Not all addicts cheat on their partners, but it is common. Addicts who cheat have many excuses for doing so, but the real, underlying motivations are more difficult to uncover. If you are in love with an addict and have already experienced infidelity, or if you’re concerned that you might be cheated on, it helps to understand what’s really going on. With this clarity you can decide how to move forward with your life and relationship.
If you have a partner using drugs, whether or not you know if he is truly an addict, you may be worried that his behaviors will lead him to cheat. It’s true that substance abuse is a risk factor for infidelity. If he goes out and socializes without you, uses drugs and becomes intoxicated, his ability to make good choices goes out the window. He is more likely to cheat than if he were sober and home with you.
Meth and Cheating
One of the drugs most often considered to be the “cheating” drug is methamphetamine, or meth. Meth is a stimulant. It revs up metabolism, gets the heart and pulse racing, and for many people, increases sex drive. People on meth also tend to lose their inhibitions. A person on meth may get high, be turned on and feel like taking a risk. This is a recipe for committing infidelity. Many people who have had meth-using partners would say that meth ruins relationships.
Cheating as an Escape
Sometimes the motivation for an addict to cheat has nothing to do with the drug itself, the high or the loss of inhibitions. Sometimes there are underlying issues. An addict may have started using drugs as a way to escape the realities of life or the bad feelings that come with an undiagnosed mental health condition. This is called self-medicating and it’s a common reason that many people use drugs or drink.
That same strategy of escaping may be the underlying reason for cheating, too. The addict feels desperate about his situation. He feels like his life is a shambles. He knows you are worried about his drug use. He fears he may be losing control over his drug use. Getting involved with someone else can feel like a refreshing escape from reality. It only makes the situation worse, but in the moment, if feels better to get away from the realities of a troubled life.
If you have been cheated on by your addicted partner or if you are worried that it may happen if things keep going the same way, it’s time to make a change. Addiction and drug use are risk factors for cheating, but they are not excuses. Face your concerns head on, and sit down for a heart-to-heart with your partner. Ask him to make some needed changes and to consider counseling. If you can work together, you can overcome infidelity or prevent it.