The ABC’s no holds barred reality series You Can’t Ask That is back for another season and it’s kicking off with Cheaters.
First and foremost, the seven cheaters in the episode are a real mixed bag of people, so let’s leave the stereotypes at the door. Keep in mind these people have fronted the cameras to answer some pretty spicy questions about some pretty painful experiences.
So what can we learn from cheaters?
Most cheaters don’t set out to cheat
The show starts with a cracking first question: How could you be such a pig?
While the participants point to everything from absent parents to a lack of sexual experience, quite a few of them hint at marriage being a major factor, whether that’s getting married too young, or even knowing while you walk down the aisle that divorce is on the horizon.
“I certainly didn’t set out to cheat,” Darren said in the episode.
Suzanne, who is possibly the most unlikely of cheaters — she appears quite prim and proper with her neat buttoned-up cardigan — is very frank on the subject.
“I think it just comes naturally to some people. I never thought of it as a nasty thing to do. It was just something I did,” she says.
Anthony’s story is just heartbreaking. He was a high profile preacher at mega churches and confesses that while he didn’t think getting into a heterosexual marriage would “cure him”, he did feel like it was the final step.
“On the surface, everybody thought it was well in my world, but it wasn’t,” he says.
Grant sums it all up: “A happy person doesn’t cheat unless you’ve got issues.”
Alcohol isn’t always to blame
“I was fucking shitfaced. I don’t even remember it,” Grant confesses about the first time he cheated.
At the other end of the spectrum of cheaters is Suzanne: “I was completely sober and knew everything I was doing at every given time, I just did not very nice things.” Though she admits she still didn’t want to get caught.
But Lisa offers up this insight: “Part of it was a sense of control — I chose to have this sex, I was in control of this sex.”
Breaking up is hard to do
You might be asking yourself: why didn’t these cheaters just break up with their partners first?
Well, they offer reasons such as obligation, religion, finances, wanting it all, not wanting to be alone, and the ultimate: they just didn’t have the courage.
“No root’s worth losing everything, and that’s what’s sort of come out of this,” Grant says.
So how did they get caught in the end?
Some confessed, others were dobbed in, or straight up caught out by their spouses.
“I got caught because I got pregnant and I had to own up to my husband because he’d had a vasectomy,” Lisa says. Yep, that’ll do it.
But they all admit they caused people pain — and that hurt extends to the wider family unit.
“It probably would have been better to stick a knife in her heart and twist,” Darren says of his wife.
You can love your spouse but not be in love with them
This is a big one for Anthony, and how he came to confess he was a cheater.
“Because I felt that I had been tempted by the devil, I had to find my pathway back, and part of my pathway back was a public confession,” he recalls.
He made that confession in front of 800 people in his church. But he still wasn’t allowed to mention homosexuality. And he still lost his job and many of his friendships.
You can change your ways (or embrace them)
While many of the participants say they will never, ever cheat again, Tamica is happily in the “once a cheater always a cheater” camp.
“It is a perfectly normal part of being human to be in love and experience more than one person… I’m not a cheater anymore, but I’m not a monogamous person and never, ever will be,” she admits.
At the end of the day, the biggest life lesson from these cheaters is just to talk to your partner. While you’re at it, maybe define what cheating is in your relationship.
You Can’t Ask That returns to ABC TV on Wednesday, April 28, at 9pm. All episodes of Season 6 — including Amputees, Families Of Missing Persons, and Adult Virgins — will be available on iview from April 28.