I Understand How People Cheat


I finally understand how people cheat.

I’ll admit it, I used to judge people who cheat on their spouses. How could someone do that to the person they love? How could anyone forget they are married?

But I understand now.

After the stress of the past year, I’m struggling. I’m struggling hard. My life is becoming strained with work stress increasing, after work commitments on the rise, the stress of maintaining an active (or, you know, any) social life, running a website, writing, trying not to make people look at me like I’m a total fruitcake when I try to explain that I’m having an existential crises (tip: they still will).

I’ve started to feel detached. Spaced out. Unhappy and unable to settle. I want to scream at anyone who asks me to do anything, who asks me about how things are going, who  even asks me if they can help.

So when a young, good looking man showed interest in me, I started fantasising. I don’t mean about sex, I mean about life. Life without all the stress of now. Life with someone else, somewhere else, a life without the problems I currently face.

The thing is, problems follow you.

If I’m honest, I wasn’t really interested in any other guy. And I knew that. I was interested in running away. It’s the same impulse that makes me want to quit my job, go to New York or stay in bed all day. The same impulse that makes me want to just stop doing anything, just stop paying bills, going to work or getting up…

If I ran away with this guy, would things be different? If I left the Viking, started a new life, would I be happy?

I know what you’re thinking, and I didn’t cheat. Not even close.

But I can finally see how easy it would be. How easy it would be to let yourself believe in the fantasy. To run away. To think that, somehow, it would make things easier.

But it wouldn’t. And I don’t know yet what would.

Have you ever been tempted to cheat? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever run away?

  • Gary

    Tamsin I hope everything falls in place soon and you get the time to relax, find peace and rid yourself of all the stress in your life.

  • Mazi

    I had my first existential crisis at college, a good place to have one. And then my 2nd after my engagement fell apart, and while going through it I started a new relationship and was cheated on, which certainly encouraged more life examining.

    An Existential crisis are tough, and even now, that I have everything I want here are days when I think about the what ifs? What if I did take off to work in London again, and chased other dreams.

    But I knew the opportunity cost of the dreams I chose, and those are the kinds of life I gave up. The side projects I do, much like K&T for you, are he way I still keep those dreams alive, even though I now have much less time to work on them.

    I expect work to get much busier as I ramp up my career. And I hope my partner can support me. I hope to avoid another crisis though, if things are too much though, I will need to readjust.

    I am happy with the path I have chosen and the goals I set, but I set them after the crisis, because of the crisis. It is said an I examined life is not worth living.

    I hope you make some decisions for action soon and can enjoy life more again.

  • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

    I get it too. I really do. I’ve never cheated, nor have I had the opportunity to, but I know people who have. They weren’t looking for someone else, they weren’t out to cheat, but it happened, because that other person filled the gaps that the spouse had made, and they were pretty big gaps. A former work colleague though, was a serial cheater. He cheated because he could, and his job allowed him to.

    BUT. My instinct to run away is huge. MASSIVE. I’m sick of being stuck in this rut that is my life. I hate where I live, I’m sick of doing the same job, I’m sick of being alone. I have no social life (when you get to my age and you are single, nobody thinks of you, and when you make the effort to arrange something, people always pull out). I’m floundering in this life that could be so much better, but when I try to fix my situation, it backfires. It makes me sad, and frustrated, and I want to run away. But where would I go?

  • Gayel @ Modern Mummy Mayhem

    Oh Tamsin, I could reach into the screen and hug you right now. Life and relationships get so hard at times. I know this all too well. xx

  • Trish

    I used to think things were black and white in terms of commitment, love etc but I now see the grey. This is more to having lived through failed relationships and seeing others who go through the motions in theirs. I’m not condoning affairs as I think if you are unhappy you have a duty to fix it or get out, but I think there is a tendency for people to want someone to ‘fix’ them or ‘understand’ them without realising that you are still taking yourself into the next relationship.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      That is so spot on!

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  • Jen

    Yep I get this too