Are there ever legitimate reasons for cheating?
THIRTEEN out of 15 women polled for this story said that they would understand that a man, being naturally weak, could have little control over his flesh if he was tempted and mind-conned by a captivating woman to partake in some outside fun. They’d call it “justified cheating”.
It’s the same definition they’d use for a woman, if her man decided to have another full-time partner while in the relationship, and a similarly captivating fellow decided to wine and dine her and whisper sweet nothings in her ears.
Indeed, in this situation, 14 of the 15 women gave the thumbs up to infidelity.
Psychotherapist at the Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre Tamaya Wilson said some studies show that women cheat almost as much as men do, even though it’s the men who have been given the “dog” tag for years.
“Other studies show that they cheat at about the same rate, in fact,” Wilson said. “Studies as far back as the 1920s show that men are more willing than women to admit to cheating and more recent studies show that men are twice as likely to get caught.”
For some couples there’s run-of-the-mill cheating, and the other partner will get a full lashing if caught; and then there’s ‘cheating with good cause’ where the infidelity is said to be justified.
The legitimate reasons for doing it, according to some men and women we interviewed, are:
1. When one partner is cheating. When this occurs, the partner cheated on figures he/she has a right to revenge.
“If the other person is cheating and you can prove it, then why shouldn’t you cheat too? That justifies it,” one man said.
2. If she/he decides to lock shop for a long period. For some men this is something that they just cannot comprehend or accept, and they will go outside the relationship to find sexual satisfaction if their women at home decide to ‘lock shop’ for lengthy periods of time. It’s the same for women, who hold that if their men refuse to show them love, there are lots of other fish in the sea.
3. If she/he refuses to change. One woman said if her partner’s behaviour is unacceptable and she speaks to him about it over and over without any change, then she would find someone outside the relationship whose behaviour is agreeable to her. “Cheating is not just about sex, but also about a person’s behaviour,” she said.
4. If you’re bored. “If the sex is boring and he feels he should not try anything different; if all he believes in is conventional sex and I want much more, then of course I would go out,” one woman said. Other women said if the man refuses to partake in certain types of pleasures, they’d find satisfaction elsewhere. “If he doesn’t get with the times, then I will get with someone modern,” another woman said.
5. If he/she belittles you, abuses you and treats you like a doormat. Being badly treated at home is one reason both men and women gave for cheating. “If the man is verbally and physically abusive then of course you should find comfort in the arms of another person,” a woman said. “You cannot allow one person to stop you from living, even though it may be hard to leave him because of the things you share together, like children and property.”
6. She has changed. “If she gets lazy or gains weight or is just not taking care of herself, then I would look outside,” one man said. “Remember what attracted us in the first place! Worse, if she is complacent and refuses to even try to do something about it.”
7 . You feel like you’re taken for granted. “If your man is not telling you that he loves you and is truly talking to you, then you will feel that something is seriously wrong and you will find someone that you can share your feelings with, who will share his feelings with you,” one woman said.