Why do Nice Guys cheat?

It’s surprisingly common for guys with Nice Guy Syndrome to have affairs and betray their partners.

In fact, people pleaser types in general have a habit of harming those they care about the most, moreso than people who are generally more assertive or even selfish.

Ironically, while selfish or narcissistic people often do big short-term damage, it’s the Nice Guys and people pleasers who steal years from people with deception, ultimately doing more harm overall in the longer term.

There’s something counterintuitive that they have in common – in my experience as a coach of nice guys for 10 years: they were trying their best to avoid hurting their partner. Not at the point of cheating, of course, but in that preventing pain was their overall relationship strategy.

One of the main ways they do this is avoiding confrontations, based on a vague sense that certain emotions are harmful and therefore must always be prevented.

The reason this strategy leads to cheating is because when you’re avoiding conflict you build up so much resentment on both sides. A prerequisite and catalyst for cheating is you convince yourself that your partner is the “bad guy” in the relationship. Resentment is the fuel for creating this belief.

There’s so much left unsaid in Nice Guy relationships, so many confrontations that should happen but don’t, and the coldness and bitterness grows over time. Eventually you become very tempted to find any kind of love and compassion you can get elsewhere.

And so you end up doing the most harmful thing you possibly could… all while trying to avoid hurting them.

Maybe initiating the occasional confrontation is a better trade-off?

2 Responses

  1. If you’re totally honest with each other, it’s impossible for cheating to happen, because early warning signs will be revealed and dealt with

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