Why Happy People Cheat

Why do people in happy relationships sometimes wind up cheating? According to relationship expert Esther Perel, the answer lies in self-exploration and has very little to do with the partner who is being cheated on.

Image: Hamza Butt

Instead of indicating that there's some hole to be filled in the relationship - or in ourselves - affairs often mean that we're looking for a different version of ourselves, says Perel, rather than just a different partner.

Cheating can often be a means of self-exploration, albeit one that's very hurtful to our loved ones.

"I think what is important to understand is that it's not always a problem in the relationship, or a problem in you," says Perel. Check out the clip above for the full explanation, and stay tuned for more videos from Perel, including tips on how couples can heal in the aftermath of an affair.

Video credits

Narrated by: Esther Perel

Illustrated by: Natalia Ramos

Animated by: Daniel GarcĂ­a


    lust, pure and simple

    Couldn't it just be a simple as a biological imperative (to spread our seed, etc.)? We quite often forget that under all the 'civility', there's an animal and a lot of what drives us is very likely tapping into the built-in animal instincts.
    The difference [ between us an most other animals] is we have a choice about whether we follow most of these instincts or not.

    People cheat because they think they can get away with it. Often they are correct.

    They're dishonest people and so they know they won't feel guilt if no one knows. Where as honest people will have guilt betray them.

    Last edited 16/05/18 12:35 pm

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