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I Asked Why People Cheated On Their Partner, And Here's What They Said

These are their stories.

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community about their experience with cheating on a significant other. We didn't just want to know if they cheated, we wanted to know WHY they cheated.

And before the thought even crosses your mind, NO, we're not condoning cheating of any kind. We were simply curious about the personal reasons that lead some people to cheat.

Here's what we learned:

1. "I did it at first as a power trip."

"I cheated on him so that he would feel some type of way towards me. We mentally manipulated and hurt each other. We were part of such a toxic relationship. I did it at first as a power trip. I fell in love with the idea that I could have this secret against someone who was hurting me. I loved the idea that I could hurt someone so bad if I wanted to. I felt trapped in this relationship, and it felt like a way out."


2. "We were never clear on what our relationship was."

"We were never clear on what our relationship was. We went on 3–4 dates, and he never asked me to be his girlfriend. To him, we were official since the first date. I started to go out with another guy, and he did not take it well."


3. "I'm a lesbian, she obviously wasn't, and she wanted to experience men."

"My wife and I were together for eight years, only married for one. We got together at 16 years old, and we stayed together because both of us were afraid to break up with the other. I'm a lesbian, she obviously wasn't, and she wanted to experience men. When she began insisting on an open marriage, my best friend admitted her feelings for me. Knowing for so long that my marriage was doomed, I took those two things and did what was right for me. I feel bad for it every day."


4. "We grew apart so fast."

"We had some months of long distance since I moved for a master degree. I was bored of texting her and telling her all about my day; we grew apart so fast. I just didn’t want to hurt her. I started using Tinder more frequently and just didn’t make time for her. I felt I needed more fun."


5. "It let me mentally disconnect from his cruelty in order to move on."

"I was in a relationship for four years that turned emotionally and verbally abusive. When I realized I needed to end it, I cheated with a guy I met at a bar. I became so codependent in that relationship. It helped me see that he was wrong when he said I’d never be able to get any other guy to want me if I left. It let me mentally disconnect from his cruelty in order to move on."


6. "I didn’t have the emotional maturity to understand that I could just leave."

"Because I was 15 years old and stupid. He cheated on me first, and I didn’t have the emotional maturity to understand that I could just leave him. I did eventually break up with him, but only after cheating on him and playing Fefe Dobson’s 'Bye Bye Boyfriend' on repeat, because I needed this cinematic breakup to be a thing."


7. "My partner told me we were on a break, and I had my own fun."

"My partner made me feel worthless and never wanted to compromise with me. All they wanted was sex, and then I would get ignored. My partner told me we were on a break, and I had my own fun. I’ve only ever been with my partner, and, honestly, I didn’t realize how good sex could be until then, so I have no regrets."


8. "I wasn’t happy."

"I was too insecure to admit that I wasn’t happy and felt stuck, because I relocated to be with her. We ended the relationship days after I cheated.


9. "He'd been using apps like Grindr to 'find friends.'"

"He'd been using apps like Grindr to 'find friends.' Then I found pictures and messages he’d sent to his new 'friends'; they were quite revealing to say the least. I felt closed-off and distant from him...unloved."


10. "I was bored."

"I was bored and unhappy in my relationship. I thought being with someone else would help me to become content in my relationship."


11. "I was feeling unloved and unappreciated."

"I was feeling unloved and unappreciated. Any time we talked, he was just depressed or angry. We became less intimate, and being in a long-distance relationship didn’t help. As it turns out, he was cheating on me at the same time."


12. "My entire self-worth was wrapped up in this relationship."

"I had been miserable for a long time. But we had been together so long, I let my entire life become his. My entire self-worth was wrapped up in this relationship. He made me feel like nobody else would want me, while never actually saying the words. I was out one night and started dancing with an old friend from high school. We ended up spending the night together. It was then that I realized other men would want me. I told him I was unhappy and we should take a break. I went on to find out so many things I liked about myself. I grew. A year later I met a man, fell in love, and we've been together for 16 years. It worked, because I took the time to get to know myself."


13. "My husband became someone different when we married."

"My husband became someone different when we married. He would leave me alone (pregnant) and wouldn't come home for days. He also started drinking, doing drugs, and verbally abusing me. I confided in my best friend. We developed a very close relationship and eventually became intimate, and professed our love to one another. Ideally I should have ended my marriage, but my husband was amazing with my daughter, so I kept my affair a secret for years."


