Why We Cheat: The 80/20 Rule

More than 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce these days. That’s outlandish and just sad. A main element of the divorce rate is cheating. Here’s a pragmatic reason why. And why most of the time it’s sexual.

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Relationships are tricky buggers. It is easy at first with all the excitement of the chase, the mystery surrounding your love interest and the escalating sexual tensions. But after a couple of weeks, months or years you might find that your relationship has stage dived and you begin to question if the end-all cliché applies: Are they the one? But before your eyes wander too much, think about the 80/20 Rule and see if your relationship is measuring up.

The 80/20 Rule is simple. In a healthy relationship, you get about 80 per cent of what you need/want from your partner. They are caring, respectful and share a lot of the same interests as you, but then you meet someone who catches your attention for an unknown reason. It may well be because they fulfill the missing 20 per cent in your relationship – namely the sexual component. Because that 20 per cent has been missing for so long, you quickly conclude, “Hey, this person has everything I am looking for in a partner.” This can be a relationship killer. Since you jump genitals-first for this new interest, you may have given up your 80 per cent loving partner for a 20 per cent fling. The regret automatically sets in.

During the good times in a loving relationship, the other 20 per cent doesn’t really matter because you don’t notice it missing. You are content and fulfilled with your partner. Your 80 per cent feels like 100 per cent. When you are in an argument, however, because your partner is too messy or something petty, then the 20 per cent is tossed into the limelight.

This isn’t to say that you should stick with the current, thankless partner. You might only be getting the 20 per cent in the relationship, anyway. In this case, if you are truly miserable, maybe you should shop around. The point is to look at your relationship and really question if something substantial is missing. If this is the case and you feel unsatisfied, then move on and find someone who can offer you more. Remember, a key element to any relationship is honesty – not just to your partner, but yourself.

The 80/20 Rule explains some of the mysteries of relationships. It makes sense why cheaters go after the 20 per cent while trying to hold on to the other 80 per cent. The relationship crush (when you are in a loving relationship but have a crush on the local barista) often manifests because you see the other 20 per cent in the crush. And even the “players,” who jump from one 20 per cent adventure to another in a vain attempt to eventually equal 100.

If your relationship is going through a rough patch, think about the 80/20 Rule. Before switching partners, be careful since you might be giving up more than you think. First look at what you have instead of focusing on what is missing. Just remember, don’t throw away a good thing for a piece of new ass. We don’t need the divorce rate to inflate anymore.


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A version of this article originally appeared in February’s Sex Issue.

  1. There is no logical explanation for why people actually cheat other than personal failure. People try and make themselves feel better by making excuses and then trying to explain them in a logical sense. We INTJ’s are the only truly logical thinkers in the history of the world… and I say it is illogical. Excuses are excuses, nothing more and nothing less.

    • Debbie
    • October 9th, 2009

    Having recently suffered (and still suffering) from a horrendous betrayal in which my ex of over a decade chose to describe all the ways in which I was lacking as a way to excuse his abhorrent behavior (cheating AND planning a pregnancy with another woman whilst still living and sleeping with me!) I agree with the post above by Hackett – there truly is no logical explanation for my former partner’s cheating other than personal failure – his own (and his family who knew and condoned it.) The woman he cheated with and is now trapped by is poorly educated, has several children with several different men (5 by last count) and is steadily draining his back accounts, her unsuitability has cost him dearly professionally and his colleagues constantly wonder if he’s lost his mind. I think it’s fairly obvious his 20% is costing him 100% – karma, it’s something huh?

  2. Interesting theory and probably 100% true. In most cases the 20% is hardly worth losing 80%. I know a few married couples who thought the grass was greener elsewhere…but how about an article on the nature of monogamy? I think humans were not meant to be monogamous. It is something that has been instilled upon us by Religious institutions and society as a means of disease control.

    • Manny
    • December 26th, 2009

    There is not one reason why people cheat. The 80/20 rule can help people realize looking at someone else may be an allusion caused by not realizing what they already have. The bottom line cheating is just that. You are not playing by fair rules. Moreover, everyone looses. You can come back to win if you have been cheated on. However, the road to victory can take time.

    • todesfuge
    • January 7th, 2010

    Hackett, you lost all credibility with your condescending Meyers Briggs personality hubris. Mastermindness aside, people cheat because they are human. People make mistakes. Has nothing to do with personal failure. For a man, i think its the innnate desire to hunt. Sounds rudimentary but no one expects to be caught. The desire to satisfy one’s sexual urges sometimes is greater than the moral will to stay course.

    • brownsugar
    • January 23rd, 2010

    Regarding the 80/20 rule I feel that it has nothing to do with a man’s failure. A man cheats due to not receiving something at home. Whether it is companionship, love, attention or sex. There’s something lacking and he will seek elsewhere to get it. Women fail to realize that all of those things you did to get this man you have to continue to do those things as well. Once a man feels as if he is neglected problems will arise in the relationship.
    But for those men who already have a wonderful relationship and still cheats, perhaps he is getting the 7 year itch. I guess he is only meant to remain faithful for a certain amount of time.

  3. Oh please give me a break brown sugar! Are you kidding me??? What about the men? Everyone gets comfy in a long term relationship. The fact of the matter is, is that it takes an effort on both sides to keep the fires burning.
    My ex-husband gained 80 pounds after we moved in together! I gained a mere 8! And for the record, no matter what effort I put forward he was not interested.
    Now I have an Italian husband and after 8 years together we still know how to rock the sheets just fine!

    • Carolina
    • February 20th, 2010

    my boyfriend explained this to me yesterday and I didn’t quite get it. I just thought he was trying to get more from me than what I wanted to give. but after reading this it makes sense. I’m not saying that I’m going straight to bed with him as soon as I see him but it helped get an insight on it and how sometimes may not even be to just get action but to connect further. great article by the way.

    • 20cm
    • March 16th, 2010

    I agree with the lot of you. You can all be correct if you really think about it, all scenarios are highly possible as we are variably imperfect. Our wants are often confused with our needs and some of us if not many of us seek the comfort found in our addiction to our wants.

