The 3 Types of Cheaters: Why You Need To Know The Difference

by Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas

in Relationships

Damn Those Cheating Flies!

Last week I talked about affairs and cheating and whether you would want to know if your partner was cheating.    This post will give you information that is extremely important if you’re being cheated on and considering staying.

Cheaters Are Not All Alike

I’ve identified 3 types of cheaters and their motives are completely different.  This means each type has a different risk level regarding the possibility that you can come out the other side with an intact relationship.

In the best of circumstances cheating places an enormous strain on the relationship.  Trust is shattered, along with hopes and dreams.  Many people find the best thing to do is leave.

Yet, not everyone chooses to leave.  I know people who have stayed together for 15-20 years following an indiscretion (I just had to get that in, isn’t it a pleasant word) and managed to save their relationship.

Let’s get down to it and find out about the 3 types of cheaters and you’ll see that your risk in staying is different depending on the type of person you’re hanging about with.

The 3 Types Of Cheaters

1)  The Grass Is Greener

This type of cheater may be unhappy in the relationship.  Not necessarily planning to cheat, someone comes along who provides what the person’s missing in their primary relationship.  Someone pays attention to them, makes them feel special, listens to what they have to say.

You get the drift.  And before the person knows it, they’ve drifted.  They’re not simply messing around, they’ve formed an attachment with another person.

A cheater of this type may feel guilty and struggle with their cheating heart.

Staying with The Grass Is Greener cheater:  This is the type with whom you probably have the best chance of salvaging the relationship. They’re often capable of deep attachment to another person and if they still feel a bond with you, they may be willing to try to work things out.  The person may agree to go to therapy.  It’s quite possible they won’t stray again.

You may legitimately have a role in your partner’s straying with this type and therapy will give you both an opportunity to uncover and deal with problems that weren’t dealt with and may have contributed to the affair.  This can be considered a wake up call!

If either of the other types try to convince you it’s your fault, it’s pure BS.

2)  I See What I Want And I Take It

A narcissistic perspective, it ’tis!  Life is all about me and naturally it revolves around me.  I DESERVE to have whatever and whomever I desire.

And I do desire!  It takes a lot to keep me pumped up about myself.  If I’m away on a business trip and see someone I’d like to get in the sandbox with, by damned I’m going to (the opportunist)!   Just looking out for numero uno.

Narcissists (and we’ve created plenty of them) don’t always play well with others. Mostly, they see others as there to serve their narcissistic needs, which include a strong desire to frequently be told and shown how great they are.  They want to be the center of attention.

As you may guess, there’s a deep insecurity that lies beneath the “cool” exterior.

Staying With The I See What I Want And I Take It cheater:  Beware and Be Aware.  Not a great bet for the staying kind.  For one, this person resists therapy and will only go in the most extreme of circumstances.

The threat of a relationship separation, in which their narcissistic supply (meaning you’re not there to pamper them) is cut off may get them in, but they’re a “tough nut to crack” and they usually don’t stay in therapy.  They are sometimes capable of attachment. It depends upon the degree of the narcissism.

Of course, if you’ve been dealing with this person for awhile you’re probably used to not being considered and coming second in the relationship.  Don’t you deserve more?

The narcissist does know how to turn on the charm off the charts, though, when it serves a purpose.  They can be quite manipulative.

3)  I Can’t Help Myself:  The Sexually Addicted

The sexually compulsive person will never be faithful. It’s not about you and there’s nothing you can do to change the behavior.  Do you like feeling helpless and powerless?

The sex addict needs a constant supply of sexual activities,  just as a drug addict needs a constant supply of a drug.  And like a drug, it takes more to get “a high” so the need for excitement increases with time.

If this isn’t enough to have you running for the door, be aware there are usually other sexually compulsive behaviors, not just one night stands or affairs.   Chances are the person will be involved in compulsive masturbation, exhibitionism, voyeurism…or other “acting out” behaviors.

Assume you will be lied to on a regular basis because you will.  It’s nothing personal, just the nature of addiction.

One last word to the wise – sex addicts look and behave just like everyone else publicly.  That means they don’t seem to be a “pervert” or look any particular way.  Sex addicts come from all walks of life.  They often feel horrible about their behavior and sometimes even consider suicide because of the devastating consequences (all addictions have a negative impact on a person’s life).

Staying With The Sex Addict: Do you need your head examined?  If you consider staying with a sex addict seek professional help.

There are 12 step groups for sex addicts (where they often go and act out together - but in fairness, not always) and separate groups for the partners of addicts.

If you’re going to stay with a sex addict – and value yourself at all - you must insist that you both be in treatment.  And get ready for a very long painful road ahead.  A “slip” is not a fun experience.

You’re likely to experience overwhelming anxiety and depression, always waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

My advice:  Just say no and get out!

Bringing It On Home – or Not!

I hope this helps you sort out the different types of cheaters and why all cheaters are NOT alike. Hopefully, it will provide valuable information if you’re trying to make a decision at a difficult time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experiences with cheating.

Be well, and may you experience the least cheating relationships ever!

Photo Courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/motleypixel/

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