Can cheating be chalked up to hormones?

A few weeks ago, I read an article in Women’s Health about why people cheat. Researchers are exploring how our hormones can flare up and cause a literal chemical reaction within our brain that they think actually makes it harder to say “no” and easier to say “ohhhhh yes…” playing a definite role in people’s choices. 

In relationships in the past, monogamy did not always come easy to me. I cheated for a number of reasons – I wanted an out, I was more interested in someone else, I was bored, and sometimes for no specific reason at all. And yes, I can most certainly say that there was an internal chemical and hormonal reaction that played a role making it difficult to say “no” once those lines started to get crossed and blurred. The pounding heart, the excitement, the anticipation, the thrill, the adrenaline – talk about a rush!

So can I chalk up my past indiscretions to chemicals, absolve myself of my guilt, and lay my choices at the feet of my hormones entirely?

Absolutely not! There are a number of ingredients that come into play when a person decides to cross over to the dark side. Hormones and chemicals are definitely part of the mix. An unhappy relationship; doesn’t help but I don’t think “causes” infidelity.

Honestly, I think the main reason people cheat is because they don’t think any better of themselves.

In the end, I cheated because I didn’t respect and love myself enough to know that I was worth better choices and decisions. It was a reflection of what I thought of myself rather than a reflection of the state of my relationship or the height of my hormones.

Now at 35, married for the second time, having been faithful for nearly six years, I can be sure that I won’t cheat again – not because I promised I wouldn’t, not because I am so in love with my husband (although I am), not because society says it’s wrong – I won’t ever cheat again because I know that I am worth so much more than that, because I believe I deserve better, and because nothing that makes me feel badly about myself is ever worth doing – no matter what the hormonal rush!

Why have you cheated in the past? Or what has stopped you from cheating? Do you think hormones can really take over entirely?

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Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s hormones either.. you and I are an awful lot alike. I never cheated on my husband but in my post marriage phase I found myself jumping into situations because of the excitement and the thrill of being found desirable. I was having an affair with a married man and ending it was about finally respecting myself enough to walk away.

    • Yes we are! I had the big realization when I cheated on my first husband. We were separated at the time but I knew it was wrong and I owned it. In owing it with friends and family, the experience was a catalyst driving me to look at myself – who I was – why I made the choices I did – and if I was proud of myself? I was shocked and rocked to the core when I discovered that not only did I not really know myself or love myself, I hadn’t in a very long time. People who love themselves, have true and healthy self-worth, self-esteem and self-respect treat THEMSELVES better! It was a definite “AH HA!” moment – one that I will always be grateful I had. From there, it was a lot of upward work but the journey thus far (as it continues) has been AMAZING! Good for you for walking away – for you – it’s in those types of choices and decisions that we feel empowered and glorious! I hope your light continues to shine brightly and fill you with inspiration and pride…

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