    I am definitely 80+…I love my wife, but for the last 13 years she just doesn’t seem to get that I need HER to initiate foreplay or fondling…it let’s me know that she has interest in me and that alone makes me feel very satisfied. She has only come on to me 3 or 4 times in the last 13 years…I know she loves me, we both love each other, but I need that supplemental attention. Because I wasn’t getting it, I started to drink/party more often, hang out with female friends, flirt with them…THOUGH, nothing ever happened, in my eyes it was just too close for comfort, my wife needed to be more attentive to me, AT LEAST as attentive as I have always been.

    Now, I’ve acquired the taste for flirting with women, when I fully remember not even looking at other women early in our relationship!

    I always offer to her delight, but she doesn’t cater to my needs…and they are always reasonable.

    We are all prone to cheating, it’s how we throw a fit and eat our cake too as adults.

    Nobody should claim to be “holier-than-though”.

    • 20cm
    • March 16th, 2010

    20cm :
    Nobody should claim to be “holier-than-thou”…yes yes yes, I know, “thou”.

    • Cincired24
    • March 22nd, 2010

    It still doesn’t justify the fact of cheating. You can always stop it before it happens. The 80/20 rule isn’t an excuse.

    • Vicki
    • March 27th, 2010

    This was an amazing explaination of the 80/20 rule! I am so behind this rule all the way!

    • Seriously
    • March 29th, 2010

    Seriously?…because monogamy wasn’t practiced, disease came about…check out the history of disease explosion. Humans weren’t meant to be monogamous? I’d settle for that if I wanted to bang every chick I came in contact with, however, I think that’s just another way of getting around our lack of self-control and surrending ourselves to what our body craves, whether it’s animal meat or human flesh. There comes a point in which we have to separate ourselves from animals unless you believe that is what we are, then “just hit it and quit it”.

    • wildchild2874
    • April 8th, 2010

    To cheat or not to cheat? In all honesty it is not much of a question. In my opinion there is no reason what so ever to cheat. Hell if your thinking of cheating and your that unhappy with the way things are going , just man up or women up and leave. Why put the other person threw pain they dont deserve? Cheating in my opinion is a lack of pride. Not in the person your with , but in your self!!!!!!!!

    • ISF
    • April 9th, 2010

    I really dont think the 80/20 rule is an excuse at all…and in this article it shouldnt have been explained as one….More or less when i first heard of it, it was mentioned to be a conscience reminder. To think about and appreciate what you have before you go after something that isnt worth it…If you really love something and cant get enough how much would you rather have? 80% or 20%?? Exactly….No excuses there, just common sense..

    • Anonymous
    • April 10th, 2010

    very well said!

    • Yugi
    • April 20th, 2010

    Well i think ppl cheat because of insecurities within a relationship, i cheated in the past bcoz of control..
    If i wasnt in control of the relationship & if some1 was telling me what to do then i’d cheat.. to kind of de-stress

    • Ian Daly
    • May 10th, 2010

    great article man! i found out recently that 80 + 20 = 100 too! that owns! OOOOOOWWWWNNNNNNNSSSS! when you break ultra-complex things like human relationships down into 80 + 20 (or 80 – 20! HA! NO WAY!) you really understand them much better! I wish i was good at math like you! OWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSS!

    • Ian Daly
    • May 10th, 2010

    it owns… just to be clear.

    • Anonymous
    • May 18th, 2010

    well let me just say i am a maaried father of 2 married 5 years with my partnetr fr almost 20 an if i got marred sooner i would have not made it …i grew up aroud a lot of women and i love a stroong woman ..i saw my mom work miracles ..i grew up thinkign if i did everthing to help a woman out things wil;l go better fr me as a husband …wrong …i cook, , i work in computer but i am very handy aroud teh hosue as well ( mr Home depo) i can iron , wash , clean wahtever u need i will do …does this mean that i have a perfect life …? my wife throws her stlf into sex caseu her husb helps hell no i cam to realize it soes matter how much a guy does a woman will always have a reson why the don get the animalistic urges we do ? hell that is the ONE job i want my wife to be great at ? difficult huh…and u would think most other women would understand but fella they stick togther ALWAYS ? A man can win no matter what …there is notheing i cant do fr my self ( besides birthing kids ) but women u have an excue under all circumstances ..sex decreases in amariage and i work 2 times as hard and My wife still has excuses ..fellas keep doing yall caseu eveni f u diod what they told u there would still be a excusee

    • othellox
    • May 21st, 2010

    total, baloney. Cheatting is nothing more than a lack of integrity, personal fortitude and character. There is no such thing as “in the heat of the moment”, Animals do that. If one cannot control themselves and thier actions, and have to get caught up in the heat of the moment.They need to be caged and sedated like any other wild animal. Cheating is’nt a mistake, it takes forthought and planning. Stumbling over a crack in the side walk is a mistake, picking up a pen instead of a pencil is a mistake. Taking your clothes off and having sex with someone else when you have made a promise to be monogamouse to your spouse is a delibrate act, not a mistake. People DO NOT fall in and out of love. They fall in and out of infatuation, lust, etc….Relationships and people do not change, we CHOOSE not to see things due to lust, infatuation etc in the beginings of our relationships, eventually , those things come to the surface, cause they were always there to begin with.

  4. There are such things as big mistakes, “divorce” is the acceptance of a rather large mistake that takes years to take place, realize, and resolve.

    In the end what separates us from wild animals? Are we not more or less the same as them? We think “oh, we have thoughts and they don’t” but what is to say that animals don’t have complex thoughts that dictate their actions?

    Human beings have instincts as well and we mask them in what we like to call “complex thoughts.” At the end of the day, our indiscretion can be chalked up to our instincts pushing us to procreate.

    I don’t want to sound callous, and I truly do believe in love, but from another angle could we perceive the institution of love as a way to control overpopulating. One cheating female could dupe the wrong man into taking care of a child. One cheating male could impregnate multiple women and leave on unable to support herself.

