Why Do People in Relationships Cheat?

People cheat for different reasons. Sometimes, it could be the consequence of a combination of factors. Whatever the cause, the result is the same—cheating hurts people, often entire families.

Studies suggest that infidelity is at the root of 57% of divorces. But what could cause someone to cheat on their spouse or partner?

An Upset Woman Sitting Beside the Man

Top Reasons Why People in Relationships Cheat

Finding out that your partner has been unfaithful can be a devastating experience that often spirals into an emotional rollercoaster. However, by understanding the reasons behind infidelity, you have a better chance of saving your marriage or relationship.

Here are the top factors driving people to cheat.

Lack of Love and Attention in Their Current Relationship

The first few months of a relationship are always exciting. But over time, the euphoria could slowly wane. And before you know it, the love, attention, and affection could fizzle out.

This is when frustration sets in. As a result, those who feel neglected in a relationship could turn elsewhere in search of affection.

For them, having an affair is not just about sex. They tend to form emotional bonds to fill the void of what their primary partner fails to provide. Cheating will make them feel alive again as they seek the excitement of a fulfilling relationship.

Meanwhile, some may have extra-marital affairs to get their partner’s attention. It is a sort of wake-up call to let the other person know what they stand to lose if they continue to neglect their marriage or relationship.

A Desire to Take Revenge

Anger can be a powerful driving force for cheating.

For example, when a person constantly prioritizes work and friends, their partner’s disappointment and frustration could eventually turn into anger. Out of spite, they could have an affair or a one-night stand.

Finding out a partner has lied or been disloyal is another common reason to seek revenge through cheating.

Being wrongfully accused of infidelity has also led some to cheat.

Low Self-Esteem

Attention and affection from a stranger can provide much-needed validation and a boost of confidence.

This is particularly important for someone with low self-esteem, especially when a breakdown in their current relationship has made them self-conscious.

People-pleasing qualities are another factor associated with lower self-esteem that could cause individuals to cheat on their partners, regardless of the consequences.

Differences in Expectations

Each person may have different expectations and perspectives on their relationships.

One partner might view a relationship as serious. In the other’s mind, it could be casual. As a result, they may date other people, which their primary partner could perceive as cheating.

However, some may actually have commitment issues that drive them to withdraw without warning and move from one partner to another.

Unmet Sexual Desires

Those with unmet sexual needs often have partners who don’t share similar interests in bed. As a result, they turn to others to fulfill their desires.

When it comes to certain people who cheat, their sexual appetite simply cannot be satiated by a single person. Their need for variety causes them to have multiple affairs, one-night stands, or paid sex.

But, typically, these types of individuals don’t seek emotional connections from others. Instead, their behaviors are mostly guided by physical satisfaction. 

Impulsive Decisions

Sometimes, infidelity is the result of situational factors that lead people to make impulsive decisions.

For instance, trauma and grief could cause individuals to take excessive risks and display behaviors atypical to them. Alcohol and drugs can have a similar effect.

Some people, however, are naturally impulsive and may enjoy reckless behavior from time to time. They could view acts of infidelity as adventurous and rebellious or a reminder of their younger selves. So, when the opportunity presents itself, they may find it hard to resist.

What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Partner Is Cheating?

It is natural to get suspicious if you have caught your partner lying or noticed sudden changes in their behavior, such as being secretive or arriving home late.

What should you do in such instances?

Confirm Your Doubts

When you get that sinking feeling your partner is cheating on you, it is important to put things in perspective without allowing emotions to cloud your judgment.

Start by making a list of the red flags you have noticed and examine them objectively. Some could have rational explanations, while others may demand further investigation.

The easiest way to confirm your doubts is to check your partner’s phone. If you have noticed calls or messages from unsaved numbers or individuals whose names you don’t recognize, you must learn more about them. Nuwber recommends a reverse number search to identify the legitimate owners of phone numbers.

If your partner’s phone is locked, keep an eye on push notifications, which could provide you with more clues.

Another important step for validating your suspicions is checking your partner’s whereabouts using GPS navigation systems. For instance, examine the Your Timeline feature on Google Maps or the activity history on ride-hailing apps to discover recently visited locations.

Extreme measures of uncovering infidelity might include checking bank and credit card statements and reviewing the search history of the browser.

Some may even go to the extent of hiring a PI.

Confront Your Partner

After you have collected enough evidence to confirm your doubts, sit down with your partner and confront them.

This could be a highly emotional experience for you. However, remain as calm and objective as possible.

Maintain an open dialogue and listen to your partner’s side of the story. Importantly, attempt to understand what has driven them to cheat.

Seek Support

The trauma of being cheated could last for years if you don’t deal with it effectively. 

This is why a support network is critical for anyone who has experienced infidelity in a serious relationship.

So, reach out to your loved ones and speak to a therapist if you think you can benefit from professional counseling.

Take Time Off

Studies reveal that only 15.6% of marriages survive after one of the partners is caught cheating.

Whether you decide to part ways or fight for your relationship, you must take some time off to clear your head. It will help you process the information without biases, assess the situation with an open mind, and determine how you would like to proceed.

To Conclude

Revelations of infidelity of a partner is a heart-breaking experience for anyone. However, many unfaithful behaviors are driven by reasons that may seem rational to the cheating partner.

The good news is, some of these are preventable with open and engaging communication and being receptive toward your partner’s emotions and needs.

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