Why is cheating and affairs addictive?
For many rush of adrenaline, the excitement, the uncertainty, newness associated with cheating can be a hook that people find it hard to resist. Having affairs leaves people wanting more because it affects their brain chemistry. When a new person enters their life in whatever form that is, there is a rush of dopamine to their brain, making them feel good. Once the rush wears off, they look for more of it and create a loop. A loop where their brain gets wired to the excitement and rush of chemicals that feel good it will seek for more and more. Whenever that person then goes through a stressful time, rejection, loneliness, bordeom their mind will say cheat, use porn, masturbate or go have sex and the habit forms. Just like for those with a drinking problem the mind tells them have a drink, it will take the edge off, make you happy, be a relief or you deserve it, a cheater gets obsessive thoughts to cheat or use porn as a fix. So often just removing the porn, affair partner, dating / social media app is not enough.
The thinking needs to be changed and the root causes uncovered and thats what I love to do. My surprise in the 70 plus breakthrough sessions is just how kind, loving and caring the cheating addicts were, all of the people that sort me to help them were genuinely good people in all other aspects of their lives. Of course I am sure there are some people addicted to cheating who don’t care about their partner or want to end their relationship or who are selfish and have a sense of entitlement which I will talk about shortly. For those that I supported though they found themselves trapped in the cheating grip, confused and unable to stop going back for the high. They did care for their partner deeply, they loved them and didn’t want anyone else but kept falling back into the same behaviors despite promising to themselves and others they would stop. The thing is when they promised they really meant it, they really never wanted to engage in the behavior again, they really did feel guilty or disgusting even but found themselves doing the same thing, months or years later.
I want to make clear that even though I believe there is such a thing as cheating addiction, it doesn’t mean that the person should be able to shirk responsibility for their actions The addict needs to address the deeper issues beneath the compulsion, admit their weakness and make every effort to repair their relationship and change their habits by finding healthy ways to manage life. I will be sharing some tips coming up in the next podcast on what to do to repair the damage cheating addiction and sex addiction creates.
Every single person I have helped had a pain and a hidden sense of inadequacy that most outsiders wouldn’t be able to detect. This does not mean however that they can carry on, calling it an addiction and saying sorry each time. Sorry is not enough, there has to be a willingness to get to the root of their issue, understand it and then find healthy ways to get the excitement, approval, attention or validation they seek. It’s important for cheating, porn or sex addicts to change their mindset, behavioir and ways of coping as in the process of acting out they are not only hurting their partner and families, they hurt themselves. It doesn’t feel good to be lying, weak, and selfish, the burden of it all takes a hard toll on self-esteem and self-respect. Unprotected sex for those that cheat phsyically or who are addicted to sex put health of both at risk too.