Are cheaters actually 'bad' people? Or are we simply just giving them a terrible reputation?

I've been thinking about this for a while. A common characteristic among people is the want to feel desired. However, even if we are in a relationship, we feel as if we are missing something, even in good ones. These missing feelings are usually due to our own perceptions of our immediate situation, which does NOT mean our perceptions are wrong, but skewed due to certain dynamics in relationships.
In bad relationships and one-sided ones, both or one of the partners will try his or her best to find a connection mentally, emotionally, and/or physically. This should NOT be an excuse to cheat, but the reality is, life is too unpredictable with people constantly changing. Those changes would be potential triggers as to why some people are willing to cheat, but not even realize they are doing it.
I've seen a wide range of scenarios. A guy isn't getting what he wants physically from the girl, and he looks for another girl whom is willing to provide. A girl is not getting the emotional support from her boyfriend, and ends up going to some other guy for support, but will not do anything with him physically. In both scenarios, the scapegoat parties are the ones essentially become third wheels that are left unfulfilled in someway, shape, or form.

Toward the poll:
Cheating is stigmatized. However, I think this is only because our human based culture EMPHASIZES on monogamous relationships, but in the most objective sense, we are animals who have only a few main goals: eat, drink, breathe, reproduce. In a way, cheating in this situation can be considered as a natural want to fulfill are normal animalistic goals, but the it is because of our culture, we do not condone it.

  • Yes, they are bad and should not be considered for dating material.
    53% (47)60% (52)56% (99)Vote
  • It depends on the situation, but still can be considered 'bad.'
    29% (26)25% (22)27% (48)Vote
  • It's neutral, as people are solely responsible for their own feelings.
    18% (16)6% (5)12% (21)Vote
  • Finding new people we find attractive is natural, so no, they are not 'bad' for acting upon their desires.
    0% (0)9% (8)5% (8)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Girl

  • 1) they aren't actually doing anything constructive to fix their problems
    2) they're being extremely disrespectful to their partner
    3) they aren't upholding their commitments
    4) they are playing fast and loose with other people's feelings and well-being
    5) their sneaky behavior creates distance and distrust
    6) their sneaky behavior is evidence they KNOW they are behaving poorly... But doing it anyway
    7) they are being cowardly and actively avoiding self-improvement and building virtues

    I could go on. Yes, cheaters are being immoral, bad people. They are in full control of their behavior. Period. What other people are doing is simply an excuse.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Objectively their is no such thing as morality whether I murder some one or not it means nothing. If I assault some one it doesn't make me a bad person because the notion of bad or good is a human construct. However morality and social conditioning has a very important function. See animals kill and eat other animals many will kill and eat their own, so if I kill and eat another human I have done nothing wrong from an objective standpoint but according to culture and socialization I have. Why? Because of trust. We work as a group we function as a group all of which cannot happen if we are busy worrying about what others will do, if they will kill us harm us or exploit us. Cheaters have broken trust and thus have destroyed our social interaction. Relationships are contracts, its an exchange of goods and services. When one person cheats they steal the goods/services of the other ensuring they benefit and the other does not this is not conducive to team work and group functionality hence us viewing it as wrong. Cheating I particularly bad because it deals with reproduction which is the driving force of nature, it requires incredible amounts of trust from both parties as well as substantial sharing of resources and time. Imagine you raised a child that was not yours. They are now 18. Thats 18 years of effort that whent into ensuring the survival of some one elses genes. Your genetic line may very well end with you all because you trusted a person. But not only that thats just the time you spent with them, its not including the time spent working the resources spent feeding clothing and protecting said offspring. Its not beneficial to you but it was to all others, you where used this destroyes trust but it also is theft of resources and theft of time. Because the person lost so much trust is shattered and they cannot function with that person again at least not properly because they cannot trust the other person and thus cannot risk letting down their guard or setting aside resources for the common good since they person already showed they will place their self interest above that of the group. So from a moral subjective standpoint (the only point of view morality can take) yes they are bad people by definition because they destroy social cohesion and the benefits of the group for their own self interests.

