Dear Em & Lo: Why Did My Boyfriend Cheat Down?

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Dear Em & Lo,

My a-hole live-in boyfriend cheated on me for more than a year before I found out and dumped him. I found out because I was suspicious and snooped on his laptop while he was out and found hundreds of emails between them. I also found photographs of her in these emails. I read the emails from her and she doesn’t seem very funny or all that smart, and she’s way less attractive than me, too. I’m not a vain person, but I definitely have a better body than she does. I always figured that if he cheated on me, it’d be for someone way hotter and younger, or better than me in some way, someone who offered something I can’t. WTF?

— Too Good for this Sh*t

Dear T.G.F.T.S.,

Who knows why your boyfriend cheated on you with this woman? Maybe she makes a mean blueberry cheesecake, maybe she just luuuurves giving blowjobs, maybe she’s rich, maybe she saves baby birds when they fall out of trees, maybe she’s going to put your boyfriend in her next movie, maybe she’s a good drinking buddy, maybe she doesn’t ask too many questions about where he spends the night, maybe she makes him feel hot and funny and smart… or maybe she’s just not you. Maybe she was just there.

Here’s the thing: people who cheat break the rules. That’s the nature of cheating: Cheaters get some kind of thrill out of breaking the rules and getting one over on their partner. Instead of putting on their big girl pants and breaking up with someone, they decide to have their cake and eat it, too. So what makes you think that this kind of person would follow any sort of rule or code when it comes to cheating?

We’re sorry your boyfriend cheated on you, but we think it’s time you took the high road. Yes, you’re “too good for this shit” when it comes to being two-timed — nobody deserves that. But you might want to take a closer look at the way you’re judging this woman, the way you’re judging your ex’s taste in women, and the way you judge what makes someone an ideal partner. Just because you’re the prettiest, smartest, funniest woman in the room, doesn’t mean you always win. Move on and find someone new who deserves you. And, hey, don’t discount the short, ugly guys, mmmkay?

Too Old for this Sh*t,

Em & Lo



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4 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo: Why Did My Boyfriend Cheat Down?"

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When a man “cheats down” it’s a bit of a backhanded compliment, although it will be a long time before the betrayed partner sees it that way. IMO it indicates that they didn’t really want to leave the relationship, they were just “cake-eating”. The best thing anyone can do in this situation is kick their sorry a** out the door and let them have the object of their interest. They will discover after a while that they didn’t really want it in the first place. Unfortunately, by the time they realise that they made possible the biggest mistake of their… Read more »

Familiarity breeds contempt. This woman got cheated on b/c she was his partner & he wanted to cheat; not b/c of anything wrong with her. She was familiar. It sucks but there it is.
It’s a shame that she’s decided to obsess over the other woman & what she looks like. It’s all just proof that being skinny & conventionally pretty are obsessions shoved down our throats by the media & do not guarantee attractiveness.


If she’s not better than you in any way you can think of, there’s probably only one conclusion to draw: she’s better in the sack than you are.


I’ve heard that when people cheat they want what they don’t have- sort of like someone who’s going out with their sexy brunette will want to change it up with a blonde.
Maybe he realised that you were too good for him and he was “punching above his weight” and wanted to feel like the attractive one in a situation- it might have given him some confidence and a form of control?