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Cheating while in a relationships is, arguably, the most selfish thing a person can do. It’s a clear sign of disrespect, dishonesty, self-indulgence and insecurity, which can really leave the person who got cheated on in a rut for months or years, as they often refuse to trust people after being so damaged by a previous relationship.

Thing is, there’s more to cheating than just physical cheating, as emotional cheating is often something that people, sadly, do as well, which requires manipulation and bad communication, which may lead one partner to wonder what might be going on behind closed doors.

While I have no way to prove it — not that I care anymore — I have been in a cheating relationship. Although it may not have been the physical side, or so I don’t think, it was of the emotional type, which left me insecure about who I was in the relationship, questioning almost every move, wondering if I needed to give my ex-girlfriend and I more space or more time together and, once the relationship abruptly ended, had me looking for answers as to how it got to that point. It crippled me for months, and, even today, has me a bit more cautious when meeting a girl who might show some red flags that are similar to my ex.

While no one can ever predict if a relationship is going to end with cheating, there are some things to look for. For instance, has a person cheated in the past? How are their relationships with friends and family? Those types of things. But, one thing that is interesting about cheating is that there are plenty of info that can be determined after the fact, which is why we’re giving you facts about cheaters that science have proven to be right.

How common is cheating?

According to lehmiller.com, the number of married people who say they’ve cheated is pretty much between 20-to-25 percent. Yes, that means that, if accurate, about 1 in 4 people are cheating — which is really, really sad. While that may be devastating to hear for those who have walked down the aisle together, it’s worse for those people who are dating, as cheating in young people, mainly college students, is about 1 in 3.

Although there’s no way to tell if all these people are cheating physically, with some being emotional cheating, it’s generally thought that those who are cheating are doing so of the physical nature.

Is one gender more likely to be cheating than the other?

Yes. According to the aforementioned lehmiller.com article, most studies on the topic show that men are more likely to cheat than women, but that doesn’t mean girls aren’t sneaking around on their guys. That’s because, while reports shows that guys are the ones more likely to be caught cheating, infidelity in girls have increased by about 40 percent within the past 50 years, showing that ladies are beginning to take part in the terrible decision more often.

There isn’t a clear-cut reason as to why that’s the case, but one theory could be because, unlike in the 1960s and ’70s, more women have jobs or travel for work, and aren’t just tied to being the mom and raising the kids as they often were a half-century ago.

When cheating, is the partner doing so with a stranger or someone they already know?

Although cheating knows no limits — someone is just as possible to do it during a one-night stand with a stranger as they are with a person they’ve known for years — it’s the latter that’s much more common. That’s because, whether it’s a guy or girl who’s cheating, most people tend to develop feelings for a longtime friend, rather than put themselves out there for a stranger.

In my situation, I thought that’s what happened, as my ex-girlfriend was often hanging out with a different group of friends who I had no contact or relationship with. In her eyes, they were “her friends,” and that didn’t include me, which, in effect, meant that she could do nearly anything she wanted to while I wasn’t around. It hurt, and sucks to think about still, but, hey, I’m better off now than I would have ever been with her. It was a clear sign of selfishness and either emotional or physical cheating; hopefully just the former.

So, whether it’s with a group of friends your girlfriend hides from you, or a coworker who she sees or travels with often, cheating people are more likely to do so with someone they often see on a regular basis and have already developed some chemistry with.

Are there distinct reasons why cheating happens in a relationship?

This is difficult to answer, since cheating can be defined differently by people, but, yes, there are believed to be eight reasons why someone might cheat. Here are some of the common reasons.

  • Sexual desire
  • Anger
  • Lack of love
  • Feel of neglect
  • Lack of commitment
  • Factors like vacation or being drunk
  • Ego boosting or a reason to increase self-esteem
  • The desire for more variety

While those are the most common reasons for cheating, they are different in men and women, so it’s important to understand how these differ depending on gender.

Is the cheating term, “once a cheater, always a cheater” really true?

We’ve all heard this term before to describe someone after they got caught cheating, but, guess what, it’s actually got some truth to it. According to research about cheaters, people who fooled around in a previous relationship were about 3.5 times as likely to be caught cheating again in a later relationship. Of course, that doesn’t mean that someone who previously cheated will always do so again — and no one will tell a new partner that they were the one cheating to end a previous relationship — but it’s an act that is often repeated by the same person, so proceed with caution if you ever do find out that someone once cheated before.

What are the risks of cheating?

Outside of the emotional risks of cheating, there are plenty of physical risks as well, so they’re important to understand should you, or your partner, be caught cheating. Since cheating is a high-risk sexual behavior, most studies have found that cheaters in a monogamous relationship often don’t use protection like condoms because it’s unexpected. For instance, if a girl goes out and gets drunk before having a one-night stand, having a condom might not be thought about. This type of behavior can lead to an increased risk of STIs and other diseases.

Understanding the risks of cheating is important for anyone who hopes to try and work things out with a cheating partner; which often happens. But, remember, a cheater will never reveal every detail about what actually occurred, so if a person does get caught cheating, it’s usually best to move on — no matter how difficult it actually is.

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