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What Girls Said 19

  • You argue that monogamy is the issue. I say it isn't. There's nothing wrong with being single and fucking around, or even being in a poly-amorous relationship if you so desire. If you don't want monogamy, then you don't have to get into a relationship. Simple as that. If you know you'll get tired of being with just the one person, then don't BE with just the one person.
    Cheating is wrong and cheaters are bad because they've promised monogamy, but they break their promise and go behind their partner's back. That's not justifiable no matter how you put it. Like it doesn't matter if you're in a relationship, going behind someone's back is always wrong. In friendships, relationships, family relations... you should always try your best to keep your promises and to not do something behind the person's back that you *know* will hurt them immensely.
    So if you know that you're a person who can't handle monogamy, then don't be in a goddamn monogamous relationship. It's not that hard. Hurting someone else just because you prefer a different relationship dynamic is incredibly selfish and shortsighted.

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  • They're not inherently bad, but they are selfish and self centered. If you find yourself driven solely by your biological need to find and have sex with multiple partners, then don't enter a socially monogamous relationship and then deceitfully defy the confines of that relationship.

    Either stay single or enter an open relationship, then you'll have no reason to justify your wrongdoings.

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  • I think it's selfish to cheat... but it is not the end-all. Another human being is trusting you with their heart, and you don't have to agree to carry that liability. You can break up with them at any time. You are not obligated to stay.

    If a person has a problem they know will hurt other's and neglects to take care of it, I see it as selfish. It's kind of like how would expect a person with an STD to have the decency to at least wear a condom...

    What is the purpose of relationships if we condone cheating? Relationships would be amorphous and wouldn't be any different than friends with benefits.

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  • animalistic, everyone seems to coin this term when discussing some human behaviour, yes cheating is animalistic, and people who usually engage in it are hedonists, we more civilised beings humans, under stand that no one can give us what we want 100%, even the people cheaters cheat with cannot give them a 100% satisfaction and will lack in some areas, going by this isn't the cheating cycle continuous? you get with someone, lack something in the relationship, cheat, they find out break up, you get with someone else, you lack, you cheat, see and the vicious cycle continues, only a smart, civilised and sophisticated person who doesn't act on primal instincts can make a good relationship, you need to know how to get the best out of the person you are with. also cheating is not proper if it was just a societal context, then why do you people who are cheated on feel those negative emotions? its common sense, there is a reason the human society evolved to adopt monogamy, don't be a regressive.

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  • There are several sides of cheating, not just in a relationship.
    People who cheat through life are not decent nor good people in my opinion, no matter how you want to frame it. They're basically cowards, selfish, shameless and spineless people.
    Of course these days they're everywhere and we want to be Christian or religious people and believe there's good in everyone... right.
    A lump of coal for them for Christmas.

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  • I think cheating while dating is somewhat acceptable, but still hurtful. however I totally disagree with cheating while married. that's a whole nother story. you shouldn't make vows and not honor them. but if your not married, in the eyes of God as and the law you're single. yes, I've admitted to cheating on here, but I have never and would never be with a married man. nor have I ever been married

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  • I would never date a cheater. Someone who has the conscience to constantly fuck someone else while they know someone else loves them and would be hurt by that is nobody I'd consider dating.

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  • Yes it cam be natural to find other people attractive, but if you don't have the decency to end the relationship you're in before you pursue the next then I don't want to be around you.

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  • Cheating is a scummy thing to do. If someone is not getting the emotional/physical satisfaction from their partner, they probably need to consider themselves and their relationship and their partner and figure out what they can do (together) to change things. Not go out and find some disposable body for momentary gratification. If that's a thing that they want, they should go find other people that are okay with an open relationship stated from the beginning.

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  • They're bad people to me.

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    • 1mo

      Can a bad person just be a good person who committed a bad act?

    • 1mo

      @BubbleBoy69 it's generally not just a bad "act" though. They don't have a conscience if they can fuck someone else when they know their SO would end up getting hurt.

  • It depends. If you cheat and don't tell your partner or do it more than once I would say you're a bad person. If you cheat once and you're overcome with guilt and confess to your partner than I don't think they are. They made a mistake like everyone does and they owned up to it.

    That being said I'd dump anyone that cheated on me. That relationship is over and shouldn't even be tried to save.

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  • Cheaters are bad, there's no excuses for what they do. They're just scum bags.

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  • I think they're people who tend to not have a lot of self control, in other areas too. So I think it's easy for them to hurt people, generally.

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  • No, but I do think the vast majority of selfish, immature, or a combination of the two.