14. "It was my first real relationship."

"I wasn't in love with the person I was with. I was young, and it was my first real relationship. I didn't understand that it was OK to take care of myself and leave if I was unhappy. I cheated with an older and way more attractive man. He still begged for me to stay when I told him. It was at that point I realized he didn't even love me — he just loved being in a relationship. A year later, the man I cheated on him with and I are still dating and extremely happy."


15. "She drained so much out of me."

"I cheated on my wife of a few months. Trust me, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for the hurt I have caused her. My reason? I wasn’t happy. I told her I was miserable being with her. After being with her for so long, I came to realize she drained so much out of me. I begged for her to get a divorce. I felt trapped. I felt more obligated to get married to her than anything, so I did it for the wrong reasons; I knew the marriage was off from the beginning. I knew my only way out was to make her not want to be with me, and that was how. She agreed to get a divorce. I felt so relieved and like I could breathe again. I know it’s shitty, but I did what I felt I needed to do in the moment."


16. "I felt stuck."

"I was in a weird place in my relationship. I was about to graduate college, and my boyfriend at the time still had a year. I was going to move back in with my parents at the end of the summer. I felt stuck. My boyfriend's roommate, whom I actually crushed on freshman year, was feeling similarly stuck, I think. We were really drunk, and it happened."


17. "He decided to move to Vietnam without telling me."

"Our relationship became a friendship. He decided to move to Vietnam without telling me, and my high school crush told me he would have never done that to me. In that moment, it was all I needed to hear. I still feel guilty about it three years later."


18. "My ex was emotionally, physically, and mentally abusive."

"My ex was emotionally, physically, and mentally abusive toward me and left me. Me cheating was a way to get back at him for the awful things he's done to me. He left me at Disneyland all alone with no car, no phone, and no money. He also left me on the side of the freeway once."


19. "I didn't love him anymore."

"My boyfriend and I dated from 15 until 19. I cheated on him at 19. I didn't love him anymore and tried to break it off prior to cheating; however, he got so upset, I took him back even though I knew I didn't have feelings for him. Two months later I met the guy I would cheat on him with. I actually married the guy I cheated on him with, and, 14 years later, we are still together."


20. "My boyfriend was seeing his best friend on the side."

"My relationship with the father of my son and boyfriend at the time was always rocky. My boyfriend was seeing his best friend on the side, so I developed a side relationship of my own. After a month of sneaking around, I broke up with my boyfriend. The man I was sneaking around with is now my husband of two years, and I couldn't be happier."


21. "I realized I was gay."

"I realized I was gay and had my first experience with another girl. We broke up a month or so later, but I don’t think he ever found out!"


22. "I didn’t have the guts to break up with him."

"I was in a long-distance relationship with my college boyfriend, and it had become really unhealthy. I didn’t have the guts to break up with him, so I started seeing a friend of my sister’s and 'accidentally' sent my boyfriend a text meant for the other guy, knowing he’d dump me."


23. "My man was very controlling."

"My man was very controlling, and I hadn’t been able to find a way out. So I found peace in my best friend, who happened to like me as well. We hit it off. I was too scared to break up with him, so I kept our relationship a secret."


24. "It became a burden."

"My ex-girlfriend and I were together for four years, and we were both relatively young. We did every single thing together. It sounds pretty great, but when you're that young and have no time to be your own individual self, it becomes a burden. I eventually found myself looking for people who didn't care about the things that she did. Someone who just cared for me the way I was and not who they wanted me to be."


25. "My boyfriend would watch porn instead of having sex with me."

"I found out my boyfriend was watching porn/masturbating constantly and wouldn't have sex with me because of it. It made me feel disgusting and worthless. I went out with a guy who I knew liked me and slept with him for validation."


26. "My husband continually accused me of cheating."

"My husband continually accused me of cheating on him. If I'm on my phone, I'm talking to boys. If I post a selfie, it's because I 'want attention' from guys. For anything. I could be playing Candy Crush, and he'd say I was talking to boys. After months of fighting about how I wasn't cheating, I finally caved and did it."


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Note: Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.