Is it because of the seven year itch? Are we addicted to seeking new connections so we can feel the thrill of that chemical attraction again? Are we needing the feeling of being shiny and new again? Or is it a breakdown of intimacy because sometimes life takes all the romance out of a relationship?
Make it work with the man you love
The answer is, “all of the above” combined with “it depends”. The thing is, we’re actually not monogamous by nature, and all Ashley Madisson does is highlight that very human part of us. By the way, if we were beavers or swans we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Those guys wrote the book on monogamy.
Wait! I can hear some of you saying. Not monogamous by nature?! How dare you?! I’M monogamous! And yes, I believe you, but for our species, Homo Sapien, monogamy ends up being a cultural choice.
That seven year itch sociologists and psychologists keep talking about? Well, don’t hate me for saying this, but it’s actually an evolutionary throwback from our cavemen days.
Coded into us is a desire to be sure that the baby we make together is strong and smart enough to tackle all the dangers of life, and for that we’re subconsciously compelled to keep finding the strongest mate. Way back then, if we kept choosing the same partner to make babies with as we aged, our deteriorating genetics would reduce the chance of making that baby super robust.
This is why when men cheat it’s usually with a younger partner.
See, he’s subconsciously looking for signs of fertility – the flush in her cheeks and curves in her hips and breasts, along with the higher octave in her voice and whiff of pheromones that’s only picked up in his subconscious mind can trigger his instincts to choose the next best baby mamma.
Of course, he doesn’t know that. All he knows is he’s got an urge, and if he’s too testosterone driven to analyze his own behaviours, if he’s impulsive and selfish, if he’s feeling super stressed out and is looking for a distraction, or if he’s not fully committed to you, he’s likely to follow his lizard brain right off a cliff.
And of course we have the emotional side too, the part of us that that loves the effects of Love. Why? Simply put, Love creates a pretty awesome chemical stew that’s intoxicating, mind blowing, and spewing aphrodisiacs all over the place.
Oxytocin, the chemical released in your brain by touch, creates a bit of a fog that doesn’t just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. It adjusts your brain so that you sleep less but feel more energized, and quickly forget anything crazy and crappy. So if your relationship is on the rocks, all this can feel like an emotional vacation. Click Here to read up on signs your new partner is cheating)
Never underestimate someones desire to take the easy road till you know for sure he’s actually a hard working man.
But seriously, if you’ve been spending years in a relationship seeing each other with bed head and toothpaste on your faces, sometimes it’s tempting to be seen in a fresh new light. Especially if you’re in a relationship that’s struggling to maintain intimacy.
Oh, I’m handsome/beautiful ALL THE TIME?! And smart and witty and amusing and fun, and you know nothing about how I am when I’m angry??…that sounds like a nice vacation from the negativity that can infuse a relationship that’s been on the rocks for too long. It’s tempting to want to revisit that feeling of being shiny and new again, where all your best qualities shine like a beacon while your not-so-nice ones are taking a hiatus.
But knowing all that does nothing for the suckage cheating causes in our lives.
For those of us who experience the downfall of cheating, the betrayal is huge. We thought there was a sacred agreement in place, and finding our devotion was misplaced can have long consequences to our ability to trust going forward.
And I’ll be the first to admit, I have a particular distaste for the exe’s who took that route while we were together. It hurts to want someone more than they want you. A lot.
So what do you do?
WATCH: HOW TO GET HIM TO DO THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL SPECIAL
Well, this one falls under “That depends.” Cheating isn’t the sort of problem that has a one size fits all solution, mainly because factors like kids and duration dictate how complicated a break up would be. Sometimes he needs to get the boot right a way, and sometimes you both need to think about what you actually want.
Cheating can happen because the relationship is new and he’s not fully committed yet. It can happen because he still loves you, but doesn’t know how to talk about the tough stuff. It could even happen because someone is going through intense grief. Nobody said smart people never do stupid things.
Is cheating forgiveable?
Look, if this happens with someone who’s new to your life, after you agreed to a committed, monogamous relationship, this doesn’t bode well for your future together. This guy is showing you his stripes, and if you don’t learn the lesson early and give him the boot your increasing your odds of having this happen all over again. Remember, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
But if it’s happens with a long term partner who clearly loves you, is sincerely repentant, knowing he made a horrible mistake and wants to do whatever it takes to fix it, it can be forgiven with time, effort, and some good therapeutic intervention.
But one thing you shouldn’t be doing is staying stuck, spinning on what if’s. You deserved the truth before it became so painful, and you deserve better behaviours from the one you love.
So either dump his ass and take your time choosing your next partner, or commit to mending the issues in your relationship. I get that either way this isn’t an easy road to travel, but at least you’ve got women like me on your side, ready to give you the insights you need to finally create the love you want.
Be sure to check out Chantal’s books on Amazon!
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her booksDating 101,Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss,Fix That Shit,Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Madeare available on Amazon. View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to sign up for her mailing list (scroll all the way to the bottom to join, and get your free book) and check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they're looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.