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  • Yeah, they are bad bad bad

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  • They're disloyal.

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  • You don't seem to know the definition of 'CHEATING'

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    • 1mo

      Physically is the easiest to understand. Emotionally and mentally are a bit more difficult to.
      Cheating is based on the idea of violating the promise between two people in an exclusive relationship. That is easy to be understood.

      But what is being violated? Physically, as I said, is the easiest to understand. The other two are much more situational. Yes, I can be romantically interested in someone with a SO. We are attracted to different kinds of people.

      However, I am not entitled to get anything from them. Sure, if they end up liking me romantically, they should have the decency of breaking up with their SO. Rationally, I should not feel hurt if they go back to their SO, because there was no real foundation to begin with, which is something I have accepted and come to terms with.

  • i think a lot are just immature and care more about themselves than others- but not bad people NO

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  • There is no excuse for cheating. Being in a relationship is like having signed a contract. If you don't stick to the terms you will see some form of punishment... Why should it be different in a relationship?

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What Guys Said 32

  • Sometimes, people invent "negative words" or "labels" in order to get other people to conform to a set of behavior. You can call it social control, social engineering, manipulation, etc. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book, starting with religious definitions of "good" and "bad," down to "moral" and "immoral."

    In this particular case, "woman" are the authors of the definition of the kind of behavior they categorize and label as "cheating." After securing a male partner they actually want, they don't want him to "leave her." Doesn't matter "why" he left her. All that matters is the "result." So, when that undesired "result" pops its ugly head, we (the royal "we") label it as bad, negative, "cheating." When a man is a good boy and complies with the rules we've laid out for him to live his life by, we reward him by calling him "loyal" or a "good man."

    At the end of the day, we either shit on a man's soul, or we pamper it with emotional rewards and praise. That's the very basic soft manipulation tactic that has been used on men since verbal language developed.

    Now, without getting too philosophical or cynical, our basic goal in life is to keep multiplying like bacteria or a virus, and in a controlled and regulated society, basically pop out cheap labor for those higher up in the hierarchy, work for the benefit of the top 1%, so we can afford to pay for the cost of raising the next generation of cheap labor for the top 1%, and pay for our own retirement. That's all we are. Sorry to burst that bubble.

    So, in the ocean of this inevitable meaningless, it's not the most absurd thing in the world for a man to look at his fat out of shape bitchy moody tired wife and think, "What the fuck am I doing with my life? Why am I voluntarily continuing to limit myself to this? For her feelings? What about my feelings?"

    That's the "inception" (if you will) of how that idea or itch to cheat is formed. Cheating is more about frustration with life (more than something particular about one's partner). The same reason so many celebrities and wealthy children destroy their lives with drugs, or why Paris Hilton would shoot a sex tape. It's acting out, but the "audience" is actually yourself. It becomes important to "express" one's frustration with life in a way that makes someone feel like they still have control and power over their own life.

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  • Cheater's are more or less just a social taboo. Literally everyone would do it. They treat it like it is the worst possible thing a person could do. On the level of pedophilia, almost. But, perhaps the reason they are so outraged by the idea is as an attempt to mask their own desires to cheat

    Because cheating is biologically advantageous to humans. A female would get resources from one male, while sperm donors from a better quality male. A male, well, he just gets to "spread the seed" which is the benefit of having multiple partners. A steady stream of sex, then some variety on the side. The most successful males almost always do this. WEll, and a shitload of the minor-moderately successful ones

    But yes. We are animals. Even though we like to pretend we transcend animalistic qualities. Almost everything we do. One of the primary purposes of the frontal lobe--the "human" part of the brain--is to rationalize bad decisions stemming from the amygdala--the emotional, lizard brain. e. g. "I really shouldn't eat that cake. But, welllllll, I can just work out more tomorrow." Source: Neurologist - Steven Novella

    Unfortunately, the frontal lobe isn't used to its capacity much of the time. This thing that makes us human, and we don't even use it properly. And, well, it's kind of retarded anyway. Extra unfortunately, this means that people *don't even realize* that they are giving into instinct. Because their frontal lobe rationalizes the instinct and makes it seem as though you are actually making the *decision* to do this animalistic thing. When in reality, instinct is the driving force

    This is why so many people can call cheating a travesty, then turn around and cheat on someone. And it's so common

    Humans are classified as "serial monogamists" which I think is a big joke, because "serial monogamy" is a hell of a lot closer to polyamory than it is true monogamy. True monogamy is like Geese. Geese stay with one mate for their entire life, and even if it dies, they never mate again. That's true monogamy. Humans bounce around like no one's business. It's a lot more natural to us to fuck multiple people at the same time rather than being married forever

    Being married to only one person is the part that is unnatural. But monogamy is definitely enforced to where everyone thinks it's natural. Then they get flustered and wonder "Why on Earth can I *never* make this work? Why does marriage suck? I'm doing something wrong?" Nope. It's just not in your nature.

