What makes a person cheat?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
What makes a person cheat?
34
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 11:08am
My brother has been married for 6 years and will now be getting a divorce. A couple weeks ago his wife said she wasn't happy and might leave. She said she was confused about what to do and said my brother needed to be nicer to her, like curb his words in an arguement (I admit he can ahve a sharp tongue once in a while). She was undecided if she wanted to try and work things out. My brother was distraught, he offered to go to counseling and do anything she wanted to save their marriage. He likes being married very much. He called me crying when he found this out, this is not the nature of my brother to cry. I felt so bad for him I wished I could make it better for him. He couldn't imagine his life without his wife. They don't have children, but they have a beautiful home, sucessful careers, take wonderful vacations and such.

Anyway, my brother found out that she has been cheating on him with an old boyfriend. She really didn't know the man she was married to very well because she had been communicating with this guy via email and she thought by erasing the emails it was safe. My brother is an IT genius and can locate anything on any compueter or system, including ones outside their home. After he found this out, he printed out the emails and gave them to her and asked her for an explanation. SHe said "how did you find these?" He told her to get a lawyer and start making a list of the things in the house she wanted that it was over.

His hurt feelings have turned to anger. He is now mad which I guess is understandable. He is going to sell the house, take 3 months off of work, hike the Appalation Trail and write a book. Now my brother is an IT guy but I have always felt he missed his calling. He should have been a writer, he got married young and never pursued it. I hope now he willt ake the time to do the things he always wanted to.

I think the anger will go away and the reality will hit him soon. I hope he can handle that. I just wonder what makes a person cheat. No matter how mad I could get at my dh, I could never cheat on him. If things aren't working out in a marriage, people need to move on first before finding someone else. But, then again both of them went from home to marriage, neither have ever rented an apartment in their life. I know my brother will do well, he will meet someone when the time is right, shoot all his life he has been called Maverick after Tom Cruise in Top Gun. He looks just like Tom Cruise, except taller.

Anyway, sorry to go on I was just floored by this revelation, I NEVER would ahve expected this from my sister in law in a million years. SHe just didn't seem like the type to do this.

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Avatar for virgogirl914
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 11:41am
What I've seen from my experience is that there isn't a 'type'.

And there are as many factors as to why people find themselves in an affair as there are people who find themselves in affairs.

For my husband it was depression that led to self-destructive behaviors while he was away from our family. Through marital counselling and some tough introspection on both of our parts, we have been able to work past the situation- it was very short lived. Not every couple can work past it or should work past it. My situation included a marriage of nearly 12 years and 3 children.

What I've also seen is that there are stages of dealing with the revelation of the affair that aren't unlike the stages of grief. Denial, sadness, anger, resolution (I may have missed one in there).

I wish your brother peace as he works through this difficult time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 2:00pm
I think the reason people cheat is because they think "the grass is greener on the other side" (although its not).

I'm sorry to be blunt, but this woman is a fool from what I can tell of your story. First of all - has she even MET this man she is communicating with via emails?? He could be ANYBODY. If she hasn't even met him, then its likely he has no real interest in her at all. Like I said, he could be anybody. He could be married w/a family of his own. He could be a hard core criminal. He could be anybody. If she thinks communicating electronically through emails and such constitutes a "relationship" she is very naive and living in a fantasy world.

The only man I've ever done lots of emails with, was when my boyfriend had to leave the country for six months. Other than that, I don't think emailing constitutes a "relationship" in any way, shape or form.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 10:32pm
Thanks for your well wishes. My brother wants to save his marriage and is willing to do everything he can, however his wife doesn't seem to show the same interest. I hope whatever happens, that he will find happiness in the long run. There is a reason for everything that happens to us and we usually don't see it on the onset.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 1:12am
Your brother has my sympathy. People cheat for many reasons, maybe his wife just never got over her x or maybe she just wanted to re-experience that rush one gets with re-kindling.

Either way she's wrong and hopefully he knows that.

Please urge him to get tested for STDs. She may have exposed him because who knows who her x bf had sex with before they reconnected.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 4:43am
Well, for starters, having a verbally abusive, excessively controlling spouse might make someone desparate enough to look elsewhere for affection. I'm not saying that makes it RIGHT; I'm just saying such circumstances could lead to a situationn that appears so lacking in safety and true caring that a spouse could be tempted.

It was wrong of your SIL to cheat. It's similarly wrong to be verbally abusive. And it's stalking to hack computer sites (particularly those that don't belong to you) to read emails that aren't addressed to you and for which you have not received permission to access and read.

Unlike your SIL, I would not be confused or undecided about such a marital situation; I'd have walked a LONG time ago, and I'd have sought a restraining order against your brother the first time he presented me with evidence of his illegal computer hacking.

Sorry, but cheating doesn't excuse abuse or stalking or being a control freak any more than abuse, stalking and being a control freak excuses cheating. Both are wrong and both need to do MUCH changing before they should attempt to inflict themselves on new significant others.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 6:02am
Lack of character, short and simple. I don't buy that she cheated because her husband should have been nicer to her. If her marriage was that bad, she should have gotten out BEFORE she cheated. No, people who cheat just lack character.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 7:08am
That is the way I feel exactly.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 7:11am
For starters, I would hardly call it hacking when it is HIS computer she was using to send her emails through to her boyfriend. Stalking? That is comical at best. Yes my brother can have a sharp tongue once in a while but I am sure this is getting well exagerated as the prospect of having someone new in her life is available. The grass always looks greener. She will learn like many other women do, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Furthermore, if she was so miserable in her marriage (which I don't believe was really the case until her ex-boyfriend came into the picture) then she should have packed up her crap and moved on. I have no respect for women who behave this way at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 8:24am
I'm so sorry for your brother. I am in the minority probably, and I have no idea about their marriage or their reasons. However, I have a friend (not a close one) who has no interest in getting out of her marriage, but has had short and long term affairs. She likes the rush, the conquest, the illicitness, etc. She loves her DH and wants to grow old with him, but he is (according to her) unimaginative in the bedroom and predictable in life and she simply needs more. She feels guilty about it, since there are children involved, but is not and has never been a monogamous person.

The reason I post this is to say that not all cheaters do it because they want out of the marriage.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 9:52am
I think some people are just immature and selfish(Bill Clinton), but I think most people who have affairs are probably very unhappy.I think it usually takes two people to amke a marriage happy or unhappy.

I also think getting married young is a big indicator for divorce.As hard as it is now,hopefully they both go on to make a better match.

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