I call this the Six Types of Cheaters because how a cheater thinks about the process of cheating really makes a difference. I want to walk through this with you, and if you are the cheater, this might help you get a handle on how you actually think and put some language to the way that you go about the business of cheating. If you are the person who’s been cheated on, cheating will never make sense to you, but maybe the mindset of a cheater will.
The first one is the hunter. The hunter is looking for a specific type of person to pursue. I’m going to go through the male and female versions because this is a case where the genders are hugely different in the way that they hunt. There are exceptions to this, but generally the male hunter is looking for a weak woman. They are looking for the weak, the needy, or another sex addict so they can get a quick hit. They tend to have pickup lines or a clear modus operandi to capture their prey.
The hunter is rarely looking for an equal because an equal could hurt them.
He’s not a lion hunting a lion; he’s a lion hunting dead birds. Wounded birds. The hunter tends to be the smart, successful, smooth-talking guy who exudes a certain sexual or narcissistic energy. It’s all about him and his needs. The stench of entitlement is also present in the hunter’s heart.
Women who are hunters tend to hunt specifically for men who are better in some way — extremely physically fit, extremely successful, or have a high place in their their social community or neighborhood. Women tend to hunt up. Their targets are very identified. They don’t necessarily care what the person looks like as long as they fit into this category. There might be some boundaries there, but they generally have a target on their victims.
The next is the hero/nice cheater. This is the person who cares. If it’s a man, he wants to help you with your car, help you with your house, help you with your kids, help you with your projects at work. He thinks you’re amazing and wonderful and smart. Or this is the woman who thinks you’re just a wonderful guy. You’re just a nice person. She wants to help you with your projects. She wants to maybe cook you little biscuits or muffins or pies or she’s constantly touching you.
They’re just nice. They’re nice when they groom their victims and they’re nice when they leave their victims (they have to work on their marriage — but thanks for the sex). They tend to play that nice hero/heroine role in your life. They’re there to help you. As they help, they use you sexually.
The next one is exactly the opposite. This is the hurt/wounded type. This sounds kind of strange, but basically he’s that guy in the bar who’s so lonely. He needs someone to help him. She’s that woman who is so desperate and in pain who just needs someone to love her. To take care of her. What they do is they attract by vortex — kind of like a black hole.
They bring people into their lives to help them, to support them, to give them emotional aid or comfort, help through an addiction, help through a divorce. In the process, they’re actually grooming you for a sexual encounter. They’re bringing you in to help and then they cheat with you and they move on. You can go to any bar and this hurt wounded person will be sitting over there to the left alone. They’re waiting for someone to come talk to them. If you talk to them, they start telling you their sad story. If you buy into it, you’re going to be moving into helping and being used while you’re helping them.
The next type is the fetish cheater. A fetish is a desire for a very specific sexual behavior—bondage or spanking or some kind of fetish issue. There are thousands of those, so it could be anything. But this person is really looking for a companion in the fetish realm. Again, it doesn’t matter what the person looks like or what their belief system is as long as they think that this fetish is the coolest thing on earth.
They’re looking for someone to cheat with inside of a fetish paradigm. They have little groups that they find with people who enjoy this particular fetish or they go online and hook up.
The next one is the opportunist. This person is just looking for someone who’s willing. It doesn’t matter what size, what color, what body type, or what age as long as the person gives them some kind of sexual energy, or gives them that wink, or says, “I think you’re cute.” The opportunist is going to take them up on this. The opportunist might cheat with 50 people, but there’s absolutely nothing in common. One works at Burger King and one is the vice president in the bank. One is six foot tall and one is four foot five. One is grossly overly athletic and one is overly unathletic. They range in color and size.
If you look at the pictures, there would be nothing in common except that they’re willing. This type of cheater is pretty much on the hunt all the time, but they’re not hunting for anyone in particular. They can go to a fast food place, a Walmart, or a high-end bar. It doesn’t really matter. As long as someone willing is there, they will take that as an opportunity. The opportunist cheater generally racks up a lot higher number than some of the other types because there is no specific target.
The last one is the professional cheater. They only want to hire prostitutes or escorts— male or female—to act out with. Sometimes this involves wanting a particular thing, but when professional cheaters have shared their stories with me, it often really has to do with maintaining secrecy. In some weird way, they want to protect their real world. They don’t want their kids and their wife or their husband to know what they’re doing. They believe they’re paying for the confidentiality of their behavior—which isn’t always true. They believe that, if they’re paying for it, sometimes it absolves them of guilt because the person was willing. It absolves them of hurting because they don’t really love this person. It’s just sex. That’s the way they rationalize it in their mind and in their heart. The professional cheater is someone who will use a professional service. This is rationalized as different for them. I’ve had people say, “I am not really cheating if I paid for it.” I’m like, “No. It still is cheating, even if you pay for it. Your wife over there who’s bleeding still thinks she’s been betrayed. Just because you didn’t care about the person says something about you, but it doesn’t say anything different about the kind of betrayal that your wife over there is feeling.”
These are the six types of cheaters. Some people cheat because they have a sexual addiction. If you have a sexual addiction, you definitely want to address that. You can go to our website, www.drdougweiss.com. There are several books on sexual addiction. Addicted to Adultery is a great read. If you’re the person who’s been cheated on, there’s a DVD called Calming the Storm of Anger that helps you work through your anger. If you’re the person who has done the cheating, you might do well on a DVD called Helping Her Heal. If you’re a man, this will be really helpful to understand what cheating does to the person and what you can do to help in the process of restoring the relationship.
Cheating is a real deal. It’s happening in epidemic numbers. The internet has made things so much easier. A lot more people are vulnerable to cheating than ever before because of the opportunity and the illusion of secrecy. You want to be careful out there. You want to protect the people you really do love. You want to have great love and sex. You really want to protect that primary relationship you’re in. Be careful in your social media.
Regardless of the type of cheater, if they pursue healing and are willing to expose the truth and work hard in recovery, they can have the miracle of a changed life.