Why people cheat in relationships

Young displeased man gesturing in indignation, arguing with his girlfriend. [File, Standard]

Relationships are a ‘two-way street’ that requires commitment from both partners to make it a success.

Keeping a romantic relationship alive for long can be a daunting task as it takes certain commitments to make the love glowing.

However, the relationship might dwindle if either partner opts to display dishonesty or lack of commitment to the union.

People have become open nowadays to revealing their relationship status owing to the embraced use of social media, which has embraced online dating.

A question one would ask frequently is ‘What makes partners decide to cheat in a relationship?’

Revenge, Commitment issues

According to Healthline.com, people can cheat for revenge, when they fall out of love, are afraid of commitment, for sexual desires or to boost their self-esteem.

To understand the psychology behind cheating, the writer joined a Psychologist, Geoffrey Wango, and radio presenter CT Muga in a live discussion organized by The Standard on Tuesday, August 15.

Wango advises that one should understand the magnitude and purpose of a relationship before getting into one.

As a professor, Wango advises teenagers who think of starting a serious relationship to wait for an appropriate time of maturity.

“It's very important to get into a relationship when you are of age because terms and conditions apply. Any relationship you get into as a teenager is just an infatuation,” said Wango.

He is of the opinion that any romantic relationship that involves partners of below 21 years is likely to fail because of their misunderstanding of partnership commitments.

“They don’t know what they get committed to. That’s why the lady gets pregnant at an early age while the man is forced into marriage because he is bound by the relationship,” he said.

Radio personality CT Muga thinks that once people get into a relationship and with time realize that it does not fit their expectations, they may then become unfaithful.

Muga opines that a relationship is like a contract that one should keep intact to avoid any fallout.

“There is part of the contract that says I have an obligation to fulfill the contract and there is deceit when one feels he or she is not part of the contract. I think people cheat because they got into a contract that was not detailed to fit them,” he says.

He adds that partners cheat in a relationship when their expectations are not met and one cannot keep up with a certain behavior.

“Sometimes your expectations override the reality but you and the thing you observe might catch up with you later,” Muga said.

Wango also adds that society has changed from the traditional mentality where men were prone to cheating in polygamy families.

He says that in cheating, there is no gender that is immune to the act, but one can read and see the red flags in a relationship early on.

“If someone has the ability to be unfaithful, you will see it early. But because you think they will change with time or think you will make them change so you look at it as a project you want to get involved in,” he says.

The psychologist says that a relationship involves time, money, and emotions hence cheating can be a brief or long-term issue.

Cheating is majorly impacted by three factors including the personality of the individual, the relationship, and situational circumstances, adds Wango.

The impact of cheating on an individual can be so tedious leading to shock, pain, denial, betrayal, and disappointment.