home all weekend, if he will always answer the phone, even if at a meeting, he will send an SMS message.

Because in every betrayal there are cases when, for example, the partner did not answer the phone, and these moments require a flashing.

We call cheating what hurts another . In countries where there is a clear patriarchal hierarchy, for example, in the Caucasus, I often meet stories when women, in the case of treason, worry that resources are spent on another woman, the time a man spends with children. That is, a woman is not upset because of a broken trust or fidelity, but because of a redistribution of resources.

Very often there are stories when the marriage is strong, the wife loves her husband, they have wonderful sex, but they wanted something else - and she has an affair on the side.

Cheating does not mean that the cheater has fallen out of love with his partner. But even in this case, you should not hope that your partner will not notice anything. We have only one body and only one brain, and the emotional load has a certain volume and a certain weight. Therefore, a change in the balance of this emotional load is usually felt. And if not, then this is an occasion to think: your partner created a whole parallel world for himself, but you did not even notice this.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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For example, the wife looked at her husband’s phone, found something discrediting there and now thinks whether to raise this question. I want to say right away that from the moment you learned about treason, tension already appears in the air. You must first sit down and think: “But I’ll tell him what the reaction will be?” Ponder the scenarios and decide which ones you are ready for and which not. What if I hear: "I love her for a long time and did not know how to tell you, let's divorce?" And suddenly I hear: "I am ashamed, but I do not know how to stop this.

" That is, you need to understand what you are ready for.

Often at this stage, women begin to fight for her husband: they do manicures, pedicures, go to the salon, buy sexy lingerie, and seduce. Sometimes it works, and sometimes a man begins to feel super-significant and catches a buzz from two sides. This can be productive for women themselves, because it’s at least some “what to do”. It’s easier for them to worry than for those who just depressively give up and get lost.

There is at least some kind of combat plan. But then most often there is a rollback, all the locked emotions “why is this so?”, Anger, irritation finally overtake. Even if a woman conquered her husband, these emotions still remain.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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There are courses for women who have fallen into this situation.

And the manipulative series includes a situation where a woman kneels and says: "you cheated on me because I deserved it, I cared little for you." This breaks his confidence, and there is a really good percentage of returns, but it does not mention one significant nuance: these pairs are very rarely preserved. Because a woman, having gone through such humiliation, cannot reconcile herself to this. For such couples, the forecast is much worse than for those who told everything, had a fight, even parted for a while. When a partner returns a man or woman by manipulation, he thereby depreciates it.

It turns out that he did not return on his own, but because he, like Pavlov’s dog, is affected by manicure, pedicure, lingerie and other things. We do not get an equal partner, we get a child who can be lured with candy. But here, too, everything is individual, and every woman needs to decide: for someone, this is normal, the main thing is for the earner and breadwinner to be at home, and for someone it is unbearable.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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For me this is a dissonance.

There are dating sites especially for married people, where they honestly say that they are looking for flirting, sex, but not serious relationships, because they do not intend to divorce. Everyone has one motivation - I want to feel alive, I want to fall in love. So I ask everyone a question: what happened in your marriage that you “freeze” there?

Many marry by love, of their own choice. This choice includes romance, erotic attraction. At first, a steam engine from this romance and attraction carries us forward.

And then the fuel runs out. Butterflies in the stomach cannot flutter for a long time, nature created them for procreation, and not for long-term relationships. We enter into relationships with wrong expectations, we think that it will always be so. When the butterflies disappear, people think: "Well, it's over, but I want more." Instead of making efforts and reviving these butterflies, we begin to look for them on the side.

But there are couples who keep this love all their life because they work on relationships.

Cheating: why they happen and is it really so bad

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In the musical The Bat, the heroine finds out that her husband is cheating on her, puts a bat costume on the carnival and seduces her husband incognito. And she asks him: "so you have a wife, how so?" To which he replies to her: "what about the wife? This is a read book." When in the end everything is revealed, he says: "I missed the most interesting chapters.

" So my advice is: in any person there is that part that you have not yet seen. When they say to me: “we have been together for 20 years, I’m bored with everything”, I always answer: “you just don’t see him for 20 years, and you need to see him in some other setting, in unusual circumstances.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and love too.

Now I am doing a lot of research on how people experience adultery. There are Western studies on this subject, but we need our, Russian experience.

If there are those among the readers who have cheated, returned, but regret it, who have resisted cheating and are ready to talk about it, I will be very glad to talk. Email me travkovam @ mail. ru. Participation is, of course, anonymous.



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