Infidelity is often viewed as the end result of some deep-seated problem in a relationship. But can a person succumb to cheating even if they’re happy in a present relationship?
When one anonymous user asked “Do happy people cheat?” on theAsianparent Community, he or she was met with a slew of responses from fellow parents who frequent the Q&A app.
screengrab: theAsianparent Community
“You bring up a very good question.,” wrote Rose C. “Have you ever watched Esther Perel’s talk on affairs? If you have 20 minutes to spare, watch it.” She then attached a link to the talk which can be found here.
“Contrary to what you may think, affairs are way less about sex, and a lot more about desire: desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important,” she clarifies. “And the very structure of an affair, the fact that you can never have your lover, keeps you wanting. That in itself is a desire machine, because the incompleteness, the ambiguity, keeps you wanting that which you can’t have.”
“Yes. I used to be in a really happy relationship. Then one night.. I woke up and saw him on his mobile, in a chatroom looking for sex.”
“Yes. I used to be in a really happy relationship,” recounted Nooraini D. “We could share everything and anything with one another. Then one night, I woke up and saw him on his mobile, in a chatroom looking for sex. There is no definite answer why people cheat. After a long time, I realized it was simply because he didn’t love me enough NOT to hurt me.”
“Being happy with their life doesn’t mean they’re satisfied with what they’ve got,” states Febby A. “People cheat because they don’t get enough from their partner. So yes, happy people can cheat.”
But new dad Florian C. begs to differ. “No,” he writes. “By definition ‘cheating’ is a negative behavior, so if one is cheating, there is something wrong in the relationship.”
More responses from parents on the next page
“Happy people CAN cheat” writes dad Alvin C. “Reasons could be because of problems in the relationship amongst other things.”
Janine M., on the other hand believes that being happy is relative. “It doesn’t always mean the person is contented, hence the cheating,” she shares. “Sometimes, happy people cheat and the reason is more about them than their partners because they are happy but not contented and thus desire for more. So yes, I believe that some happy people can cheat.”
While Nitin A. believes happy people can cheat to get more happiness.
Claudia C. recounted the story of a friend who cheated on a boyfriend even if she was happy. Why? “She wanted to have the thrill of dating someone new, but didn’t want to lose her current relationship.”
“Happiness does not have anything to do with infidelity.”
“People cheat for a variety of reasons, regardless of their circumstance (happy or sad),” wrote Ameetess D. in response. “It’s like indulging in proclivities without a thought to the consequences.”
Karina L. believes it all boils down to respect. If they truly care for and respect the one they’re with, they won’t be happy even if they’re cheating.
“Happiness does not have anything to do with infidelity,” Deepshikha P. “In fact, happy people can also cheat on their partners. That’s because cheating may not be be merely about sex but about more complex desires. It could also be a result of restlessness, boredom and even adventure.”
READ: Why do people cheat even if they’re in a happy marriage?
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