    People do succumb to lust, it’s in every book ever written, even Greek gods had indiscretions and killed each other over it. I’m an optimist about it that we are supposed to fall for one person, but we make the mistake of falling for someone who is right there rather that just plain right. Perhaps, the mistake isn’t taking your clothes off and passionately violating the sanctity of a monogamous relationship, but rather being in the monogamous relationship that drove you to lust after another. The 80/20 rule is a good rule, but perhaps there can be a 100/0 ratio somewhere in the world.

    Otherwise, the 80/20 rule just shows us mankind’s true colours!

  5. This is a good one

    • Belle
    • May 30th, 2010

    People are always looking for excuses for cheating. Since men who cheat are so great at finding good excuses for cheating they need to start looking for someone to blame or even more excuses when they catch an STD and even HIV. People who are always after asses and people with low self esteem always agree that it is okay to cheat because they’re HUMAN. Give me break.
    so, start being creative when you catch a disease hopefully that will open cheaters’ eyes.

  6. @Hackett
    There is
    20 gives 80.
    80 gives 20 with whom you are living now.

    Nice explanation.

    • jc
    • October 23rd, 2010

    percent is one word… doesn’t anyone proof read these days?

  7. In journalism it’s two words, thanks for playing.

  8. Sometimes love, honesty, respect, loyalty and support through hard times is just not enough. Otherwise my boyfriend wouldnt have left me for another woman.

    • cathayhv
    • November 14th, 2010

    @todesfuge It do not take a mastermind to know we all all human but it takes a unjust mind to justify that is why people cheat. It is mind over matter and we as human know better. 80/20 or not cheating is hurtful and if a person do not want the good with the bad they should stay single to avoid being characterize in that catagory of cheating. If we truely love someone we would considered there feeling and how cheating would affect them. Because we are human does that mean we are meant to hurt another human with our own weak minds? I think the different.

    • Anonymous
    • December 16th, 2010

    Ugh. I wish I had been around to read this article. I didn’t cheat or anything but I’m beginning to think the break up I instigated months ago might have been a mistake and I don’t know what to do. Accept it, I guess.

    • Nick
    • December 26th, 2010

    this article is extremely accurate in my opinion,i wouldnt have thrown away a 90 percent good relatioship had i known what lay ahead

    • Althea
    • January 9th, 2011

    brownsugar :Regarding the 80/20 rule I feel that it has nothing to do with a man’s failure. A man cheats due to not receiving something at home. Whether it is companionship, love, attention or sex. There’s something lacking and he will seek elsewhere to get it. Women fail to realize that all of those things you did to get this man you have to continue to do those things as well. Once a man feels as if he is neglected problems will arise in the relationship.But for those men who already have a wonderful relationship and still cheats, perhaps he is getting the 7 year itch. I guess he is only meant to remain faithful for a certain amount of time.

    • Althea
    • January 9th, 2011

    Same applies to a Man – same thing he did to get that woman he should do the same or better to keep her.

    • Jcee
    • February 6th, 2011

    Some of these comments really make me giggle.. Here’s my spin on it:
    People change so does our taste style and values, the saying suggests behind every successful man is a women. Why do you think that is? Because man works hard to be the best to wow the women and this is why people cheat.

    What we liked at 21 may no longer work for us at 31 so why waste another 10 years when you are not happy. We are only here once, this is no dress rehearsal enjoy every day.

    Now as for the 80/20 rule if you are not getting what you need in your relationship get it elsewhere. If you didn’t have the answer to a question would you look elsewhere… Of course you would!! This has nothing to do with being weak this is about enjoying the precious time we have.

    • I Love Life
    • February 10th, 2011

    Cheating on a occ or spouse can leave a painful scare. After 23 yrs of marriage, my spouce and I went through a divorce in 2009. And the reason why, my spouse (husband) was doing four child support payments. The five women that he was cheating with are being tested each year for HIV. I thank God each day that I was smart enough to ask him to wear a condom or stop having sex with all to gather, because I am not on of the HIV Five(5).

    • Christine Kelly
    • February 27th, 2011

    I totally agree with you i dont think it has nothing to do with a man falier also of course and for me of course a relationship is about thick and thin and through tough times and these tough times are stuff you can get really get over of course always thats what makes a long relationship last always of course Love all always Christine Kelly

  9. Some people just can’t resist it and they just fall into it. This is really the thing here around. I hope it won’t happen to me again. :)

    • LovelyBBW
    • June 17th, 2011

    Could someone help me. I’m a woman that messed up bad, by going straight for the 20. My 80 truly has my heart and i love him to death. Any suggestion on how to gain the 80 back? I cheated on him twice, and it really ment nothing. I just did it without thinking.

  10. Yahoo.com mail

    • Anonymous
    • July 4th, 2011

    Thank you for writing about the 80/20 rule! I am in that situation and reading this article made me feel so much better about the situation! I was feeling terribly guilty about my crush, but you are certainly right that my crush fills that 20% I am needing and currently arguing about with my 80% lover! Now I will be able to hang out and remember that it is not worth risking 20% for my for sure 80% guy.

    • G
    • August 25th, 2011

    Why hasn’t anyone pointed out that this has nothing to do with the 80/20 rule?
    The 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s Principle, is the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of the effort. For example, in a business 80% of profits would come from 20% of the costumers. The idea is that pinpoint that 20% and try to magnify it to yield more results. This relationship business is nonsense.

  11. I am pretty sure that the 80/20 rule, WHEN YOU TRANSLATE IT FROM FINANCES would be somewhere along the lines of, 20% of guys get 80% of all the action. Just saying, because this article has nothing to do with the 80/20 rule, other than the fact that someone thought it would be clever to use it as a name.

