Why did your boyfriend cheat on you? You probably fear it has something to do with you and think that if he wanted you more that your boyfriend wouldn’t have cheated.
While it’s impossible for you to be a perfect girlfriend, the subject of cheating is more complex than that.
Dr. John Gottman reports that most affairs are about seeking friendship, support, understanding, and validation. While he is referring specifically to affairs that happen with married couples, the principal is still generally true with a serious relationship of an unmarried couple where one of them cheats.
Men and women have different strengths and are different in obvious and not-so-obvious ways and we should embrace those differences, but there are also similarities. Such is the case with cheating. There is not a one-size-fits-all men or all women when it comes to answering the question of why a boyfriend cheated (if you aren’t sure if he actually is cheating or has, see How To Know If A Boyfriend is Cheating. But here are some possible reasons a boyfriend cheated:
Reasons A Boyfriend Would Cheat
1. He’s not used to long term relationships and is chasing newness. It’s possible your boyfriend has only been in short term flings and not real relationships, so he’s used to being physical with a lot of different women for short periods of time and then moving on to another. The scientific term for addiction to the intense feelings of new relationships is limerence. Though he might be serious about you in his own mind, he gets bored quickly and cheats on you. It’s up to you to determine if it’s worth continuing with him as he hopefully learns, matures, and becomes more of a one-woman man – that is, if he does.
2. He feels unsatisfied with the physical side of your relationship or wants something you can’t provide (or won’t). Maybe you want to wait for marriage or only want certain kinds of sex whereas he wants other positions or types. You can fill in the blanks. If he feels that his life is unfulfilled sexually, he might be tempted to find it elsewhere (women are the same way). Can you be more adventurous in bed? Do you want to be? Does it violate your conscious or disgust you? Again, it’s obviously your call if you want to change for him or leave the cheating boyfriend.
3. He feels neglected in some way, be it time, acceptance, and/or not feeling appreciated. If he feels you are mistreating him or absent too often, he might seek quality time or acceptance elsewhere. If you don’t approve of his hobbies, friends, career, beliefs, or other things that are important to him, he could seek emotional comfort elsewhere (and that can turn physical quickly). Remember that true love accepts people as they are and loves them in such a way that they feel free. If he feels you are trying to change him, he’ll feel that you don’t accept the “real” him – and he will seek someone who does.
4. He has low self-esteem and feels better about himself by sleeping with others. Some men (and women) feel that they are more physically attractive and desired if they sleep with a large number of people. Each rendezvous feeds his ego and makes him feel attractive, desired, and that he is experiencing life to the fullest. You could leave your boyfriend for cheating or try to build his self esteem by making him feel more attractive and desired. I’ve seen it work both ways. As always, it’s your call and no one else’s.
5. He’s not as committed to you as you are to him. Maybe he thinks the two of you are just casually dating. Maybe he thinks that you have permission to be with others as well. Sometimes talking about it is a good thing and sometimes, in early stages of a relationship, it’s not because it can make the other person feel controlled or that things are moving too quickly. You need to look at your situation and what you want to determine if it’s worth seeing if your boyfriend will change in the future as the two of you become more committed. If you are definitely committed and exclusive, then this is obviously a big problem.
To get my help on your specific situation and a tailored road map to getting your ex back, schedule a private coaching call with me!