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Insecurity and cheating - does one lead to the other?
Sex & Intimacy / 3:42 PM - Monday December 13, 2010

Insecurity and cheating - does one lead to the other?

A friend of mine and I were talking about his insecure wife - he cheated and blamed her, and here is what I told him.

Anyone who cheats is a cheater - period.

When a woman or a man acts overly insecure, this is one of the WORST possible behaviors to show in a relationship. It is a subtle behavioral signal that screams to your mate "I am beneath you and unworthy and cannot compete with others, so go have sex with other people!"

Insecure people do not want to hear this, and so they get defenseive (because that's what insecure people do) and they kill the messenger and keep acting insecure. This leads to more cheating, and ironically, more insecurity.

A relationship rests on a basic level of trust in order to survive. I would argue that without the security part, there can be no trust.

What do you think?

Update: December 13, 2010.
This is not about a secure spouse using the other spouse's insecurity as a reason to cheat. Just that it may sometimes be a contributing factor. No justifications here. You can take this perspective, get defensive and kill the messenger. That's your call. Joybird, I am impressed! You may be the only person on the planet who is completely unbiased. You surely do not hold to a constructivist paradigm - I do though - and I admit my bias in this case. We are ALL biased by our own experiences. This has been mine and I am sharing it. So instead of using the term "Worst" (assuming that is the pejorative term you meant), I will say instead that it is highly effective at creating a sense of cognitive dissonance in their spouse, thereby contributing to an emotional disconnect, which may in turn set the stage for potential infidelity. I agree - it is a complex issue. I am one who breaks such complexity into smaller parts because I am clearly not as wise as you and I need stuff in small bites sometimes.

- Asked by kopfjaeger, A Career Man, Male, 46-55

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Hmmm you make an interesting argument about the insecurity and you got attacked a bit for it but I like it. You may want to expand the theory a bit to say "unreasonable insecurity" because everyone has a certain amount of insecurity in them. Women sometimes have a bit more then men and freely admit that but they will immediately rail against your argument. I do think that the equality of the relationship really makes a difference in it's survivability. That's why big age gap couples rarely survive; invariably one person becomes the parent and the other the child and neither can survive that inequality.

- Response by 7zebras, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, New York, Financial / Banking

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Your thinking regarding this issue is rather superficial. It's got the kind of simplistic, immaturity that kindergarteners use to analyze an issue that has some complexity. And so your comment to him lacks merit. Part of the problem is most peoples inability to analyze a behavior without automatically applying pejorative terms to it. As soon as you apply a pejorative term the game is are already looking at the issue with bias that exempts you from rationale dissection and analysis of the behavior.
Insecurity is not even on the list of the major reasons why persons choose to engage in secondary relationships.

- Response by joybird, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Therapist

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your friend is trying to justify his infidelity. one cannot blame someone else about infidelity.

- Response by mobysdick, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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The most important piece of what you just said is anyone who cheats is a cheater - period. How can one come back from that breach of trust? LOL @ kill the messenger, but you still here typing!

- Response by momof4, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Administrative

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It is a cheating partner or one with a wandering eye that contributes to inscecurity imo. If one partner cheats the blame is on them. If your relationship is not working either sort it out or leave - do not cheat then try to justify it with bullshit excuses.

- Response by cam80, A Career Woman, Female, 29-35

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Ehhhh I lend some truth to what you suggest but it certainly isn't the most common reason why people cheat. In extreme situations (I've only seen it from women) there are people who feel stuck in the marriage because they feel like they have no skills sets, no way to solely support themselves or their children, and no other options...could be a combination of mental/emotional abuse, lack of exposure to the world around them, no sense of self, etc. Yes that is about insecurity, fear and often, a victimized mentality and yes, there are men who will capitalize on those insecurities and do whatever they want (including cheat) because they know that the women won't leave/feels like leaving isn't even an option.

In a healthy relationship though, both partners SHOULD be able to share their *reasonable* insecurities and fears and have their partner make them feel safe and secure in sharing the not-so-pretty parts of who we are. A mentally healthy partner won't use their partner's openness, honesty, and vulnerabilities against them.

- Response by surrealoptimism, A Creative, Female, 29-35

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That sounds reasonable to me. But sometimes the insecure person will be the one to cheat because they assume you will. But those people are crazy as well as insecure.

- Response by llafsroh, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Science / Engineering

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I think this is a bunch of B.S. and it's just another excuse for poor behavior! But hey I give you a 10 for originality.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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