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Why Do People Cheat On People They Love

by Lyndon Langley
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Why Do People Cheat On People They Love

Why Do People Cheat On People They Love

I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t cheated on their significant other at some point in their life. Not one person has said they haven’t considered cheating. And not one person has said that they never have been unfaithful. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is how common infidelity is. It’s like an epidemic.
But what can explain this urge? Is there really something inherently wrong with us that causes us to cheat or are we just responding unconsciously to our environment?
In her book Why Men Cheat, Dr. Helen Fisher believes that men are biologically wired for monogamy. She writes about this theory in depth in her book but here’s a quick summary of her argument.
Men are genetically programmed to be attracted to women who show high levels of fertility because the male genes will pass along when the woman becomes pregnant and then care for the child as long as it lives. This means that a man would want a female whose body is ready to bear children rather than a young girl who is still growing into adulthood. Women who are more physically mature will also display higher levels of health and vitality which will attract a man sexually. A man may also find a highly fertile woman desirable simply because she is likely to be healthy enough to give him strong offspring.
Women, however, do not share these genetic predispositions. In fact, according to evolutionary psychologists, women evolved to use sex as a tool to ensure reproduction while men used it to spread their seed. Because of this difference, women are far less concerned with having a healthy baby and getting pregnant right away. As a result, they’re much more interested in the emotional connection between them and their mate.
“When women become pregnant, their bodies change,” says Dr. Fisher. “Their ovaries stop producing eggs and instead begin secreting hormones that prepare the uterus for pregnancy.”  As a result, many women experience feelings of depression during their first trimester. These hormonal changes make it difficult for most women to maintain a relationship with a single man. But once the woman gets past her first trimester, her body returns to normal and she begins looking forward to becoming a mother.
Dr. Fisher argues that men are biologically hardwired to pursue multiple partners because it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. If he doesn’t reproduce quickly, his sperm could die out before the next mating season arrives. So a man needs to keep spawning new sperm by finding multiple females so that he can maximize his chances of passing along his DNA.
This does mean that men usually aren’t emotionally attached to any of the women they sleep with. However, Dr. Fisher maintains that most men are capable of forming real attachments to individual women. What happens instead is that these attachments are overwhelmed by the need to seek out additional mates.
So where does all of this lead us? Well, it certainly does suggest that there isn’t anything wrong with us that causes us to cheat. Rather, we’re being pushed and pulled by forces outside of ourselves.
What those forces might look like is up to each individual to determine. Some argue that the media contributes greatly to the problem. For example, think back to the way pornography was portrayed in movies throughout the 1970s. Pornography is now marketed as mainstream entertainment. And yet, many critics claim that pornography is harmful to society.
Others believe that society itself encourages cheating. Take marriage, for instance. Most societies encourage two people to get married. We even celebrate weddings with friends and family members. Yet, marriages aren’t always happy ones.
Some sociologists go further and say that modern society promotes cheating through its obsession with youth culture. When teenagers grow up, they often face difficulty breaking free from their parents’ expectations. Teenagers are encouraged to rebel against authority figures such as teachers and bosses, but they’re also expected to live up to traditional standards of masculinity. That puts teens in a tough spot because they’re forced to choose between living up to their fathers’ expectations or following their own dreams. Often times, teens will turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity or porn to cope with the pressure.
One interesting theory proposed by psychologist David Buss suggests that society itself creates competition among males. He claims that the reason men are so drawn to younger women is because they’re trying to compete with other men. Since men rarely meet women their age until after puberty, older men must compete with other men for access to potential wives. This means that men are constantly comparing themselves to others who have already found a wife.
A final possibility is that we’re all victims of circumstance and upbringing. While we may not be able to control the media, our peers or our families, we can take responsibility for our actions. If we develop unhealthy relationships, we should try to break off contact with that person. Unfortunately, many people don’t see it this way. Instead, they resort to self-medicating their pain with food, drugs or sex.
If we’re going to start solving the problems of cheating, we’ll need to start talking openly about it. There are plenty of resources available to help people deal with infidelity. One place to start is National Infidelity Support Day. You can learn more about it at http://www.nissd.org/. Another organization called Save Our Daughters (SOD) focuses specifically on helping girls avoid falling victim to date rape. Their motto is “preventing violence against women.” You can visit their website at www.saveourgirls.com.
It’s important to note that no matter what kind of circumstances led to your infidelity, it wasn’t caused by your genetics or biology. Instead, it happened because of choices you made. Now that you understand this, you can decide whether or not you want to continue making poor choice after poor choice.
Learn more about infidelity by visiting the links on the next page.

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