Low self-esteem may affect people in so many ways, however, the most common effect it has is to make you feel insecure and lacking in self-confidence. Would it surprise you to learn that low levels of self-esteem can cause people to cheat on their partners?
This article will discuss why cheating appears to be more common amongst those suffering from low self-esteem and what it can do to your relationships. We’ll also consider what role, if any, body image plays in the likelihood of cheating.
Those suffering from low self-esteem generally feel more insecure and this might cause them to cheat because they are looking to feel better. Another person who shows interest, especially if younger or attractive, may be perceived as a confidence boost and the attention is likely to feel flattering.
For those with low self-esteem, cheating usually only provides a temporary boost in self-confidence. It can be followed by guilt and the necessity to hide or reveal the betrayal, which can cause all kinds of psychological issues. Ultimately cheating can do much more harm than good to one’s self-esteem.
Why People with Low Self-Esteem Cheat More
Here are the main reasons why someone with low self-esteem may cheat more:
- Another person’s romantic interest is flattering and provides much-needed validation for someone lacking confidence.
- The attention from another can help to make someone feel better about themselves both physically and mentally.
- Low self-esteem may cause a person to feel unappreciated or distant from their partner. A new relationship may appear to offer the appreciation that he or she feels is missing.
- Low self-esteem is often connected with a lack of assertiveness and this makes acceptance of another person’s desires more likely than refusal.
Can Low Self-Esteem Cause You to Cheat?
Low self-esteem is one of the many factors that can cause a person to cheat on their partner. It may not be the most important reason but it definitely can play a significant role.
Anyone who suffers from low self-esteem may constantly seek opportunities to feel better about themselves. This will include feeling more appreciated by others, more confident, and more attractive. The positive attention from someone seems like a breath of fresh air to a person low in self- esteem. It is therefore hard to resist.
Once the opportunity for new love presents itself, someone lacking in confidence and self-esteem may find it so appealing that the temptation to cheat is too much. A new love seems to offer much-needed affection and attention and in the heat of the moment, the potential consequences of cheating can be forgotten.
Ways that Low Self-Esteem Can Ruin Your Relationship
Low self esteem can be damaging to your relationship in many ways including:
- Distancing yourself from your partner
- Making you feel unappreciated or neglected
- Making you feel misunderstood
- Creating difficulties in communication between you and your partner
- It may cause you to seek attention and affection outside your existing relationship
- It may cause body image issues that can make it more likely that you seekneed validation from others regarding your appearance and attractiveness
One of the most important factors that exist in healthy relationships is communication. This helps you and your partner to express your needs and have them validated. It also ensures that the relationship develops and grows so that both partners feel loved and secure with each other.
Low self- esteem may hinder effective communication and cause you to doubt yourself. It can cause negative emotions and because of self- doubt, you may stop communicating. This lack of communication can cause problems and misunderstandings. This can in turn cause you to feel neglected or confused about the direction your relationship is moving.
Lack of self- esteem may even make you a more passive partner as you may become less assertive in telling your partner what you want. This can increase feelings of a lack of control in your life and your close relationships.
This is so important because any relationship needs to be balanced. Both persons need to feel that they matter equally and have a say in their present and future together as a partnership. Low self-esteem can seriously disturb this and make it seem, even if it is untrue, that the other person is in control.
It is easy to see that if you feel a lack of control over your relationship, you may seek to escape and cheating is one way to do this. The unfortunate consequences of cheating can be rather negative and unpleasant and may result in increased low self-esteem further down the line but when the opportunity to cheat presents itself this is often ignored.
Body Image Issues
As we mentioned above, low self-esteem can cause body image problems. This can affect both men and women but appears to be more common in women.
If someone has issues with body image they may seek others’ approval of their appearance. This may cause someone to wear more provocative or revealingsexy clothing and interpret the attention of others as validation that they are attractive. This can lead to attention from potential romantic partners, which may well be welcomed as a positive sign and make them feel better about themselves.
What starts out as an attempt to seek validation from others to feel better about oneself may then proceed to the next step which is to give in to the temptation to cheat.
So far we have discussed how low self esteem may contribute towards the likelihood of cheating, but we all sometimes feel the need for validation from others so we are all at risk of lower levels of confidence and self- esteem. This makes us all vulnerable to cheating.
The reason why low self- esteem makes a person more vulnerable and open to cheating is that it distorts the way they think about themselves. It can fill your mind with negative thoughts and self- doubt, making it more likely that you will become flattered by the attention of someone you find attractive and less likely to draw the line.
Cheating is something that happens and can be the result of so many different factors,. It it is not something that happens only to those suffering from low self- esteem. However, low self- esteem may contribute to the likelihood of cheating asbecause it seems to make the attention of a new lover seem so appealing. If, on the other hand, a confident person who feels good about themselves and how they look has the opportunity to cheat, are they less likely to submit to temptation? This obviously depends on the person and the situation.
It is human to feel the need to be loved. It is human to fall in love or be attracted to others.
I think that what separates a person with low self-esteem from a confident person is their reaction to the positive attention and interest of others. In simple terms, it could be said that the first could see the attention as flattering, whereas the confident person might be unaffected by it and ignore it.
Low self-esteem can make a person feel ignored or neglected in a relationship. When another person offers the attention that appears to be lacking, it would seem that ignoring it is not so easy.
Clearly, then, if we want to develop more secure relationships that last in our lives we need to build and maintain our levels of self-esteem.