Everyone knows the old proverb “cheaters never prosper”, but why exactly do people cheat on their partners?
Big Brother Australia has been rocked this year, thanks in large to two housemates – Cat and Lawson. If you haven’t heard of this debacle, here’s the short and snappy version. Lawson went into the house in a happy relationship with a woman named Candice. Enter Cat, the stunning blonde Lawson couldn’t keep his eyes off. In front of hundreds of thousands of viewers around the country, Lawson cheated on his girlfriend with Cat on national TV which sparked a huge controversy.
The following week, both Lawson and Cat were evicted from the house. During their post-eviction interviews, Lawson and Cat both defended themselves among the inevitable backlash they faced.
“You can’t help who you fall for, and it’s even harder if that person is in a tricky situation,” Cat said. “Candice was always on my mind, it was hard not to consider her feelings, but I’d rather someone’s feelings be hurt for something real than something fake.”
It’s commonly known that cheating is morally questionable, but would there ever be a time when a reason behind infidelity is acceptable?
Charlie*, a 22-year-old IT consultant, told The Newsroom he felt his reasons for cheating on his then-girlfriend “kind of justified” it.
“I’m sorry for how I made her feel, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “But I don’t regret what I did. I felt trapped in my relationship… I didn’t feel as if I had the opportunity to break up with her [because] she guilted me into staying with her. I would have done the honourable thing of breaking up with her before seeing the new girl but she wouldn’t let me.”
Charlie describes his previous relationship as toxic, saying his ex would emotionally manipulate him into doing things he didn’t want to, including remaining with her even though he was unhappy.
“I felt a genuine connection with her [the other girl], and so I did it. I don’t regret what I did one bit,” he said.
The Huffington Post created a list of ten reasons why men cheated in their lives, although it’s important to note that both men and women cheat. Some of the reasons include “she accused me of cheating so I went out and did it” and “she’s not freaky enough”.
Cassie*, a 21-year-old retail manager, told The Newsroom cheating can never be justified regardless of the circumstances.
“My ex-boyfriend cheated on me and thought it was fine because no one else knew we were official… absolute bullshit,” she said. “The benefit I had, though, was he didn’t know I knew, so I used that to my advantage.”
Although The Newsroom doesn’t condone acts of vengeance and rage, Cassie had a very specific way of getting back at her unfaithful partner.
“I slashed his tyres and got away with it because he thought I was still oblivious to what he had done,” she said. “I just don’t think cheating is ever right. If you’re going to get into a committed relationship with someone, you better be prepared to stick with that one person for the duration of your time together. If not, at least have the decency to break up with them before you go sniffing other dogs’ kennels.”
Otherwise, you might have your tyres slashed. – Noah La’ulu
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Top screenshot from Big Brother.