    • Anonymous
    • November 7th, 2011

    my ex and i were together 11 years with 2 children, i mowed the grass, cleaned the house, took care of his mother and other of HIS family members, took care of the kids , cooked, all the things without being asked of me and had everything ready for him when he got home so he could hunt and fish. He was more than happy for me to stay at home and have his girlfriend but when i found out about the girlfriend i was done but karma is a bitch because as soon as I was out of the picture and she was doing the laundry , dishes and cooking she wasnt as appealing as before didnt even last 6 months before she was cheating on him I wish all you cheaters would just leave us good people alone and cheat on each other

    • galvanboy86
    • November 8th, 2011

    I hate hearing excuses, people cheat simply because they got into a relationship for the wrong reasons…. If you truly love the one you are with you will fight to keep the love in the relationship, if u can’t feel loved back then GET OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP! It’s not about getting caught or not, if you are single then you don’t have to worry about lies and getting caught…. Cheating is a cowardly way of having your cake and eating it too

    • Xolly
    • November 11th, 2011

    AMEN!! To that!

    • moipone
    • November 17th, 2011

    wow right now i am in the same position i let my husband down and started seeing someone else behind his back but as i write this i think the guilt is staring to set.

    the 20 guy,he is into things that i love and listens very well.he is a gentle soul who cares about how i feel and always asks if i am good or not and he is single looking for a relationship .

    then my husband he does not listen to me, he ignores me unless he wants sex then he will pay attention to me.when he gets from work he does not talk much or ask how was my day and when he is sad and i notice that i ask whats wrong he wont say a thing i have to make him talk with force to open up to me.when it comes to my dreams doing things that i love he shuts down completely and he does not reply or he says its a waste of time.we never went out together to a public place and show that we are a couple and when we do go out he walks 20 feet ahead of me like we are not together. i am starting to think that maybe he is ashamed that he married me and i am black he is Indian.

    the thing that got to me the other night, he told me we must go get take aways and i was happy that finally he is changing but when we got there he told me to wait in the car.it sinked in that he does not want to be seen with me in public the resturant was a Indian resturant. i am excusing me cheating on him but what am i to do.

    • Anonymous
    • November 23rd, 2011

    I think when you make a commitment to someone it is your responsiblity to own up to that commitment, you stick it out you tell your partner if your unhappy ..in my relationship he wasn’t honest with me and he was misleading her too…its not hard for a men/women to stay faithful i feel if you love that person enough it can happend…..

    • ZeeNee
    • December 1st, 2011

    I’d like to think it would be that a man or woman is just not that into you – from experience i’d say a man will always either be into you or not.

    In a relationship where he doesnt feel she’s the ‘one’ – he’ll always seek the 80%……by that i mean a woman that stops him seeking elsewhere – a woman that stops his search for that extra 20% – and unless you are that one – then just know he aint never gonna settle enough to stop searching for more than what you are to him.

    Women faulter by thinking that every man she dates is the ‘one’ – and that pattern in a woman needs to stop, that way she’d be able to see the bad and good from the offset and not be faulted by love blinkers!
    & it could save a hella lot of heart ache.

    Humans have the ability to be 100% faithful, loyal and dedicated, they just have to be with the right person, in the right time in the right place!

    Its really simple. One thing I have noticed – you can date a guy a while, then realise that he has no interest in you whatsoever, and you can try everything under the sun to make him look at you – need you – want you – the bottom line is if he aint into you there aint no catching and keeping!!!! move on! …. in a world of perfection & option, there’ll always be that 20% people seek. everyone deserves love & someone they can be confidently loyal with :)…its just a matter of finding the right one for you…

    • Anonymous
    • December 9th, 2011

    Hummmmm……Try someone you know screw your husband right in front of your face..then come into your house like they just meet for the the very first time..all yeah but that’s ok..What goes around come around..Play wit it!!!!! You started it..But that’s all right..Aid’s Love Everybody..Do i forgive you no..But maybe one day..

    • Nette
    • December 11th, 2011

    I first heard of 80/20 while watching Tyler Perry’s movie. Like many people here my relationship ended due to cheating. He didn’t close his FB page and I read the messages. According to her messages she was feeling the same way. Tired of taking it and assuming there was another woman. Of course I sent her a message but I am sure he lied his way out of it. Painful thing is when I found out of course he denied it but then he admitted loving her and said he just was not sure who to choose so he kept cheating. So was there something missing in the relationship that allowed him become emotionally available to another woman? Who knows. I cried, I am still in a lot of pain. I made him move out and of course that is where he is. I do believe that I am the 80% and the lack of the 20% is why he strayed. I said the grass is greener on the other side he said no the grass is greener where you water it. That is EXACTLY why I don’t cheat. I water the grass where I am. But in some twisted way I guess that is the reason why he cheats. He does not water the grass here and does not like how it looks. So he falls in love with other women.

    • Leesandra Chau
    • December 28th, 2011

    The desire to satisfy ones sexual urges sometimes over clouds the things that partners need to do in order to maintain a healthy relationship….our wants are often confused as needs,”I want to have sex with my boyfriend to connect further or my girlfriend has to sleep with me for me to see if she really is into me” are amongst the other reasons why I say that society forces people to maintain the 20percent when the 80percent(the affection) is gone in a relationship….if I know that instead of me and my partner sorting out our issues or whatever I can always jump into bed with him and shrug the whole thing off and leave it hanging over us like a cloud and move on like nothing has happened then automatically that leaves us with no room to fix whatever it is that’s broken in the 80 but to focus more on this 20 that seems to work

    • Phoenix
    • December 28th, 2011

    I have read all the comments and i don’t believe there is one specific reason why a person will cheat. I have not seen anyone mention cheating because of lack of self esteem the desire to feel loved and needed due to absent love growing up as a child

    • Mister
    • January 26th, 2012

    But here is the catch, i understand when you are getting 80 and then you look for someone else for the 20 percent, but what happends when the person with the 20 percent, actually has the other 80 too? Now im not only getting he same 80 percent that i had but im also getting the 20 percent that i wasnt getting resulting in complete happiness because now i have 100 percent of my needs and wants.

    • pediddy
    • January 26th, 2012


    I know your man/husband loves you. You think just like a man does and I wish there were more women out here that understands exactly what you mean. That is 100% true.

    • Anonymous
    • January 26th, 2012

    I like that!!!!!

    • Shee
    • February 28th, 2012

    Awesome piece of information.and I like your closing remark. . .dont throw away a good thing for a new piece of ass.