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    • 1mo

      LIterally everyone would cheat *under ideal circumstances*.

    • Show All
    • 1mo

      sorry couldnt be bother to read the whole shit... too lazy for that.

      did it ever occur to you that there are also animal species that only have one partner?
      i don't remember which one exactly, but I think there are some birds who stay their whole life with their partner? Is that also cultural identity?

      and what's bad about cultural identity etc? having one partner has also many advantages... also if you look at STD etc? It is a fact that multiple partners increase the possibility of infenctions etc.

      that might be the case for men, but you can't talk about the female population.. I think most females have a different outlook. and to be honest, i also know of many guys who desire only one partner! i was with such a guy whereas I wanted to date multiple guys...

      i think it's pointless having a discussion with someone like you. you dont need to change your views, but you need to acknowledge that there are people who think differently.
      good luck with it!

    • 1mo

      @MaMa-ZeZe Well, thanks for clarifying your laziness. Sorry. Didn't bother reading the rest after that. Too lazy.

  • I think there are definitely times when cheating is worse than others. It depends on how you define cheating too. If we're talking sleeping with other people when in a monogamous relationship? That's bullshit. If you develop feelings for someone else and act on it when your relationship is "open" for physical stuff, but not emotional stuff? Also bullshit.

    But some people are poly, some relationships don't need "exclusivity" the way we tend to view it.

    I will say this though: getting cheated on sucks so bad. However you and your partner (/s) define it, when you break someone's trust, that's not cool. It's hurtful.

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  • i don't think cheaters are bad i think the just make bad decisions based on their base needs. cheating is stigmatized and it should be. there is no reason why there should be any positive association with betraying the trust of someone you've made a commitment to

    i've been cheated on twice. i don't think those girls are bad people. i think they simply act on emotion and urges rather than appealing to a higher nature of behavior.

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  • Yes, people who make a promise, any promise and break it over and over again are bad people. Cheating is not the same as dropping something on the floor, you have to take a lot of steps to cheat and you can stop at any one of them.

    It is very simple to do this, don't commit if you can't commit.

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  • Define what it means to be a bad person and I can answer the question for you. To me, a bad person is one who does not honor their sacred promises and who pursues their own pleasure without any regard for the feelings of others. Yes, cheaters are bad people. If you had ever been in a marriage and had your partner cheat on you, the answer to this question would be obvious.

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  • There are two types of cheaters...

    Cheater 1: They purposely cheat for their own personal gain, without any concern for their partner and feel no remorse. These are truly terrible people.

    Cheater 2: They cheat merely because they lack self control - like a fat kid in a candy store. They aren't completely innocent, but at least they feel remorse. Their infidelity stems from weakness rather than intentional malice. In my opinion, they aren't as bad of a person, but they are unfit to be in a relationship, nonetheless.

    One type is worse than the other, but both should be avoided anyway.

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  • Are people who cheat necessarily bad people? No, or everyone would be bad (which is perfectly reasonable for some).

    They aren't always bad people, just shitty partners

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  • "However, even if we are in a relationship, we feel as if we are missing something, even in good ones."

    Speak for yourself, I don't feel this way at all. I feel like you're just trying to generalize your own feelings/experiences.

    And I feel like you bringing biological reasons for wanting to cheat is completely fucking irrelevant. The reason that cheating is wrong is not biological, it's because you are betraying the other persons trust. If the other person is fine with you sleeping with other people then there's no problem.

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  • This is a tough one because it really depends on the situation and both sides can have good arguments. If it is planned cheating (they conversed over text/phone beforehand, talked about it before), then it is inexcusable. But if it is in the spur of the moment (Ex. You're at a social event and someone you're interested starts making sexual advances) I can see why the cheater followed through with it. As the great Robin Williams once said, “The problem is, God gave man a brain and a penis and only enough blood to run one at a time.”

