This question has been debated over generations and generations of, primarily, women trying to understand what is behind the phenomenon of cheating. Many have come to repeat the title of this topic as a statement, rather than a question. But is it true? Do people who cheat have always been and will always continue to be unfaithful? If someone steps out on a relationship once, does it mean they will do it again? Or do people change?
Well, people do not, yet their behavior does change.
Some would argue that people do in fact change, and I do agree that parts of us change as we evolve and develop individually. What stays with us is our core –our values and morals. We all grow up with a set of morals we acquire through our developmental years. They shape our core and direct our conduct. Hence, if a certain behavior is not against someone’s moral code, he/she won’t perceive it as wrong or immoral.
Some people believe that infidelity is not harmful to a relationship, but rather beneficial. Others might think it is part of being a human being, or that it’s simply how we’re made-up genetically. Regardless of the justifications, some simply do not consider cheating to be wrong –giving them no reason to stop such behavior. Not to say that everyone who sees it from this perspective will automatically be disloyal because there are those who will keep into consideration others they will be hurting by their actions. However, not all those who cheat have no moral issues with the act –some will cheat due to circumstances.
Being unfaithful has many reasons, but no excuses. Yet, since we’re debating the recurrence of certain behavior, then we should address the environment in which a person makes the choice to cheat.
When someone is going through a rough time, whether in their personal or professional lives, he/she develops feelings of inadequacy –and their insecurities surface. As humans, we have moments of vulnerability where our self-confidence is shaken. We all react differently to this surge of insecurity and self-doubt. Some seek validation from others; some act out, others look for distractions, and there are those who self-destruct –all in an attempt to numb, end, or deal with their personal issues.
Behavior that is a result of a negative emotional state, does not define who we are and is subject to change. Yet there comes a moment when a person’s unique characteristics are deciding factors. While we all feel vulnerable at times, not everyone succumbs to his or her weaknesses. Internal strength and self-discipline play a role in our choices and decisions. Our self-awareness prevents us from repeating harmful behavior.
Those who cheat due to internal struggles may come to recognize what steered them to act in a certain manner in a moment of self-realization. When they become aware of the root causes of their conduct and work on healing their wounds and addressing their insecurities, this damaging behavior would be eradicated.
So if you find yourself in this debate, do not generalize a behavior without exploring the specifics of the circumstances. Evaluate the situation subjectively. Ask yourself about how well you know your spouse, and how morally compatible you are together. Be involved in your partner’s life. Pay attention to their mental and emotional well-being. Forgive those who hurt you unintentionally because they have morals and beliefs that are different from yours.
The choice to cheat is influenced and directed by many internal and external factors