Why People Cheat

Many times, infidelity occurs, maybe on grounds of uncontrolled urges, or just plain nastiness but that sometimes is very rarely the case.

Sometimes, people cheat not just because it’s fun to, but because they need to sustain their emotional sanity.

In every relationship, all of us need carefully measured mixtures of 2 different ingredients; a need for closeness and a need for distance.


In every relationship we get into, we desire closeness. We want to hug, touch, be cozy, be intimate and be entirely at rest with someone. We want to be understood, we want them to construe our most confused thoughts and also wander freely in their minds but we need distance enough not to feel forcefully subsumed or owned by another person.

Inherently in each and every human, there is a need for privacy and a sense to desire freedom. If you’re in a relationship that threatens to lean towards “overcloseness”, you can be driven to cheat by a powerful yearning to prove to yourself that not everything you do is owned by your partner.

Sleeping with a new person might not simply be about lust, sometimes, it is really just about the idea of you escaping the frightening reality that your whole identity and life appears to be on the verge of being consumed by your relationship.


Likewise, distancing yourself from your partner foments infidelity no less than too much closeness. Maybe you’re trying to touch your partner and the person moves away or sighs. Maybe when we bring up something personal and delicate, and all they do is wave it off and change the topic. The routine coldness reads like plain rejection and you may end up cheating not because you do not love the partner anymore but precisely because you actually do love them but the distance they seem to be imposing on us through their lack of engagement and commitment feels unendurable and humiliating.

The tragic irony therein is perhaps the lie that if caught, the cheating partner will be accused of not caring when it was actually caring too much that might have ignited the whole escapade.

Tragically, two people almost never enter a relationship with equal needs for distance or closeness. This is why there is always someone in every relationship being accused of either being too clingy or too cold.

It is therefore an early essential in early relationship to sit and find out the relative need for closeness and distance. Only then can we ensure that the gap and individual differences won’t lead to a situation where only an affair seems like the possible and plausible solution to the upsetting problems of distance and closeness.

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