‘I just have an insatiable sexual appetite’: People who have cheated explain why

It’s not always black and white

Society loves branding a cheater as heartless or evil. It's one the worst endings to a relationship that's almost impossible to recover from. Yet according to research, it may not be entirely the cheater's fault.

A study by the University of Tennessee found young people cheat on their partners because they’re trying to “find themselves.”

We spoke to people who have cheated on their partners in the past, and asked them to explain exactly why they did it.

Jess, 21, London

I mean literally it was just a lack of self control. It’s not because I didn’t love the guy I was with, I was super happy with him. But when he was in one place and I was in another, I found it very hard to turn down sex because I just have an insatiable sexual appetite. And I got very distracted by what was going on around me.

So if there’s a spicy guy who wants to bang and I’m feeling frisky, it’s very hard for me to say no. I just forget about my current boyfriend even though I love him.

I also once cheated on a boyfriend because he was emotionally abusive and wouldn’t let me break up with him, so I just kinda slept with a couple of guys to make myself feel good and especially because he was nasty to me.

Bertie, 22, Cardiff

I cheated on my ex-boyfriend when I was at uni in third year. I was genuinely out-of-love with him and rather than facing up to it and breaking up with him, or telling him straight, I kept the relationship going out of fear of being alone. I felt like a prick and we eventually broke up. I did it because I genuinely fancied the other guy, but it wasn’t fair to keep my boyfriend in my life.

Zoe, 21, London

I went to a party where there were going to be loads of exes, so my boyfriend really didn’t want me to go. I got mad at him for not trusting me and went anyway.

A guy I hadn’t met before turned up and he was pretty fit so after everyone had gone to sleep we found an empty bed and got in and got naked. He was in a relationship too, so we decided that if we did hand stuff and didn’t kiss then it wouldn’t be cheating. Apparently that’s not true. Neither of us stayed with those partners.

Arun, 23, Milton-Keynes

I’d been with my now ex-boyfriend for nearly five years, and the last three of them I hadn’t been happy. Every time I tried to break up with him, he’d cry and ask if we could try and work it out. I’d feel guilty, agree, and then we’d amble along for a while before starting all over. I didn’t have a specific reason I wanted to break up, although looking back we’d grown apart, and I just wasn’t in love with him anymore. We didn’t fight, he wasn’t horrible, and we had signed up for a year contract on the house. I knew I wasn’t happy but I didn’t feel particularly unhappy, and I guess I fell into the trap of thinking this was just normal.

I actually ended up meeting someone who I had a huge spark with, and realised that my relationship wasn’t normal. We were talking for a few weeks but I convinced myself I just needed a little flirt out my way, but we met, and slept together.

The next day my boyfriend found out, and was devastated – but still wanted to work things out. All I could think about was this other guy, which was the last straw and made me realise it wasn’t just a lull in the relationship. I wasn’t in love with my boyfriend, I wasn’t attracted to him, and I actually wanted a break from relationships. I felt horrible about cheating on him. I still loved him as a person, and I never ever wanted to hurt him. In all honesty I never thought I’d cheat on someone. I think I was just desperate for an actual reason to get out.

Jack, 19, Sheffield

I was going out with a really nice girl who I brought to a New Year’s Eve party. All my best friends were there, I got horrendously drunk and told my friends I’ve been cheating on her for a month. To be honest, I just didn’t really like her, but I do wish my friends didn’t end up telling her that night.

Maisy, 20, Newcastle

I was with this boy. We drifted apart, knew things were gonna end. I met a new guy who was loosely friends with him and I just ended up spending so much time with him and we got together. I definitely regret it. I was in a relationship that I wasn’t that happy with and my ex didn’t really care that much. I think cheating with him was a reaction to an unhealthy relationship and I guess I wasn’t in touch with how I was feeling. I’d never cheat on anyone again though.