Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How Cheating Begins and What Happens Before Cheating

An outline of how cheating begins and what happens to a person before they cheat on their partner.

These are some signs that are typical that are not talked about much.

A man and a woman lie next to each other. How cheating begins
  • Everything written in this text does not necessarily indicate signs of readiness to cheat.

Cheating as an idea begins much earlier. At some point, a person becomes open to the idea of cheating on their partner.

When exactly this happens is a philosophical question because it began when they adopted such values in their family home, but let’s stick to something more interesting for you.

You can read more about typical reasons for cheating here: Why Do People Cheat?

Here are some typical reasons why people fall out of love: Solution When the Partner Fell Out of Love With You?

In general, for some reason, a person thinks that cheating is an enticing path. Whether they are bored or harbor resentment towards their partner, feel a need, or something else happens.

Therefore, how cheating begin?

They First Emotionally Distance Themselves from Their Partner

This is done by activating ego defense mechanisms such as:

  • Rationalization: The person tries to justify themselves: “My partner doesn’t understand me,” “I deserve to be happy,” or “This is just temporary.” “My partner is always busy with work, so it’s natural for me to seek attention elsewhere.”
  • Denial: Denying that they are doing anything wrong: “This is nothing serious, just a bit of fun on the side.” For example, they might accuse their partner of flirting or cheating, even though they do it.
  • Minimization: The person might downplay the significance of their actions or the consequences of cheating. For example, they might think: “It was just a kiss, nothing more,” or “It’s just sex without emotions; it doesn’t mean anything.”
  • Dissociation: People might mentally separate their behavior from their identity or moral values. They might think: “That wasn’t me, it just happened,” or “It was just a moment of weakness.”

These mechanisms are used both before and during cheating. After that, the idea of ​​cheating deepens and develops spontaneously. Slower in neurotic people, faster in people with fewer neuroses. The speed obviously depends on the circumstances.

They Turn More Intensively to Social Media

Woman in love with someone who is cheating

People who are open to cheating usually feel the need to be perceived as attractive. Therefore, they post more pictures on social media than usual and engage more on social media, commenting on content from people they like, liking and drawing attention to themselves, etc.

It is possible that they will also write to that person’s inbox under some pretext.

It’s indicative if the person turns to sex appeal. It is possible that they will start to remove their partner from social media or even block their partner from seeing their activities.

  • Of course, since not everyone uses social media, a person ready to cheat might find another way to receive compliments or highlight their attractiveness.

They Become More Socially Active

They turn more intensely to friends and start mingling in their circles. Socializing usually becomes something that must be done. They must go out for drinks, attend events with friends, etc.

Friends serve the purpose of:

  • Allowing the person to complain about their partner and seek support and validation for their complaints.
  • Supporting the person in what they intend to do.
  • Keeping the flame alive.
  • Preparing friends for the act, as they might act as an alibi.
  • Friends have their own friends who could be potential lovers.

Is It Worth Staying With a Cheater?

They Start Regularly Going to Places with Social Interactions

Clubs are places where people with similar interests gather or places where people live the lifestyle they desire. The use of alcohol makes the whole process easier for both parties.

Group of friends on diner

They Become More Interested in a Hobby

If they meet someone, they might suddenly become interested in, practically obsessed with—a hobby.

Of course, there’s always a chance that the person is genuinely very interested in the hobby.

But if, for example, they meet someone who is into hiking and find them interesting, they might suddenly become obsessed with hiking.

  • Here it is worth paying attention that the same figure appears constantly. It could be a potential crush.

They Become More Interested in Work

If it’s a colleague from work, the person might become very talkative about their job. They think a lot about that person from work and feel the need to mention them. It’s more of a contemplation with themselves.

Talking about the other person can be both positive and negative. They might talk about them with admiration and enthusiasm or with disdain.

Disdain is obviously not genuine (if it’s a crush), but something causes it.

They might be trying to mask their admiration from their partner, or the crush might be emotionally hurting them in some way: maybe the crush is not interested enough, they flirt with others, or they play hot and cold. Perhaps the other person is also in a relationship.

Man and a woman are walking side by side

When it comes to admiration, unfortunately, something more insidious might be behind it.

If your partner is interested in someone they are openly enthusiastic about and talks openly to you about them, they practically indicates that you are not as good as that person.

You’re not as successful, athletic, smart, popular, wealthy, etc. Unfortunately, this has two goals. The first is to justify their choice to themselves, and the second is to justify rejecting and replacing you with someone else.

Interestingly, your partner (if it’s about your partner) might be very eager to criticize competitors for their crush’s affection.

However, There Are Also the Quiet Ones

Who would never mention the object of their interest for anything in the world.

This may seem fairer to you in some way, but it’s also more hidden, so the benefits are twofold.

