Why “Wife Caught Cheating” is one of the most popular questions on all of Google
I was recently doing some research on infidelity statistics in America when I stumbled across the search query “Wife Caught Cheating.” The results? 912,000,000 search findings in 0.5 seconds.
Let me say that again: there are almost a billion search results for Wife Caught Cheating on Google. The first video that pops up is, unsurprisingly, a man catching his wife cheating thanks to a Ring doorbell camera: 6.8 million views, 20,000 comments. Below that: Wife Caught Cheating Porn (yes, there is an actual niche for this). A few rows down: What To Do When You Get Caught Cheating. Lol!
This experience shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, as I have dozens of clients who have been either the victim or the perpetrator of infidelity. But what this experience revealed to me is that we have not only a cheating epidemic of massive proportions, but also a fascination with it.
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People get off on cheating (no pun intended). They love the idea. They are lustfully drawn to it, enchanted by it. It's not unlike high-stakes gambling or jumping out of an airplane; it provides an unparalleled rush (so I’m told). And I can understand it: though I’ve never actually cheated, I have been tempted. And boy let me tell you, that temptation is a powerful drug.
But behind that temptation, that irresistible pull toward the forbidden fruit, is usually a very sad and nuanced and disconcerting story: about why. Why are we tempted to cheat in the first place? Why is cheating so prevalent, and why are we so fascinated by it?
To be clear, the REPORTED cheating statistics in America as of 2021 are as follows: Roughly 40% of Americans have reported cheating on their partners at least once during their relationship. 25% men, 15% women.
But do not be fooled: these statistics are based on reporting, AKA truthfully admitting to another human being that you have cheated. Translation: we really have no clue what the numbers actually are. It could be totally false that cheating is more common among men than women. I’ve been told by my female clients and friends that women cheat just as much as men do, but admit it less due to the social stigma. When statistics are contingent upon respondents abiding by the honor system, there is no way to know the truth. But we can safely assume one thing: it is more than 40%.
People cheat for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that they are unhappy with themselves. We tend to think that cheating occurs most commonly as a result of dysfunction in the relationship, but in my coaching experience, the cheater is unfaithful not because the relationship is missing something but because the person is missing something.
Perhaps you saw one of your parents cheating on the other when you were a kid, which skewed your perception of what is acceptable in a relationship. Perhaps you never received the love and attention you needed, so you sabotage a relationship by cheating in order to recreate abandonment trauma. Perhaps you’re having trouble with your partner and you are too afraid to confront it, so you use infidelity as an escape. The bottom line is that it is a you problem, and it is your responsibility to sort out.
People cheat in all sorts of ways, not the least of which is emotional infidelity: flirting with your coworker, getting someone’s number at a bar, texting with your ex. Yes, this counts as cheating. You can rationalize it in 100 ways: I haven’t even seen the person, we’re not being physical, we only kissed once, et cetera. The bottom line is that you are cheating, and you know in your heart that it’s wrong.
At Keys, we are dedicated to helping people learn how to communicate effectively, date intelligently, and engage in happy and healthy relationships. If you need help with your dating life, reach out to us. If you are in a relationship and feel tempted to cheat, contact a professional. You have dozens of options that do not entail ruining your relationship and your life.
I don’t need to tell you that cheating is wrong – 90% of Americans agree – but I will remind you that, whatever problem you’re trying to solve or pain you’re trying to escape, cheating will ultimately make it worse. Google it!
Kevin from the Keys team
Dating & Relationship Coach