What is it that makes people cheat in their relationships and abuse the love and trust of their partner?

In reality, the reasons why men and women have affairs and cheat on their partners are complex and varied.

An affair is not a random, off-chance attraction to some other person.

It is more a case that something in your present relationship has gone wrong and you are looking for release, relief or avoidance from problems in your current relationship by looking somewhere else.

Why else would you abuse the trust you already have with your present girlfriend or boyfriend?

You see, when all else is said and done, when the affair has come to light and is out in the open, the thing that is hardest to build up again in a relationship is trust.

Trust is one of the most, if not THE MOST, important things in a relationship. It’s not just important in your relationship with your partner, but, think about it, trust is vital when it comes to your relationships with your family, your friends, at work and within your social circles.

You trust that the things you tell your friends will not be spread around, you trust that when you are at work you can rely on your colleagues to support you and to work as a team.  On the road, you trust that when you are driving, the people driving in front of you and behind you are going to be driving at a safe speed and distance and not go crashing into you.

So trust is paramount across most relationships and encounters with other people in our lives.

But it is perhaps most sacred within the relationship we have with our partners.

Therefore, when a partner cheats on us, that trust is broken, sometimes forever.

This article is not going to discuss in great detail the reasons why men and women cheat.

Rather, it’s going to focus on what is lost in a relationship when a person cheats and whether it is possible to reclaim the relationship back.

Why Losing Trust Can Kill A Relationship

The basis of any solid relationship is trust.  You trust that your partner will be good, honest, truthful, loyal and kind to you.
If you did not believe or think he or she would be these things towards you, then you would not be with them.

When you first meet your partner and start to get to know them, you don’t “really know” what sort of person they are you base your opinions on the person you have met today.

You start to gain some knowledge about their personality and character by talking to them and seeing how they behave.

And it’s not just going to be what they say, you’ll be basing your formed opinion on their body language, the “vibe” you get from them, their mannerisms, how they appear in the context of their environment, how they are with other people.

For example if you are in a restaurant with friends, you’d expect your partner to be well behaved and act appropriately for someone in a restaurant.

Now if he or she got up and started dancing on the table, this would seem totally out of context and you would “label” this person as risky, extroverted and totally insane….

So, this is how we kind of form opinions about the people we meet.

Based on the opinions you have formed about that person you then “trust” that the kind, loving, funny, sexy, daring (insert any adjective of your choice here which applies to the qualities you look for in an ideal partner) person will carry on being that same person in the future.

So when your partner then goes and cheats on you at some stage in your relationship, they have broken that trust.

Breaking trust is tantamount to a betrayal.  And not only have they betrayed you as a person but they have also betrayed your dreams, hopes and wishes that you may have had for the relationship.

The moment at which you find out about your partner’s infidelity will leave you with different feelings of shock, anger, confusion, depression, humiliation and sadness.

And later on you will start to analyze how and why this happened. Was it something you did?  Was it something you didn’t do?  What went wrong with your relationship?

When trust goes out of the window, so does a relationship unless that trust can be rebuilt up again. This is why many marriage guidance courses concentrate so heavily on building up the trust within a relationship.  Trust is hard to gain, and if it is broken, it is even harder to get back. But not impossible.

Affairs Are Usually The End Results

Whilst many people tend to think that an affair or cheating on your partner was the trigger that started the problems in the relationship, its actually the other way round.

Usually, a partner cheats because there are problems in the relationship already.  Unless, you’re with a guy who really can’t get enough of what he needs from one woman and is a serial cheater.

Before you all get offended here, let’s clarify that men will usually cheat in relationships because they feel they aren’t getting enough sex at home. They want more variety and more women. And sometimes they just want different types of sex.

For women who cheat, it is not so much about getting more sex. They want more attention and someone to support them emotionally (be there for them, listen to them, talk to them) and when her partner can’t give it to her, a woman might meet someone outside the relationship who can.  And this is how women get attracted to men outside their relationship.

Different Types of Cheating

Each episode of cheating is unique to a couple.

This means that cheating in a relationship can happen for different reasons to different couples:

Having an affair for revenge purposes
Here a person will cheat in a relationship as a means of hurting or getting back at their partner. It could be that they were cheated on first by their partner and the only way they can come to terms with this is to go and cheat on their partner in return.

Its not the thrill of the new relationship that is the driving factor here but the actual satisfaction that comes from inflicting pain on their partner that is the motivation behind having the affair.

Having an affair to escape the current relationship
Some couples cheat because their current relationship is dying or in its last stages but they don’t have the courage to come out and tell their partner this.
Subsequently, they begin to cheat and when confronted by their existing partner, find it easier to admit to cheating since their partner has already found out about

Having an affair out of desperation
This third scenario is when a man or a woman have a brief fling or one-night stand in order to draw attention to the problems in their relationship.  Think of it more like a suicide attempt where the person does not really want to kill themselves but is hurting themselves in an attempt to get attention for help.

People who have brief sexual encounters may be doing so because one partner is not noticing or addressing certain problems within the relationship, sometimes these tend to be based around sex.

The cheating partner doesn’t really want to end the current relationship but has had the short encounter as a cry for help, to show his or her partner how desperate things have become.

Having an affair for sex
Although most people cheat on their partners for reasons other than wanting more sex, there are some people who end up cheating on their partners just because they wanted to have more sex.  This usually tends to happen more with couples whose sex life has been quite limited, perhaps they have only ever slept with each other and have had no other sexual encounters.

They want to know what sex with another person would be like and grab the first opportunity when it presents itself.

Again, in this situation it is not so much about wanting to leave their current partner, but more out of curiosity that they break their trust with their partner and cheat on them.

Through all this, cheating on a partner is wrong. Don’t think that having an affair that is secret won’t be harmful. By doing something without the knowledge of your partner, you’re already keeping secrets and creating lies and dishonesty in your relationship with them.

The most important thing is trust.

Don’t abuse it.  If you have problems, you need to talk to your partner about them.  And if you can’t talk to your partner, you can seek counseling or relationship help from trainer relationship practitioners.