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Another Excuse To Cheat

Updated on May 11, 2011

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Blame It On His Mom

As if they needed another excuse, cheaters now have another reason to explain away their flaws. The University of Montreal conducted a study on cheating and their findings were recently published. In short, they’ve discovered that people who didn’t grow up having “nurturing relationships with their parents” had more of a probability to cheat in relationships than individuals who were nurtured. However, if these same deprived folks had nurturing relationships with non parental units i.e. teachers, family friends, etc. there was a chance that this impulse to cheat could be counteracted.

Obviously, this upsets me. I believe this study to be another opportunity for thoughtless people to reason away their actions. By giving a cheater scientific proof, you are saying to them that harming others isn’t really that bad. You can’t help messing around. Your parents failed you, now you have a right to fail others.

I can imagine the damage this is going to do to a relationship. Some guy has been on the fence about whether or not he should cheat on his girlfriend. He’s been eyeing this sexy girl in his office. She’s been eyeing him back. He reads this study. It pushes him off the fence. He does what he already intended to do. His girlfriend finds out and confronts him. Looking innocent, he shows her a magazine with the study in it. Even if up until now he has bragged about how solid his relationship with his parents was growing up, he’ll come up with some event from his childhood to make this study work in his favor, anything to take the blame off of him.

I’ve read too many articles that say that cheaters cheat because of intimacy issues. They didn’t get to have close relationships growing up so being close with someone as an adult is too uncomfortable for them. Cheaters cheat to avoid intimacy with others. I could say it a hundred different ways. The same old jargon appears in every article on cheating.

While I sympathize for the people who grew up in legitimately less than perfect houses, I don’t know one person who grew up surrounded by perfection. We all have a list of complaints against our parents. We wanted more love than what we were given. We will never forget the disappointment we felt when our parents, accidentally or knowingly, let us down. Yet, to use this as a crutch throughout our lives is wrong and a sign that we have yet to grow up.

The cheaters I have known cheated because they felt themselves to be above their partners. They thought they wouldn’t get caught. If they got caught, they justified it by saying that their partners didn’t provide them with what they needed so they had to go elsewhere. Their needs were far too important and urgent to be communicated with their partners. My cheater friends were not from broken homes. Yet, they broke hearts as if they had a right to. To them, cheating was seen as not just a necessity, but a badge of honor. To me, they were cowards, too reliant on their partners to do the decent thing and leave them. They were too scared of realizing that weren’t as special as they believed themselves to be.

I once had a friend who was beaten nearly every night by his dad while his mother turned the other way. When he finally had a girlfriend, he adored her and treated her like the lady that she was. He valued their relationship. Though according to his study he had every right to, cheating on her was the last thing he’d ever want to do. He was a real man.

I understand that this study, as with everything, doesn’t apply to everyone and is not the answer to the burning question of why people cheat. It is an opinion, just one side of the matter. However, it is now left out there, open for interpretation, used as one wants to use it. When our sense of decency is questioned and we’re challenged to use self-control, science steps in to ease our load. University of Montreal, you really shouldn’t have.


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