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  • They are. They're hurting their partner, why they could just break up with their partner and move on. But they choose to lead the partner on. Having your trust broken really hurts

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  • We are animals, biological wired to desire multiple mates, but we're also "civilized" and we can rationalize our primal urges and choose whether or not to act on them.

    Sociologically speaking, dating is a method of finding a partner, there is no exclusivity in dating. One typically dates more than one person at a time, until an emotional bond forms and two people mutually agree to be exclusive, or in a monogamous relationship. Multiple intimate or sex partners while dating isn't inherently wrong, though sometimes people do get hurt. Only when monogamy is explicitly agreed upon, sex with others, without your partner's consent, is cheating.

    Cheating is a choice, you may have the urge to sleep with others, but if you choose to act on those urges, without your partner's approval, then you're cheating.

    We're civil beings, if you choose to disregard and disrespect your partner's feelings, then I say that makes you immoral and uncivilized; simply put, a bad person. At least have the sense to end or temporarily suspend your relationship before acting on your primitive urges.

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  • There is no excuse for being dishonest with your partner, if you are exclusive then you are exclusive its that simple.

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  • Every story has at least two sides; neither may be totally righteous, but one is more right than the other.

    Cheaters will almost always be less right morally. Their reputation is justified no matter how many times you slice it.

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    • 1mo

      What I have noticed with 'cheaters' is actually higher levels of attachment to their bad relationships, but will still go for someone else if they are able to get what they desire.

      It's a catch-22 situation, because they put their subjective feelings to their SO as much as possible, but what they want is in the moment with someone whom can provide.

    • 1mo

      that's what i've also noticed...
      i was dealing with such a guy... he wouldn't feel wrong for his wrongdoings.
      my friend's cousin also told us that he cheated on almost all of his ex-girlfriends, even the ones he really loved, cause he felt the urge, felt entitled to do it. When he saw those girls again, he didn't feel guilty at all... it was more important to satisfy his natural urges than being trustworthy... personally I think this is really egoistic and I don't think I would want to be with such a guy even if he improved. that guy is happily married now because he doesn't really want that lifestyle anymore... he is happy in a monogamous relationship... I bet his wife doesn't really know about his past.. poor woman

  • I only consider a few rare scenario's an excuse to cheat, what you described is not even close to them. Hurting someone else by your own greed is not acceptable, period. Cheater's are bad people 9/10 times.

    To clarify, I only let cheater's off the hook if maybe they're in an abusive relationship where she can't get out of , or similar situations like that.

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  • If people only want to reproduce, then why do people form relationships.
    Some say it's a social construct, but people created the society based on their need to survive.
    So, relationships are a survival necessity.

    Are cheaters bad people? No, in comparison to actual bad people.

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  • A cheater would have to be consistently amazing for a long time to convince me otherwise.

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  • Was Martin Luther King a bad person?

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  • What is it with people and trying to rationalize cheating these days?

    If you're with that polyamory shit, then go ahead, but find someone who feels the same way

    I'm not dating a cheater, plain and simple

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  • Yes they very selfish and only care about their self. They don't care who they hurt as long as they are happy. Some even try to make it your fault.

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  • Cheaters are people making bad decisions. They give themselves a bad reputation when they cheat. They may not be bad people in general as a whole, but making bad decisions makes them look worse than better.

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  • I voted B) because generally there's more to it than just "being an asshole and straying", generally the relationship they were in kept them dissatisfied in the first place; and that's not entirely their own fault.

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  • Cheaters are still still scum, maybe not on the same level as murderers but if you plan on cheating and don't wanna be exclusive then don't get into an exclusive relationship.

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  • Not bad people necessarily but bad to be in a relationship with and even s girl who cheated on a previous partner I could never trust her enough to be in a relationship other than a friends with benefits arrangement.

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  • Yes in my opinion I consider them to be bad people and untrustworthy.

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  • Yea they're horrible for not being able to control their urges hell we all have them but it doesn't give them the right to act on them

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  • Something between A and B.

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  • They are scum.

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  • Yea ,
    The most loyal people are those who cheat

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  • yes, they are. then don't commit, and don't use pseudo-science to back up your view.

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