Infidelity is such an awful and difficult thing for everyone involved to understand. If you’ve ever been cheated on, you know how heartbreaking and confusing that experience can be. You wonder how your partner could do that to you knowing the pain they were going to cause you. You wonder why do people cheat, if it was your fault, if you weren’t enough or if it was because of something you did. These questions are not easy to answer and many psychologists have been studying this behavior to find some pattern.
What is known is that this can be pathology in many people, so you should not blame yourself, it may be that your partner was simply a serial cheater.
It may sound like a very extreme term, but it is adequate to describe people with measurable behavior, who show that they are in constant search of sexual relations outside of their relationship. They can look like anyone, they look totally normal, it could be your neighbor, your boss, or the relationship guru you’ve been following for years.
The healthy relationship expert who cheated on his wife multiple times
A few months ago the news about Derrick Jaxn, an internet relationship guru with more than 1.3 MILLION followers on Instagram, who acknowledged having serial cheated on his wife, went viral after several accusations came to light.
Jaxn became popular on the internet in mid-2012, when he started a blog recounting how he got back his first love (Jackson) and how to have a healthy and strong relationship. Derrick and Jackson got married, started a family, and have gained millions of followers through their life as a couple goals, becoming role models for many young people.
When several women claimed to have had sexual relations with Jaxn, word began to spread about his infidelity, until through his Instagram account he admitted to having serial cheated on Jackson, who accompanied him in the video.
So… if a relationship guru made dozens of trips straight to Cheatersville, what can we expect from our partners? Are we all doomed to cheat? Can a serial cheater change?
Why do people cheat?
This question is tricky since before we even start answering it, we would have to stop hundreds of times to ask ourselves more questions.
What exactly is cheating? Sexting with another person is cheating? Or is it thinking of someone else while you have sex? What if they were drunk or high? We could sit for hours to discuss this and we would have many different answers and opinions.
If you ask me, infidelity starts when she starts sending memes to another guy. There is no higher level of betrayal than that.
Some psychologists allege that the things that can lead a person to cheat are various. Self-esteem problems, personality disorders, inability to regulate emotions, traumatic past experiences, problems during childhood, etc.
But what leads someone to become a serial cheater? It is one thing to do it once, repent and strive to change, but it is quite another for it to be part of your behavior.
The psychology of a serial cheater
The drives of a person who constantly cheats in their relationships can be several and different in each case. However, after many studies, it has been possible to deduce a series of factors that could summarize the causes of infidelity behind a serial cheater.
Basic instincts. Although it sounds very primitive, we are still animals with instincts. Among these, the reproductive instinct is in the male, and although we are already part of a society with cultural rules and norms, some are carried away by the most carnal impulses. Although it is a fact that monogamy is not natural to our behavior as a species, we are all in control of our actions and understand the consequences.
Tendency to seek the forbidden. When a series of men who had cheated were interviewed on what motivated them, many expressed a gratifying sense of the “danger” or adrenaline of doing something prohibited. The answer to why people cheat can be found to why people like to break the rules.
Power status. Many of the cases of serial cheating aside from being in men are men with power. Either economic power or influence. This may be the case with Derrick Jaxn, who made quite a bit of profit off his books and gained a massive following. The feeling of power can lead a person to not understand that certain things are not within their reach and that they cannot have everything. Cheating is their way of showing that there isn’t something they can’t have, even people.
Selfish behavior. Some people have personality disorders that lead them to see everything as the center of the world. Their way of seeing and experiencing things is depending on how they feel and how events affect them. Therefore, they seek to satisfy their needs without understanding or empathizing with the feelings of others. They may claim that their partners did not satisfy them or gave them the priority they believe they deserve.
The big question is whether they can change. A healthcare professional should never tell you that someone is a basket case, so through psychotherapy, the right tools, and time, anyone can improve.
On the other hand, it is not our responsibility to fix others, so if your partner is in the process of recovery, you should ask yourself if it is a good idea to maintain the relationship until they progress.
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