    • mma-shepp
    • April 7th, 2012

    i thnk m part of d 20, im falling for ds married guy. Hes handsome & hs a beautiful smile. Oh man, say no more abt personality..hes d best. Without his precense im lost, lonely & blah blah u name em. Im stranded, dnt knw wat 2 do :'(

    • Debbie
    • May 22nd, 2012

    What you think might be a good thing it not , is it worth losing every thing once it’s broken you might not be able to fix it.

    • Anonymous
    • June 6th, 2012


  12. I Call BS, that’s a cop-out You know what this is called, Adulthood! You have Discipline you don’t cheat, You have a True Sense of Love as well as Knowing Who You are and What You Want coupled with it then You don’t Cheat! Quit Rationalizing Immature Actions with EXCUSES!! The 80/20 rule makes sense just we as a people need to stop putting the “Cart Before the Horse” in life period Finish You, then the rest comes Easily…!

    • Gaspar
    • June 14th, 2012

    Why “we” cheat? Hey, don’t tar everyone with the same brush. I don’t cheat so there is no reason why I would. To me cheating = ending the relationship, so I would end the relationship properly if I was ever so sure that another woman is worth ending it for. A few times women have tried cheating on their partners with me, but I ask them if they’re sure they want to give up their old relationship and persue a new one with me. Some of the manipulative women types lie and assure me that their previous man is history, that he meant nothing to her, only in an attempt to use me for sex and try hide it from her other man whom she secretly intends to stay with. This is the lowest of the low, total sociopaths who rot society. When they’re finally accused of cheating, these manipulative lying women turn on the tears and make the cheated-on man feel guilty for accusing her of such a thing, and they dump and demonise the other man they made false promises to, making him out to be jealous and making up stories to slander her. This way she gets everything she wants: a supportive relationship, sex on the side, sympathy from the cheated-on partner, sympathy from friends who believe her lies, and burning the man she used, to get rid of the evidence. These kinds of sociopaths have no conscience, they know what they do and they get a thrill out of what they can get away with, they are drunk on their power of manipulation. They see life as a game with no rules. It’s not 80/20 for them, it’s 100% them all the time at any cost.

    • Anonymous
    • June 16th, 2012

    Say it……

    • pavella
    • June 25th, 2012

    U r it, I’m positive!

    • RealTALK
    • July 4th, 2012

    Bottom Line, (of course exceptions to the rule) men are visual women are emotional….If a man feeds us what we need and makes us happy feel sexy etc, TRUST me a woman would fulfill all his needs in EVERY way…. (woman are just as sexual as men, check out how women react to a bare chested man) but YOU men THINK that we relate our visual to our actual act of being sexual NO our emotional is whats is connected to our sexual. IF you understood this, you would get GREAT satisfying erotic results. and you men are LUCKY us women are not visual creatures relating to the act of having sex cause if we were we would be worse than you…then really …what would we need just ONE man for. A guy would go crazy knowing that ironing, cleaning, bringing home the bacon, mr fix it, good to kids etc just wasn’t enough…REAL TALK. sooooo it comes down to what comes first the chicken or the egg? Well, you men like to be the leader, the strength, wears the pants in relationship….then GENUINELY love, respect, be loyal, compassionate, protect & have fun with your woman…..See what comes after…..all which is FREE (I haven’t even mentioned buying her a pair of shoes) …..you’ll have just created your FREAK N the SHEETS….I really want to use more an unpolitically correct term..BUT you get the idea….. soooooo if this doesn’t pertain to you and you feel the chick with the 20% doesn’t need this effort…simple fact she doesn’t know the REAL YOU, or share responsibilities, bills , kids etc….but if you TRULY love your woman, be patient and GENUINELY treat her well…..you do have a lot to lose. Cuz when u leave that 80% for ur 20%…she too will become your 80% ….eventually….maybe….then the cycle returns. Then you’ll be too old and no $$ which younger hot sexy women typically (not all) cause I know of us are independent….your gna wish you had that loving women drives your A** to your doctor appts and picking up your prescription making that home cooked meal. Insecure narcissistic entitled feeling men wont get this…I don’t expect you too, but those that get even a little or understand TRUST ME….it works. Key words are GENUINE…..us woman can sniff a fake in a heartbeat or we we feel its just a motive for that one night….. once we FEEL safe in your presence emotionally physically & spiritually ……we are ALL YOURS SEXUALLY. REAL TALK

    • Pediddy
    • July 5th, 2012

    I hear you and understand, but some women change completely after having kids. No more sexual relations like it use to be, no more spur of the moment sex and the adventurous side went out the window to never return. We (men) love that and we want to keep that in the relationship. But when that is gone (none of our doing), we still want it. Even those of us who do right and want to keep it at home sometimes stray mentally and eventually if things aren’t restored over time, it transforms into physically. I believe most men want to keep it at home, but when a woman isn’t willing to do what she use to do to get him, frustration develops and problems like this occurs. I wish women would understand that sex (quantity) is VITAL to any marriage/relationship and without it, bleeds over into other categories of the bond between them. Even after a man does everything he can to make it easier and relaxing for her (ex. cook, clean, take care of the kids, attempts to romance her), some still won’t do some of the things that once was not a problem, so that leaves a man with 3 choices. 1. Leave, (most real men would NEVER do that), 2. Find someone who is willing, or 3. Just go without it (resentment).

    • Anonymous
    • July 5th, 2012

    PeDiddy….happy to hear you agree. I agree with you as well. That’s why I did mention at the beginning there are exceptions to the rule…if this is the case with the woman as u described, she herself has her own issues that ONLY she can deal with..ie. weight issues, stress, lack of self confidence etc. This should never lapse over to the man especially if he has been there to support her and just swimming upstream. BUT I am speaking for woman like me…that love to have a sexual relationship with my man ,but can’t for the fact that (my ex) was emotionally abusive (as an insecurity & for control) and would drain me with fighting and critize everything from the dogs, my child, to cleaning (im not a dirty person) anything that he was unhappy with….then when I shut down…expect me to be loving. I would not say this is the case across the board to this extent, but I feel when a man drains a womans worth especially when she loves him, HOW is this overcome? Thats why I express when it is a genuine act from a MAN, Us woman that dont have issues having sex in a relationship…yes I built resentment as well and become sexually aggitated as well. I am a loyal woman & would never cheat on my man…but enough is enough…& a woman needs to do whats right for her as well. It’s sad because two people want the SAME thing but this is when COMMUNICATION is vital. Im sure there are many scenarios, but in a nut shell, when a woman is OPEN to be sexual…and the man does NOT feed her emotionally THEN there will be a lack of sexuality. Every action causes a reaction….good or bad.