Here, it might stand out that they never talk about that person. Even if you directly ask about them, the answer remains vague.

How to Manage a Partner Who Has Fallen In Love With Someone

Then Comes Developing Closeness with Another Person

This could be a colleague, a friend, or even someone they met online. Closeness develops because of overlapping interests, life stories, and a sense of humor. There’s an exchange of information, thoughts, and even emotions.

  • I find the phenomenon of workplace closeness interesting. So, a person who happens to be there gets the opportunity to get closer to someone (maybe your partner). This person doesn’t need to have any particular quality to justify this. They don’t need to be attractive, charming, successful, etc. They get the opportunity just because they have been there long enough.
  • And because of this, conversations about personal matters and interests start, and that person suddenly gains importance. This leads to a feeling of closeness. The person isn’t necessarily distinguished as unique, but they happen to be around someone long enough, conversations flow naturally, and feelings develop.
Date night

Increased Communication

Because of this, communication with the other person increases, whether through messages, social media, phone calls, or personal meetings. Personal information, problems, or feelings are shared. Important to note: these pieces of information are shared less and less with the partner.

The person also starts to “beautify” themselves and present as better, more interesting, etc. They enjoy how they present themselves and what they can be in front of their crush. They are the best version of themselves in front of their crush (often invented, but still).

They spend time together, perhaps even apart from other groups of people. They strive to communicate whenever possible. Or at least one side does.

And Gradually Comes: Flirting

Flirting is often the next step, including subtle or overt attraction signals. The person gives compliments, makes suggestive comments, and initiates physical contact like touches or hugs. They might even start doing small favors for their crush, buying them gifts, or taking care of essential tasks (like pet sitting or doing their share of work).

Specific Things To Do When Partner Falls In Love With Someone Else 1.

Here Comes Secrecy and Concealment

A beautiful woman thinking Why Breakup Is So Hard To Bear

This is usually for partner the first indication that something is wrong and that something is happening with the person. The partner might start hiding their phone, deleting messages, having hidden conversations, suddenly going somewhere, having undefined but urgent needs to do something, etc.

Another Sign That Something Might Be Happening:

The Partner Starts Taking More Care of Their Appearance

They start dressing better, maybe exercising, and grooming more. They spend more money on their physical appearance. Suddenly, more new clothes and accessories appear. They might even opt for quick fixes for things they dislike about themselves (like cosmetic surgery).

Why Does It Sting the Most When Our Partner Chooses Someone New Over Us?

Meanwhile, a Stronger Emotional Connection Develops

Because the relationship deepens, your partner starts to rely more on their crush. They seek support, comfort, and understanding from them. They share their deepest thoughts.

This relates to bonding; the more connected people are, the higher the chances they will enter a romantic relationship. It also involves honoring the other person by sharing their life’s most intimate thoughts and details. In a way, the other person is indebted to:

  • Keep the secrets entrusted to them.
  • Reciprocate with their confessions – which isn’t bad if things go wrong.
  • Accept the person (your partner) as they are or correct them (this depends on maturity).

This can also lead to your partner feeling emotionally closer to this person than you because a lot of time and energy has been invested in that relationship.

Man and woman in relationship

How To Improve Your Relationship

Another Thing That May or May Not Happen at Any Stage is:

Formed Reaction

So, your partner reacts in a way opposite to what they would show. They might display emotions or behaviors opposite to what they truly feel. For example, they might be extraordinarily kind and attentive to you to hide their guilt and compensate for cheating. They might suddenly show great concern for their partner and become unusually kind.

However, the person might also become highly irritable towards their partner because they want to separate from them in every way possible.

This is typical behavior and relates to:

  • Intolerance towards the partner: The partner is nothing like the crush. The partner is unappealing, but the crush is exceptional.
  • They need to belittle the partner in their own eyes.
  • Provoking the partner to react in a certain way: To get proof that they deserve what is being done to them.
  • Confirming to themselves that both they and the partner are equally bad: “I might want to cheat, but my partner is always in a bad mood.”
  • The person might also become absent and sad. This is more neurotic behavior.
Couple sitting in caffee and breaking up

Where there’s not much self-justification and righteousness.

The person knows they are wrong but is in love and attached, and because of that, they are disappointed in themselves.

But the braver ones will start openly criticizing their partner, to convince him that he too thinks he deserved it.

Why We Are In Love With Someone – Psychological Explanation

Finally Comes:

Physical Intimacy

We are still talking about the period before sex. But it can come from kisses, touches, and petting. Here, we are one step away from sex, and this is the last moment when the person can change their mind and turn back to their partner.

This is an approximate process of cheating happening. Of course, people are different and may go through all these stages or skip them entirely. But if you notice some of these signs, pay close attention.

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