Cheating & Values
There’s been a number of different articles on the site about cheating and why it happens.
You can check out ‘ A Healthy Marriage Sees Partners Cheat – Why? ‘ as one example I wrote back in September 2010.
The missing part of that post was around the underlying reasons that it relates directly to the cheater’s own personal value system.
What is a value system?
It’s essentially what’s most important to a person – and bear in mind, these things change with time as well.
So in my recent ‘ Top Reasons Why Partners Cheat ‘ post, I outlined the major points for cheating include:
- Lack of Love and Affection
- A decline in sexual relations
- A breakdown in regular and open communication
- One partner becoming lonely
- A lack of togetherness and time together
All are strong signs of an unhealthy relationship and a warning both partners need to take proactive and affirmative relationship mending action.
Now, these are really a byproduct of the real underlying issue – understanding your partner’s value system.
Stage One: How Does a Healthy Relationship and a Value System Breakdown?
In the beginning, we all typically start in a romantic relationship.
Each individuals’ value system would revolve around things such as a woman’s valued need for security; so her mate would bring along financial stability, leadership, strength etc.
And on average, the man’s value system might include beauty and sexual fulfillment.
He’s happy those areas are covered, in his new partner.
Stage Two: Romantic Relationship Maturity and then Breakdown
As a couple starts living together and becoming accustomed to each other, they start acting as ‘one’.
The downside to this is each others’ previous high values start changing. If both aren’t conscious of the others’ important values, thoughts start straying.
In the previous example of the woman’s security values changing due to financial circumstances, she starts getting worried.
The possibility exists she’ll think it might be better to find someone else to satisfy her yearning for financial stability.
Equally, for the man, maturing relationships often decrease in sexual frequency, experimentation as well as perceived satisfaction.
Think also that at the relationship beginning, the woman would have often been ripping his clothes off to have sex and try different things.
Maturing relationships bring other emotions into play such as work stress, financial ups, and downs as well as timetable challenges – all these have a potential downside of diminishing a woman’s libido.
Stage Three: Browsing Into Other Casual Relationship
So we’re now in a situation where individuals in the relationship are no longer getting what they need to satisfy their value systems.
The man is lacking the vital key of sexual fulfillment and the woman might be feeling financially insecure.
There’s a real possibility they’ll simply seek out or accidentally become involved in a situation where these values do get met. And the requirement to re-establishing a lost strong value element can be strong and intoxicating.
From the other partners’ point of view, the straying partner is evil and conniving. You could look at it as a person looking for an alternative solution to fulfilling a deep and powerful set of pre-existing values they cherish.
Personally, cheating on your partner is wrong, as I’ve said before.
This is simply a possible alternate explanation to the root cause.
Speak Your Mind, With Your Opinion
Nice to see you made it to the end of the post. Here’s what you can do next:
- Can you see why lack of sexual frequency can cause real harm?
- What’s one thing you think we could all do to minimize the chance of cheating?
- Click one of the Share buttons – your friends can then enjoy this article too.
And thanks for reading too – Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
8 thoughts on “Is Cheating All About Your Own Needs?”
If I had a dollar for how many artciles are written about "cheating" I'd be….
Anyway you get the point.
Coupled relationships in the tradtional style are in a minoruty these days. Singles as a lifestyle outnumber families and couples around 2 to 1 in the western world. Its a lifestyle choice. But the point Im making is that what consitutes a relationship has vastly changed too. We now have Poly relationships and Open relationships and many more. So while some writers may write about "cheating" I feel there is a bigger picture they are overlooking.
Thanks for the comment, David and welcome to the site – great to have your views, comments and dialogue.
I'm a little unsure on what bigger picture you're trying to paint though. Despite the lifestyle and relationship situation two people happen to be in, betrayal of trust and integrity is typically 'cheating'. Whether it's boyfriend / girlfriend, husband / wife or some 'Open' relationship, if the understanding and expectation of behavior within the relationship is impinged upon, then there's a serious problem that needs examination.
I'd love to know more around what you refer to the bigger picture too. What seems to be being overlooked, in your opinion?
I think from an outsider looking into another persons relationship we can say words like "cheating" when the people inside the relationship may think otherwise. After all its only an assumption that they are cheating when we are viewing another persons relationship. All we have is 'pure speculation'.
What I would like to see is an article on some qualitative study on the issue with wider ranging views.
Secondly the article assumes no definition of what type of relationship the marriage is in. Or the time scales or the cultural settings or location.
This is why I feel the topic needs more development to establish a 'cause and effect' as proposed in the article.
I'm a little unsure I understand your comment or view point, David.
I read Martin's article earlier and I read it as if told from 'inside' a relationship.
From my point of view, it only becomes cheating when it's done to the other person in the relationship. If the other person was being cheated (or betrayed) then it's certainly cheated. I think the duration, culture or type of marriage relationship is entirely irrelevant and meaningless. The other person in the relationship is the only person that counts – if they're happy for their partner to go off and bang whoever, then cool for them. If that isn't cool in whatever relationship is going on, then it's certainly cheating and certainly a betrayal of trust.
Cause=Go off and bang some bimbo which the other partner isn't OK with, no matter what the relationship type
Effect=Cheating and Betrayal
From what Ive seen in relationships (even marraige) – you dont even need to "bang" as you put it to be a "cheat" – even looking at someone with a desire or lust is in my view just like doing the act of such. The only 'justification' being that they dont "act it out" – ha ha ha … anyway its an extreme version of what it can be.
The point Im making would be in this case, if we say usuing the word cheating, can be thus that its a universal event. Im only speculating, …but stating it upfront, …lol
Thanks so much David and Gary for your comments so far – very cool to hear other people's views on this.
I was actually chatting to my wife, Pam, on this very thing a few nights ago. It's an interesting topic as to when infidelity actually begins. Personally, I think it starts right inside the mind before any action has taken place. It's the thoughts inside that start those wheels a turning.
What do others think though/
Where it really begins is at the attitude level – but theres a but….
I think there is too much focus on cheating about weather its 'good or bad'. – like all things what you resist persists and making an even bigger deal over it attracts more attention to it by making it a "problem".
Ive never left a date or partner due to so called cheating – as Ive felt its what all of the Joe / Jill Sixpacks of the world do.
They have an image of the world that means 'theres not enough to go around' (poverty mentaility) and thus love to prove their partners "wrong" by catching them out, … weather they erred or not.
Its starts with an attitude of — "Im going to leave at the 1st hint of a mistake!" — when not realizing everone is going to goof at some stage no matter how – 'holier than thou' – a position they take. Cheating is just one of many 'excuses' people use to leave a relationship. Thats all.
So yes it start in the mind all right, but its the attitude before the diversion.
Ive often surprized partners in my past, whom of which Im incontact and still friends with 90% of them due my acceptance of 'people simply being people' mistakes and all. Thats why Im never fazed by transgressions such as "cheating" so called. I dont want to be another Joe Sixpack.
Totally David – I read you there on attitude.
We're probably essentially saying the same thing here, using different prose. Mental thought, mental attitude, understanding and allowance of your partner, acceptance as well as behavior. There's a whole lot that goes into action and reaction to relationship situations.
I love your point of view as well as comments, mate. Thanks so much.