    • woman-on-a-mission-dont-need-no-permission
    • July 6th, 2012

    I think it all boils down to standards.you got to have standards, and you have to choose a partner wisely; being single aint so bad, and if you feel the need to ‘cheat’ end the relationship your in and go see if the grass is greener; but most defo the gas; elec; and water bills might just be about the same price as the grass patch you just left for the green.

    OR change you religion and have 5 wives… if you cant keep it in your pants.

    ..and I personally think any human being is capable of being 100% faithful – the reason they cheat – ‘because they can’!!!

    A lot of women tend to forget that a man cheats ’cause of her nasty attitude too and most women want to bang on about being independent 90% of the time not allowing their men to be men – & yet still want everything given to her ….why blame the man – take a closer look at yourself in the mirror and re-adjust that attitude you carry

    Theres way too many angry women in the world ’cause you’all wanna chase the wrong type of man and then land up scorned – how bout taking time out to realise your worth as a woman and hit those high standards and go for ‘better’ rather than ‘mr right now’ or ‘mr feel good’.

    men become vulnerable too and they can be quite sensitive they just not vocal like a woman is…

    It so true – he either into you or he aint – nothing gonna change a mans mind if he aint into you – and women wanna make themselves cheap by chasing a man down – nah thanks – chasing too close to begging -women dont beg… its unbecoming.

    unless you willing to give up part of your independence and to commit to a partner – dont get in no relationship and dont make a woman pregnant if you aint going to wife her…

    in my eyes a man who cheats on a good woman is one sick coward of a man – and its quite sad.

    but we only human – and thats how we roll – always seeking better!!!! Sometimes you got something special right there..you just got to feed it the right ingredients and enjoy you a’la’ happy ending!!

    • Tonya Owens
    • July 7th, 2012

    Wow enough said on this. I love it.

    • Akpagbugha Abade James
    • July 13th, 2012

    Thank you for publishing this 80/20 article. I have never taught of this, it is one big mistake people make that has caused them so much in life. With this people must take rethink before any rash decision in life. Well done.

  13. @todesfuge
    That’s just another excuse to cheat. Just because you want gum doesn’t mean you steal it from your co-worker’s purse or satchel? You know it’s best to ask and exert that human quality to exhibit control. It’s simple.

    Cheating has always been and will continue to be a selfish act! Thinking of one’s self entertainment and fulfillment while totally ignoring their partners’ feelings.

    To say men are natural born hunters or what have you is NONSENSE! You debase yourselves to sustain such ideology of animal instinct to have multiple relationships. But unlike our lesser animal counterparts (dogs, cats, apes etc.) who simply sex anything on sight we have the ability of speech and thinking. Many times we override that thought process to engage in our intentional bad habits!

    • Anonymous
    • August 12th, 2012

    To play off your gum metaphor. If I want fruity gum and my store, a store I’ve been loyal to for many years, is able but unwilling to give me fruity gum, why shouldn’t I go to another store to get my fruity gum?

    A woman (hopefully) knows what she’s getting into when she gets married. She knows what her man wants and expects. She was satisfying him before they got married, so why should that changed after marriage. Life happens, things come up and certain situations make it difficult to keep things going how they were. This I understand.

    A good man understands these things and is willing to work around them. A good husband doesn’t cheat on his wife because he got shot down a couple times here and there. An otherwise good man cheats on his wife when she repeatedly expresses no interest in fulfilling his needs, despite the fact that he makes it a point to fulfill hers. Newsflash- we don’t always want to talk about your day, watch chick flicks, and cuddle, but we do it because it provides you with something you need.

    I’m already anticipating the “You’re a man, you don’t understand for us it not just about the physical, we need emotional blah blah blah.” Where was all that extra emotional stuff before you got married. That emotional stuff wasn’t an issue when we were having sex 4-5 times a week for the better part of three years. Again things change, I get it. Some posters on this thread are accusing others of making excuses for cheating. Are the women not making excuses for not taking care of their men?

    Some may argue it’s just not as important to women as it is to men (I think that’s debatable), but we as men do an abundance of things that aren’t important to us to make our women happy. I just think it should be a two way street. By no means am I saying a woman should feel forced into having sex with her man, where’s the fun in that. I saying her mentality should change when it comes to satisfying her man’s needs/wants. She should get pleasure from making him happy, the same way he does making her happy.

    • Anonymous
    • August 12th, 2012

    I thought this was a great article and so true. I also believe divorce is high cause people rush into things and don’t take their time and ignore all the red flags. Thats why I’m choosing to be single unless I genuinely like somebody. If you want somebody to love you which we all do in order to be fulfilled love god and than you will love yourself and than truly will you have confidence to at least make better relationship choices.

  14. Ugh…I stopped reading after the second grammatical error. Whatever to each their own. Bless!

    • Amen. The problem is that you break down the 80% til they feel like zero and are resentful because they’ve given you their 100%. now after you’ve sown your royal oats, doing everything you’re big enough to do, you want to cone back home because it wasn’t
    • August 29th, 2012

    Amen. The problem is that you break down the 89% till they feel like their zero and they are resentful becauseyou were given their 100% . Now after you’ve sown your royal oats.

    • originaljlo
    • August 29th, 2012

    You’ve blown it. Even though yo’ve been forgiven, you will never be trusted again. The memory bank of the one you hurt cannot be erased and they are painfully aware that it could happen again. You sowed your wild oats and it wasn’t what you thought it would be. Now you want to come back to your comfort zone. The grass was greener for only a minute. Your words mean nothing, but sound tempting and sincere. But because you made the choice and one must guard their hearts, you will never be seen by the love of your life quite the same EVER again. You can’t fix it by coming back!

