Being cheated on by someone you love sucks. It can leave you feeling sad, shocked, betrayed — and questioning why.
Reddit user u/miaah214 recently asked, "People who have cheated before, why did you do it?" Here are some of the reasons that people cited:
1. "Insecurity. I was always on the lookout for someone who would make me feel more desirable than the last. Once I grew up emotionally, I realized what a POS I was and the hurt it caused. It's hard to live with, TBH."
2. "Unbridled ego, unsatisfying regular sex life, and a girl who threw herself at me. I was an idiot, I acted like an asshole, and I will regret it for the rest of my life."
3. "He cheated first, and I was young, petty, and thought revenge would make me feel better."
"Oh, man. Same here. Can't say I regret it, TBH, but I would never do it again. It's never worth the hassle."
4. "Because I was a fucking asshole 20-year-old who only thought of himself and getting some action. The high of it. 37 now. No cheating since then."
5. "100% pure lust. That's it. I'm not proud of it."
6. "And willing partners. It was amazing how many times when I did have a steady girlfriend, I would suddenly get propositioned by random women or, worse yet, my girlfriend's friends or sisters. Too many times to be a fluke. It was like they figured if you are in a relationship, you're worth pursuing. But when I was single, most times I couldn't get a woman's attention. So it was an ego boost, but ultimately, I decided to be a better person, and as some have said, I met a person who I truly thought was 'the one.' And to a certain extent, I did. It just didn't last through no fault of my own."
7. "Not me, but a guy friend cheated, and the reason he gave was that he loved his fiancé, but they had very different sex drives. He also said that when he brought it up to her (the difference in their sex drives and the problems it would cause), she begged him not to leave and insisted it wouldn't be an issue. He told her it already WAS an issue and, as a last resort, she said she would understand if SOME DAY he felt the need to look elsewhere just as long as she never found out. The girl admitted to saying all this but explained that she would have said anything for them to stay together at that moment, that she didn't think he'd actually be 'fucked up enough to cheat,' and that she never imagined he would do it so soon."
8. "When you grow up being neglected and told you're not good enough, validation is like a drug, and intimacy is the ultimate validation. I needed sooooo much therapy to undo this."
9. "My ex was done in the bedroom and even said they were no longer interested in me physically/sexually. I should have left at that point, but with kids and the financial hit of divorce, I just looked to fulfill that need. I later divorced, and it was a big financial hit, but what a relief it was getting out. Getting out of an abusive relationship is where the true pleasure comes from."
10. "My partner cheated on me shortly after I had his baby. I wanted to leave, but I convinced myself to stay. The logistics of having a baby and 24-hour care are challenging on your own. He refused to have sex with me. At some point, someone got me in a weak spot. Somewhere between exhaustion, low self-esteem, and the sheer opportunity of having an orgasm were too strong for me. I'm deeply ashamed. Shortly after, I picked myself up, and the relationship ended. I should have left sooner. Someone telling you that you are beautiful, talented, and special after being invisible can feel like a drug. I don't expect sympathy from anyone for my actions. But I do have a lot of sympathy for others now."
11. "I was the 'other' man, but she told me specifically why. They were an influencer-type power couple, and they had a dead bedroom (no sex in five years), and then she found out he was cheating with a paralegal at his firm. They had a huge fight, and he angrily told her that she should go find someone to sleep with, assuming she wouldn't. I ran into her the next day and just talked with her, and she broke down. 90% of it initially had to do with me simply being kind to her when she was at a really low point. But she said it morphed into the fact that I treated her like a vibrant and attractive woman and met her needs. She compared it to drug addiction (for which she had no actual frame of reference) because she had been missing that for so long. They ultimately kinda/sorta worked things out, but every Saturday for five months, she was at my house all afternoon, and sometimes on Sunday."
12. "I felt unloved, unattractive, and unwanted. Then I met someone who made me feel all of those things."
13. "Because the relationship was done, and I was already moving on emotionally. I just didn't care about her enough to care whether she was hurt. Honestly, in hindsight, I have zero idea why we were still together. It DID make the eventual breakup a lot messier. I was young, and it taught me an important lesson. If you're done, just be done and leave. There's no point in dragging it out. If you're ready to start looking for another relationship, start by ending the relationship you're already in."
14. "I was continually looking for someone who would make me feel more attractive than the previous person. When I matured emotionally, I realized what a jerk I was and how much pain I inflicted. To be honest, it's difficult to live with."
15. "Honestly…cheating is intoxicating. I'll never do it again…but it's a thrill unlike any other."
16. "I chose a cowardly and easy path. Instead of going to therapy and ending my toxic relationship, I cheated on them with someone I had convinced myself I was in love with and who loved me. Turns out that breaking up with someone is much less harmful to everyone involved than cheating."
17. "I had internal issues that I never faced or didn't really know how to face. Sex and attention were validation. Even though my wife offered those things, it was never enough from her or anybody else. It was a bottomless desire for me to prove to myself I was wanted and important. I destroyed my marriage and more than a few friendships. I had to look inward and accept that all this bullshit that's happening is because I have a problem that is nobody else's fault and learn how to love myself, and only then was I able to correct my behaviors."
18. "He cheated on me, and when I was mad, he said he wouldn't care if I cheated. So I did, a few months later, to let his guard down. That bitch cried."
19. And finally, "My wife wasn't around. The house was empty. I couldn't wait for her to get home, so I watched an episode without her knowing. Honey, if you're reading this…. I'm so sorry."
Have you ever cheated in a relationship? If yes — and you feel comfortable sharing — tell us why in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.