MASERU – Infidelity is without doubt the root of many break-ups and divorces in both relationships and marriage. What never ceases to amaze me however is that the perpetrators of this vile act always have justifications for their unholy deeds. Psychologist Mokhali Mokhu believes there are many factors contributing to infidelity such as social practices like what is done by peers surrounding one.
If people surrounding a person regularly cheat on their partners, a person ends up assuming it is a rational thing to do, Mokhu says. He indicates some relationships have trust issues which in the long-run affect the other party which holds onto the relationship faithfully. Some people, he says, are open to the entire world which can make insecure partners develop trust issues.
Other relationships, he says, are built on comparison where some people compare their partners with other people and wish they could be with them. Financial circumstances, according to the psychologist, also often fuel infidelity as financial instability plays a negative role when a couple is suffering to make ends meet. “For instance, other individuals aspire to tour the world and that desire itself could build problems for a couple without the means. However, some people do it unwittingly because it is deeply rooted in genes from their parents,” Mokhu explains.
He continues: “Psychologically as people we are designed in a manner that doing one thing every now and again becomes a routine and monotonous and such lack of self -control conditions people to opt for something new. Failure to compromise when your partner is not fulfilling promises, or is going through a rough patch, or even having a weakness to make a mistake like poor communication.”
Expectations before entering a relationship are also some of the reasons and when that person does not fulfil the expectation, the other counterpart sees cheating as a solution. Puleng Rasephali, 26, says women are very easy creatures to study and for them cheating is usually a result of their partners’ failure to actually get to completely understand their needs, their likes and dislikes.
Unlike men who need a person to cheat, women needs a reason to cheat and the man always brings that reason forth. “With us women, there are no surprises; our partners always know what hit them. I say this because we always address things that bother us and we do that frequently with the hope that our partners will listen and take action. We communicate and if we are not heard, we take action by seeking listening ears elsewhere.
“What I am saying in a nutshell is that we cheat on our partners because they drive us to. I therefore urge men to deny their women escape loops and everything shall work in their favour,” Rasephali explains. Thato Potso, 28, says the most common reason for cheating is the hard-to-swallow truth or fact that one person cannot possess all the traits that the next person admires.
The saddest part, Potso adds, is that everyone has “the list” and completely meeting that list is always impossible. Potso indicates that people therefore opt to go and seek what their partners fail to fulfil and that does not imply that they do not love the partners.
“I honestly think love would be a nice experience if people stopped looking for perfection in a person because, let us face it, perfection does not exist. “People often lose the moon while counting the stars and then regret it later. I mean, where is the fairness in expecting a person to be handsome or beautiful, rich, funny, educated, well-mannered all at the same time? Obviously one of them is going to be absent but is that worth cheating for?” Potso asks.
Columnist Thato Chobokoane says people cheat for multiple reasons and she personally does not see gender difference. She says human beings are people and to even claim that men cheat more begs the question: who they cheat with?
“People are multifaceted. We have many habits, ideologies, likes and dislikes which are sometimes even contradictory. We present ourselves differently in different social settings and even to people so the side that someone shows their partner does not make other sides to cease to exist, it just dominates,” Chobokoane says.
She further notes that from time to time people desire fulfilment on all levels; satisfaction to all the different sides of their character and that it is seldom that one person can be enough to satisfy 100% of one’s needs.
“So we compromise by staying with one person who at least gives us fulfilment on many levels. Some people, however, cannot live with the compromise and step outside their relationship to get what is lacking in their steady relationships,” Chobokoane states.