    • Debra Ovaert
    • October 2nd, 2012

    Some people think that their relationship should be 100% satisfying. There is no way that will ever be. We as humans will never be perfect. God tells us in His Bible how He wants us to be in a relationship and how we should treat our spouses. If we will just LISTEN to His directions, we can be in a very happy and fulfilling relationship. Not to say it won’t ever have problems but with God’s direction, we can resolve any conflicts that arise.

    • Derp
    • October 7th, 2012

    @brownsugar wow – you just have an excuse for every man out there that cheats don’t you?

    • restlessmuse
    • October 20th, 2012

    I understand that missing 20%…
    I had been verbally abused for almost all of my current relationship
    and yes…..I’ve met a 20% man,but its not a physical thing…
    Its nice not to be verbally assualted. yes my husband takes care of me…but look at the cost….

    • Louise
    • November 14th, 2012

    Cheating is a deadly sin. It’s a selfish act. Not caring about anyone but themselves.
    Most if the time you find that if by chance the person cheating finds out their spouse has been cheating on them they go MAD. This is due to the 80:20 rule. the cheater is trying to get their 100, what they believe they deserve. But once they find out their ’80’ has be doing the same they feel betrayed, incomplete. TOTAL SELFISHNESS.

    A lot of men try to use their partners sex drive as the excuse. “once they marry it goes” ok…. The main reason for that would be contraception. If you don’t want to strap up everytime you sex your wife then don’t even think of blaming your wife for a loss of libido. Yes your 20 will have a high sex drive, she probably isn’t on any protection. But if you end up leaving your 80 for your 20 eventually she’ll end up in Birth Control too and your back at that stage wishing you had your wife back.

    The reason why men in casual relationships cheat? Because they are weak in the mind. Deep down they are not confident in their ability to find a good man or woman, people who don’t have the balls to end something before moving on. They treat people like jobs. Searching for the next before leaving ( or not leaving) the previous. Because they crave something from relationships and cannot be in single and in their own company at all.

    • pheladi
    • December 9th, 2012

    It’s not only men who cheat,but also women. I have a boyfriend who his past relationships has been just about cheating,and denied even when caught. Now i’m in a relationship with him and tells me he changed,but im afraid he ddnt. I love him so much,and we have so much things in common and similarities. I feel like he is my 80%,but at the same time I feel like he really dsnt want to be serious now,and settle down. I feel like maybe for now,if i get a 20% it will be jussssst okay.

    • Anonymous
    • January 20th, 2013

    People (men and women) cheat becasue they are WEAK. Too weak to communicate their needs, too weak to be honest, too weak to just walk away if their current partner has no intention of fulfilling their needs.

  15. Very good post. I certainly appreciate this website.

    Stick with it!

    • MsSincere510
    • February 17th, 2013

    I believe the 80/20 rule is true for many. But the bigger question or thought here is what do we do to people we love when we have to tell them that we have a disease or a child on the way because we “cheated”? Some mistakes we can’t come back from. We can sometimes be so pre-occupied with our false sense of “needs” that we fail to see the damage that can be done. Many people lose good friends/spouses because of this. In fact it seems like some people feel more loyal to their homeboys or girls than they are to the people that they share resources and beds with. This is so strange to me.

    Running for 20 percent are the acts of an emotionally immature person who has tunnel vision and can not see what is important. It’s tragic because a lot of the time people who make this error feel the impact of the mistake, but because they lack self esteem and true insight, they are doomed to repeat the mistake in the next relationship-just pure stupidity at some point.

    • Anonymous
    • May 1st, 2013
    • Me
    • July 7th, 2013

    What if it is the other way around. Some husbands lose interest in sex. Sometimes one gets tired of initiating sex every night and being turned down because he is too tired, not in the mood, or his back hurts. What choice does one have?

    • Mayra Carrillo-Cotto
    • July 10th, 2013

    Excelent! Thanks for sharing. Lust is killing our families.

    • al
    • July 24th, 2013

    80/20 describes very well the situation of stalled marriage with the 80% of the social status and 20% of the intimacy and sex. sooner or later it happens to every marriage (though it does not have to stay this way). than novelty comes to place. if novelty is outside the home and novel enough – here we go, the bored spouse is out. add the money to the young body willing to be available and 80% will go to the sex life and 20% to the status etc. being ‘different’ (means like every scandalous celebrity from the People magazine) adds sex appeal to such union. the balance will be broken when something fails in the perfect equation: either body, or money, or novelty, or social status needs will be different…

    • beachbody65
    • August 7th, 2013

    I see where you get your name. You are probably a cheater yourself! NO EXCUSES and DON’T blame it on the woman not fulfilling your needs. Control yourself!!!!!

    • beachbody65
    • August 7th, 2013

    Thank you Derp! Totally agree with you about brown sugar!!!! Idiot!!!

    • Anonymous
    • August 29th, 2013

    I don’t think this is neccessarily an excuse for cheating, I think it’s a reminder for before you cheat. I strongly believe cheating is one of the worst things you could put your partner through. If you’re unhappy, don’t cheat, talk about why you’re unhappy, or break up. If you have that 80% then why the hell would you put that at risk for a 20% fling. Doesn’t make sense…

    • Caudi
    • September 22nd, 2013

    I wish I had seen this article before I lost my 80% and my true love. I had invested 20 years with this wonderful man who I let go of and
    ruined my life and marriage. Now he is about to marry out if loneliness and not love and my heart is breaking. Karma is truly a bitch.

    • anonymous
    • November 2nd, 2013

    this rule is a joke. was with my ex for 4 years, probably had sex about 60 times during that period. was extremely difficult for me, as i LOVE sex. yet i didn’t cheat, he did. was sooo happy to have an excuse to end that awful marriage….

