He Cheated, Now What: Does the “Cheaters Gene” Really Exist?


Cheating is super fun for some people. Like, “Thrill Seekers” who are literally turned on not so much by the act of cheating, but by the possibility of being caught while doing so. Cheating has gone on since the beginning of time whether it be on a test (which we all did in high school…damn algebra), or on our partners. Why do we cheat? Is there a true genetic predisposition to be a “cheater” or have we all just lost our sense of impulse control?

First, we have to look at why constitutes cheating on your partner. Here is where things can get tricky because we all have our own interpretations of what cheating actually is. For some its dancing with someone that is not their partner at a club, or watching porn. Other people feel texting someone that is not their partner is cheating. Those acts are not even physical, but can be considered cheating. Then, there are the physical acts of kissing, touching or having sex with someone who is not your partner.

Emotional cheating is perpetuated by women more than men. Why? That’s an easy answer…we are emotional. I don’t mean burn your clothes, set your house on fire, key your car emotional (those are extreme cases that have happened, and can we ever forget Angela Bassett’s character setting her cheating husbands clothes on fire in Waiting to Exhale? Nope). Women are hardwired to express their emotions freely and are nurturers by nature, so we need a partner who is there for us both physically and emotionally.

What is emotional cheating? Seeking emotional comfort from someone outside of your partner in an intimate way. It’s not hugging your co-worker when your dog dies, its calling, texting, and spending time with them that creates a sense of security, which leads to intimacy. For example: you and your partner have a fight, and instead of talking with your partner about how you feel, you turn to another man/woman. Now, discussing relationship issues with your bestie, and discussing these issues with your cute coworker are different. You are creating a security and intimacy with this person in a way that may upset your partner. Would your partner be okay with the conversations that take place between you two? Has your partner met this person? More importantly would you be comfortable with your partner interacting with someone that way you are?

The thing is, we women love to be intimate with people, and by “intimate” I mean we love to form bonds with others. How many times have you gone to the market and struck up a conversation with someone in the checkout line about some random fact of your lives you happen to have in common? We get our hair done and tell our beauticians everything that’s going on in our lives, and yet we only see them a few times per month. Many of our decisions are based on emotional connectedness; like who are doctors will be or where we will live. Do we have/feel a connection to this person or environment, and if we do, we feel more inclined to integrate them into our lives.

Emotional cheating is in fact very easy and most times not even realized. I remember when my ex and I were going through the last six months of our relationship. I’m friends with the boyfriend I had before him…during that six month period while in my relationship at the time, I formed a serious and intimate bond with my previous boyfriend and would tell him all about my relationship. We would talk or text all day almost daily, and soon it lead to sexting, and pics etc. While it never lead to physical cheating, the emotions were there and had been built up because I allowed them to be. I reached out to someone else who was giving me the emotional support I desperately needed at that time in my life. We have all been there.

Alright, now lets get down to the nitty-gritty, Physical Cheating, which we can universally define as a physical act of kissing, touching, and sex with someone other than your partner. Physical cheating is perpetuated more by men then women, but make no mistake, women are cheaters too, just like men can be emotional cheaters as well. Men crave sex. Women crave sex, but men need sex in a way that generally we can not relate to.

According to a study comparing the sex drives between the sexes, a Florida State University psychologist, Roy Baumeister, found that men reported having more frequent/varied fantasies and spontaneous sexual arousal. He also found that men want sex more in all stages of relationships and not just heterosexual men. According to his findings, gay men have more sex than lesbians, and all men say they want more sex partners, and have a higher interest in casual sex.

Cheating for men is more about the physical act as opposed to the emotional attachments, although men will often seek out another partner due to an emotional event that has occurred in their relationship. For example, a new baby being born and receiving all of their wife/girlfriends attention, the loss of a child, stress at work, emotional trauma from childhood that hasn’t been addressed, which can cause stress on a relationship and lead a man to seek attention/security elsewhere. Let me also keep it real and say that there are also just really immature and selfish reasons people have for cheating on their partners. There is also sexual addiction which is a loss of impulse control.

Can cheating be linked to a genetic predisposition? If your husbands dad cheated on his wife, will your hubby do the same? If your girlfriends mom cheated on her husband, should you worry that your girlfriend is a cheater too? Does the “Cheater’s Gene” really exist and what is it? The cheater’s gene affects the production of a hormone which may be linked to the male brain named vasopressin, but seriously folks there is no definitive proof that this lack of hormone can account for why men cheat. There are environmental, personal and emotional issues to account for, and personal choice. No one is making him put his penis in a marathon race of vagina trophies, just like no one is making you send those late night texts to your cute coworker.

Instead of cheating, try and figure out what you are lacking in your relationship and either try and fix yourself, and your relationship, or do both of you a favor and move on. Cheating sucks but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship, plenty of couples have gone through it and survived it. Talk to your partner about what you want/need from them, and what you would do if they cheated, and always keep communication up and check in with them emotionally to make sure there needs are being met.

Have you ever cheated on someone, or been cheated on? Comment below!

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