With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
It is misleading to say a guy cheats because he is looking for something new. On the contrary, he may be looking for something old. Something familiar. Not the same, but similar.
The intimacy with his wife, girlfriend is fantastic. So close, so tender, so emotionally present.
Then there is an old girlfriend. A random or not so random meeting and the old girlfriend is back in his thoughts. Thoughts of what the sex was like. With the memory burn of something so familiar and pleasurable, like the first time they kissed, sharing an alternate universe where he can go back and experience everything again for the first time as a different guy is often too irresistible.
Or better yet, wiping the slate clean with someone unknown, experiencing only pure present with them. Even in this scenario, the enhanced familiarity is evident, wanting to have the rush, recapture the blush of desire and chase from the past and co-opt it for present pursuits.
Experience drives these two scenarios. What may seem new is merely refreshment.
Now, for a guy to cheat, it isn’t just an old flame or passing fancy.
Even briefer, let’s clarify the guy. I am speaking of a guy for whom cheating carries weight. A guy who loves his girl. In cheating, he has something to lose. In deciding whether or not to cheat he has conflicting thoughts. He knows right from wrong and ultimately, justifies the wrong.
For this kind of guy to cheat, his justification is one of innocence, not wishing to deny his urges or his true feelings or simply, something he has to do, something he owes to himself.
So, for this guy to not only weigh the options but carry out the infidelity thus deceiving and profoundly hurting the girl whom he loves and cares deeply for, there would have to be a powerful catalyst.
Love and trust are the bricks and mortar of a solid relationship. Communication is the foundation upon which the relationship is built.
Something that was built can always be knocked down. It is one of the reasons why a relationship means something, is something worth preserving, is held to high standards and is devastating to lose.
Take away one of the three and the relationship is tested. Now in jeopardy, the guy sees the relationship on less solid ground than before, opening the way for doubt and temptation.
The guy is at the fork in the road, whether he knows it or not. Stay and work on rebuilding the one value lost, let the building topple, or build a secret room from the same building.
An old flame or passing fancy does not ultimately decide the guy’s fate. Strength does.
…and to paraphrase C.S. Lewis; only those who resist temptation know how strong it is.