    • Anonymous
    • December 8th, 2013

    People cheat for many different reasons. To the cheater they are all valid ones. However, its not a one size fits all situation. There are many ways to create distrust in a relationship. Often leading to bigger displays of nappropriate actions, even an affair. When a couple hides money from one another, deals with each other unfairly, shows a lack of interest or respect to one another, Is inattentive to the others needs a divide is built. The woman who buys shoes and clothings when her husband told her not to and hides them is practicing deceit. The man who says he is working late to hang with his mistress or buddys is practicing deceit.Once these behaviors become normalized there is no boundary that is off limits. These are all actions which break down a marriage and relationships. Its like saying one sin is greater than another, but they are all sins. Nurture your relationship or it will deteriorate PERIOD!
    (Married 31 Years)

    • NarutoCool
    • March 10th, 2014

    A couple things…

    First, the act of having sex is purely physical; and once it’s started, it’s hard to just stop. Try almost having an orgasm, then stopping and going to mow the lawn. Those urges come to play when you are talking about cheating. That doesn’t mean that with practice, you can’t overcome those; but never underestimate the power of your body’s chemistry. The act of falling in love is just as intoxicating as drinking or doing Molly or getting High (dopamine, endorphins, etc…). The act of what attracted to you to that person is all mental (for men visual/mental and for woman emotional/mental). Attraction is about the unknown; you project what you can get out of that person. Once your brain activates that, the chemicals in your body are gonna make the urges harder to control. Again, you CAN control them, and they aren’t excuses to cheat; but you can’t ignore them and you should respect them.

    Second, (I am a heterosexual male) we males have to understand that the act of us having sex with a woman and leaving ourselves inside of them is a very emotionally draining activity for women. We just come and lay on our back; women have to deal with the clean up. This does put having sex (even with both parties completely on board), more in favor of the man. I haven’t even mentioned how much easier it is for men to have an orgasm than women. These are points of respect that need to be dealt with. When you get married, sex doesn’t tilt more in the woman’s favor. You have to be willing to learn what her tastes are (or are becoming) and fill that role a little. If notice her looking at Jared Leto a lot, try to grab some of those aspects and add them to your personality.

    Now… Women… Can we have a real talk here? In the end, you don’t have to always have sex, or even have to ingest sexual fluids, to sexually fulfill a man. All I will say is, God gave you two hands; you should use them as much as you can! This should be a weekly, at least monthly, activity. It will not only help you man’s prostate health, but with definitely make him happy; and you feeling less used in the end (if he isn’t emotionally satisfying you that particular day). The thing that I think most women need to be fair about, is that you always hold the first and last right of refusal. So for instance, a man could cook, clean, cuddle, and try and do all the things you want; but if you feel like it’s just for sex, or you just changed your mind (which you are entitled to do); you aren’t going to respond. Then it starts the cycle of both sides waiting for the other to do some grand gesture that will wipe away your anger. Both sides have to be willing to except effort over intention. If he is at least attempting to give you something, then you have to be willing to do the same. And I would much rather unenthusiastic hands over unenthusiastic sex. That will cause more harm than good.
    Both sides need to be willing to be used, and accepting that feeling; as we are in relationships to get something. If that is one thing I can say I think will help; it’s that. You don’t have to cook, clean and cuddle everyday; just cuddle. You don’t have to rub, screw and suck all the time; just rub.

    Finally, your emotions are your issues; not your spouses. I’m talking to men as much as I’m talking to women. Men think that just because she pissed you off, it’s ok to get cold, shallow and basically mentally shutdown and throw away the relationship. Maybe you should not be in the relationship; but you have to deal with you shadow emotions (those emotions that just pop up out of nowhere; you’ve been keeping your cool but she says something and all of a sudden you blow up). Even though this is a great defense mechanism in the real world, this will only cause your woman to keep picking at you to get you to feel something (little does she know how much you are actually feeling). Women, your man isn’t what is supposed to make you not angry, or feel better. I think that is the one thing that all women believe they can find; but get disappointed when they find out they can’t. Your husband, should always TRY and make your feel better; but only you can ultimately make yourself feel better. But always falling onto him when relatively minor things happen; you are actually getting him to shut down more. Because what happens when a woman discusses her problems with a man; he tries to fix them (which is the exact opposite of why you brought up your problems). We don’t always understand that your issues are emotionally based; so when we through logic at them, the emotion ends up getting turned back onto us and it starts the cycle. We are really good at shutting down, if you haven’t begun to tell yet; and I believe the men are weaker emotionally than woman because we have had less practice thinking about them and dealing with them. Furthermore, you can get killed in many male-dominated arenas for showing emotion. This is evolutionary. It’s part of how we are here today. Men will quickly hold a grudge if you come at him in a way that’s deemed; overly emotional. That’s one thing that’s hard for us to get over.

    As far as the 80/20 theory, I think it perfectly describes why men cheat. This article wasn’t trying to justify amoral behavior. It was trying to give a theory of mind into the individual who cheats. As Americans, we are quick to demonize someone who does something that we say is “bad, or amoral” and right at that point, these person becomes like all other people who cheat; and as such doesn’t deserve respect as a human. Even evil people deserve love too; most of the time they need it the most. If you learn to humanize things that you hate, you will see it carry over positively into your relationship. You aren’t God; you aren’t a judge. Just because you had a hard day a work and don’t want to cuddle; doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to cuddle she is less deserving of it. Just because you don’t feel like having sex with your husband, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to have sex; or he doesn’t deserve it. Forgive and humanize each other. We all have needs; and many times relationships are jobs.

  16. There’s certainly a lot to know about this
    topic. I like all of the points you’ve made.

  17. I went through the same situation a year and a half ago. My ex left 80 (me) for 20 ( the rebound relationship) and it came back and bit him in the butt. The rebound relationship brought him to his knees; 20 (the rebound relationship) got what they wanted; they used and abused him and moved on to their next victim. After a while, my ex came back for 80 (me) and got his feelings hurt. I finally got blessed with someone that loves me for me and through it all. I can say, I am more happier now than ever.

  18. I’m at the beginning of my health plan. As a 48 year old dad I need to get healthy for my future and my kids. As part of that I have been searching the web which is how I found your site. I just wanted to leave a comment, say hi and thanks. I’m sure I will be visiting all your posts as part of my research.

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