Dear Suzie, I look back on our relationship, and think he always had a higher sex drive than me, he always wanted to try certain things in bed that I never wanted to. Now, I find myself wondering everyday if, had I just been more sexual, more adventurous, maybe he wouldn’t have done it. Did my low sex drive cause my boyfriend to cheat on me?
When one partner strays, it’s very common for the other partner to think he or she could have done something to prevent it. For example, a betrayed woman might think… if only I were younger, smarter, prettier, cooked better, were more fun, shaved my legs, kept up my career, stayed home with the kids, were more sexually adventurous, did more for him… then he wouldn’t have done this. A betrayed man might think… if only I had paid more attention, given her more time, had more money, been a better lover, gotten a better job, moved closer to her parents, tried harder, worked out more… then she wouldn’t have cheated on me.
What do these two examples have in common?
They describe people who have bought into (what’s known as) The Perfect Past Fantasy.
In other words, in their minds, they believe that if they had been more perfect, their partners wouldn’t have strayed. Which of course is just another way of saying “it’s my fault”. (Their failure is due to my imperfections.)
I wonder if you noticed there are some subtle distortions in this type of thinking. Here’s the first one: In order to prevent something from happening, wouldn’t you need to have had complete control over all aspects of that thing? And when it comes to other people’s thoughts, actions, and choices, do you have (or will you ever have) complete control? (Obviously not.) This tells you that “The Perfect Past Fantasy” is just that — a fantasy. That’s because it’s rooted in the belief that somehow, we can control other people’s choices.
To some people, this may come as a rude awakening. But the truth is, another person’s decision to cheat (or not cheat) is never under our control.
How can I be so sure?
Well, just ask yourself one simple question: did you get a vote?
Were you ever given a choice in your partner’s decision to cheat? If you weren’t, then this proves that infidelity is not a democracy; it’s a privately-held agenda. (Did you get that?)
Key Insight: There are no reasons for infidelity, just excuses.
Any number of things can serve as excuses to cheat. We could point the finger at a bad childhood, a bad marriage, a boring sex life, too much stress, or financial difficulties, but they would all still be excuses.
The fact is…
Since no one is perfect, no marriage or relationship is perfect.
Your low sex drive could leave the door open to temptation, and yet, the decision to step through that door and cross the line from fidelity to infidelity is still a personal choice.
Here’s the reality you must wake up to:
Regardless of how close you are to someone else, you just can’t control their choices. So, to answer your question: did you drive him to it? Nope. You weren’t even in the car. The most you are at this point is a witness to his poor choices. Therefore, take no blame, no responsibility and no unearned guilt for them.
Until we speak again…
Remember… Love Wins!