Tempted to Cheat? 15 Reasons Why Being Faithful is So Hard

Why is it so hard to stay faithful, and why are we so easily tempted to cheat? Understanding the ‘why’ can help you deal with the ‘what if.’


Cheating is common in many relationships. There are people who cheat in every relationship they’re in, while there are those who slowly find themselves being pulled into the situation. But what tempts people to cheat in the first place?

So you’ve probably done everything in your power to make sure that your partner has everything that they ever need: physically, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even financially. You tried to be everything your partner wanted and more.

In fact, you thought you were both happy in the relationship… until that text, that phone call, that slip of the tongue, that lingering perfume of another person on the clothes, or that sight of seeing your partner cuddling and kissing another.

Suddenly, everything you thought about your relationship is all wrong. [Reader confessions: I cheated on my boyfriend and feel so much better!]

Why do people get tempted to cheat?

Why do they cheat in the first place? After everything, why do so many people still cheat? If these questions are gnawing through you, wonder no more. Here we tackle why people are even tempted to cheat in the first place.

1. Commitment issues

One of the most obvious reasons why people cheat is because they are not really serious about the relationship. They are not ready or willing to commit to one person yet. They don’t like the feeling of being tied up or settling down with just one person.

Therefore, they would still like to relish their freedom by going out with other people—at the expense of the other party who may be more emotionally invested. [Read: 16 signs you or your partner isn’t ready for a serious relationship]

2. Curiosity

There are also some who may be committed to their partner, but somewhere along the way are tempted to cheat out of curiosity.

They wanted to see what it’s like to ‘explore other horizons’ just for the sake of finding out how it would feel to date an officemate or that random guy or girl at the bar.

Perhaps, it’s the allure of something new and exciting that tempts them to take on what is actually cheating, but for them is merely a challenge. [Read: 14 ways to handle a crush when you’re already in a relationship]

3. Need for attention

Perhaps people are tempted to cheat because they inherently want the attention they are getting from other people, like that hottie barista at Starbucks who keeps making their drink extra special with thoughtful notes on the cup, or that corner cubicle colleague whom they’ll go on an out-of-town convention with.

4. Neglect

There may be times when their partner is actually neglecting them. When certain needs and desires are not met in a relationship, people tend to stray.

They may look to other people to help them fill the void that their own partners can’t. However, these people may likely just be focusing on their partner’s shortcomings and can’t see what they have to fix within themselves in the relationship.

5. Disappointment

There will also be times when people enter relationships with grand, if not unrealistic, expectations about the union and about their partner. They may believe that the relationship would be smooth-sailing, and therefore can’t handle any bumps in the road.

They may also think that their partner is “all that,” but soon, they start to see the flaws their partner has. These quirks then turn them off and make them seek out other people who they think can fill their expectations of what relationships or partners should be. [Read: Is flirting with someone else cheating when you’re in a relationship?]

6. Lack of appreciation

Being appreciated and acknowledged by another is one of people’s inherent needs, especially in a romantic relationship. This deepens their emotional connection and intimacy. However, when people don’t feel appreciated and validated, this can cause them to grow apart and lose their bond.

As a result, people may tend to wander off and notice other people who show them the appreciation that they can’t get from their own partners. [Read: 15 obvious flirting signs between a guy and a girl]

7. Lack of intimacy

Intimacy doesn’t just mean sex. Beyond the physical, intimacy is the emotional bond you have with your partner. The lack of emotional intimacy can also be a significant factor why many are tempted to cheat.

As people inherently need to be emotionally connected, having a partner who is emotionally distant or unavailable can make them want to be with someone who can fill their needs for intimacy. [Read: 18 emotional affair signs you probably didn’t notice]

8. Sexual dissatisfaction

While people can have sex with someone without any romantic attachment, it is impossible for a romantic relationship to thrive with bad sex or without it at all. When couples are not satisfied in the bedroom, this can be a big red flag for cheating.

One partner may try to find that satisfaction either by paying someone for sex, being involved with casual sex with random people, or having a full-blown affair with someone who can fulfill their needs in bed.

9. Greener grass

There are people who lack the capacity of deferring self-gratification in favor of other people’s happiness, the relationship, or more important long-term aspirations. This is why they are more likely tuned in on what they will get out of anything, including their relationship.

So if they feel like they are not getting what they want from their current relationship, they may either look somewhere to get it, which can often mean having a relationship on the side to ‘get the best of both worlds,’ so to speak. [Read: 15 reasons why people get easily bored in a relationship]

10. Desire to prove something

Whether it’s their ego or their lack of self-esteem, the idea that they may want to prove they ‘still got it’ is not uncommon for those tempted to cheat. Sometimes, one partner is not enough for this kind of person, and they may also want to prove to themselves or to other people that other people can still find them attractive.

11. Partner going downhill

For those who are rather superficial, they may consider cheating when they find their partner getting fat, starting to nag, or simply not taking care of how they look as much as early in the relationship. They may find their partner unattractive or unappealing anymore, and so the desire to be with someone attractive or better-looking can lure them to seek other partners. [Read: Why do men cheat? 3 big reasons and 27 silly-but-true excuses]

12. Insecurity

In a relationship, both parties should be secure when it comes to their role in each other’s lives and in the relationship.

When someone feels threatened in any way, it’s a fight-or-flight scenario. And those who are at higher risk for being tempted to cheat often choose the ‘flight’ route. They escape the situation instead of addressing it in order to make the relationship grow.

13. Revenge

There comes a time in relationships when things go really bad. Whether a partner cheated on another or there was just a huge argument, there will be some who would see cheating as a way to get back at their partner. They would be tempted to cheat, thinking that they can hurt their partner through betrayal and going out with other people behind their back. [Read: Revenge sex – Is it ever worth it and should you ever do it?]

14. Sex addiction

Many people who are tempted or have already cheated, may also be addicted to sex. This stems from an inner emptiness that also causes substance addiction, gambling addiction, and other forms of addiction.

While there are many who use sex addiction as an excuse for infidelity, sex addiction is real and can cause many negative repercussions to the relationship and to the addicted person as well.

15. A way out

When people feel stifled, people tend to try to find a way to breathe, or a way out. And often, this is by looking the other way… as in, towards other people. At this point, cheating is a very tempting idea because they can’t think of any other way to end the relationship. [Read: 25 truthful reasons why women cheat so easily]

Despite the feeling of security, comfort, affection, and love, many people still can’t remain faithful. The pull of going out with another still seems to overpower them.

When this happens, it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship and yourself. Is there a problem in your relationship? Have you changed? Has your partner changed? Did they get bored? Are you stuck in a rut?

Taking a look at the different issues that plague relationships or your partner can help you spot the red flags and maybe even rein in your partner before they completely run around town with another person.

While there may be a lot of reasons why people are tempted to cheat, at the end of the day, you are only accountable for your actions, and they are only accountable for theirs.

[Read: To cheat or not to cheat? A complete guide to help you make up your mind]

So knowing what’s behind people’s motivations to cheat can help you to take a closer look at your relationship in order to put an end to the temptation before it even flourishes.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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