It can be awful to learn that a partner has cheated on you. You may feel betrayed, enraged, unhappy, or even physically ill. But, above all, you may ask yourself, “Why?” How could someone they trusted and loved betray them in such a painful way? Not only is there frequently a sensation of rage and bewilderment, but also a sense of absolute disbelief. This leaves many individuals asking, “Why do people cheat in relationships?”
People cheat for a variety of reasons, but there are a few that come up frequently in counseling sessions. If you’re having trouble figuring out why something has happened to you, consider the following suggestions to justify why people cheat in relationships.
Why Do People Cheat in Relationships
According to psychologists and experts, the following are major reasons why people cheat in relationships.
The sensation that you and your partner have drifted apart is one of the most typical reasons for cheating. When your relationship has become routine and comfortable, cheating can feel like a means to find something new and exciting. For a couple of reasons, one may feel disconnected from one’s relationship. There could be a communication breakdown in the connection (talking about specific issues or just generally keeping in touch about how you feel). Alternatively, life may have been so consumed by a job or caring for children that time spent together has become more functional than love.
#2. Feeling Unloved
The term ‘love languages’ is frequently used in counseling to describe how people communicate affection for one another. Some couples like to exhibit affection physically by snuggling or kissing, while others prefer to connect verbally by saying beautiful things. If your love language isn’t the same as your partner’s, you may feel unwanted – and so more vulnerable to the emotions of someone who appears to understand you better.
When a relationship is out of balance, one partner may begin to feel like a parent while the other feels like a child. One partner, for example, may feel obligated to be the responsible one, making all the decisions, organizing the home, managing the finances, and so on, while their partner fails to contribute. In order to feel valued and equal, an affair could be enticing. Similarly, the ‘child’ partner may feel criticized and as if nothing they do is good enough, leading to an affair as a way of reclaiming some sense of independence and authority.
#4. Fear of Making a Commitment
Affairs can happen at times when you’d think people would be the most confident in their relationship, such as after they’ve gotten engaged or when someone is expecting a child. Concerns about commitment, on the other hand, can be extremely destabilizing. People can actively or unconsciously ruin what they have as a strategy for avoiding feelings of responsibility.
#5. Concerns About One’s Own Self-Esteem
Personal insecurities can sometimes lead to affairs and cheating. Low self-esteem can make people reliant on the attention of others—and in certain circumstances, just one person’s attention isn’t enough. It may also make someone feel insecure in their own relationship, to the point that they cheat to reject rather than be rejected.
#6. Sexual Addiction
Affair difficulties are frequently linked to sexually addicted behaviors. This is when someone participates in sexual activity on a regular basis to satisfy cravings and relieve difficult-to-control negative sentiments. These cravings can become compulsive, much like a drug or alcohol addiction. For some people, this can mean having many relationships or having affairs on a regular basis.
#7. A Desire for Variety
The desire for variety in a relationship is frequently linked to sex. For example, even if they’re generally well-matched, someone can be interested in attempting sorts of sex that their partner isn’t into.
Variety might also imply:
- diverse communication styles or discussions
- various non-sexual pursuits
- other people’s attraction
In addition to their present partner, they have had previous relationships.
Another important aspect of variety is attraction. People can be attracted to a variety of people, and just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t be attracted to other people. Some monogamous couples may find it difficult to resist the urge to act on their feelings of attraction.
#8. Factors in Play and Opportunities
Simply having the option to cheat can increase the likelihood of infidelity. This isn’t to say that everyone who has the chance to cheat would. Other variables frequently (but not always) contribute to the desire to cheat.
Consider the following scenario: You’re upset with your relationship’s recent distance and coping with poor self-esteem related to your appearance. “I’m incredibly drawn to you,” a coworker you’ve been close with says one day when you’re alone. Let’s meet up at some point.”
If only one or two factors were at play, you might not choose to cheat. However, the mix of motivating factors — your relationship’s distance, your worries about your attractiveness, and your coworker’s attention — can make cheating more likely.
Even in a healthy, rewarding relationship, several situational conditions can increase the likelihood of infidelity, including:
- after a night out, drinking a lot of alcohol, and sleeping with someone
- after a traumatic occurrence, a desire for physical consolation
- living or working in a setting with a lot of physical contact and emotional connection
More Issues with Commitment
In some circumstances, as earlier mentioned, those who struggle with commitment are more inclined to cheat. However, commitment means different things to different people.
It’s conceivable for two people in a relationship to have quite different perspectives about the state of their connection, such as whether it’s casual or exclusive, and so on.
It’s also possible to genuinely appreciate someone but be hesitant to commit to them. In this situation, one spouse may cheat in order to avoid having to commit, even if they would prefer to continue in the relationship.
Other possible causes of commitment-related cheating include:
- a lack of desire to make long-term commitments
- wishing for a less formal partnership
- a desire to get out of a relationship
Why Do People Cheat in Relationships: Helpful Tips
If there’s one thing this study has taught us, it’s that cheating often has nothing to do with the other person.
Many cheaters genuinely care about their relationships and have no wish to hurt them. This is one of the reasons why some people may go to such efforts to conceal their cheating from their partners. Even so, it has the potential to seriously harm a relationship.
Although cheating does not have to result in the end of a relationship, moving on requires effort.
If your partner has betrayed you,
You may still be reeling from the realization if you’ve been fooled. You might want to go to any length to save the connection. Or perhaps you don’t want to stay in the relationship.
Start here if you’re not sure how to address the situation:
Discuss the Situation With Your Partner
Consider having the conversation with a couples counselor or a neutral third party. While learning about your partner’s intentions can help you make a decision, it’s usually best to stay away from the specifics of the meeting.
Inquire About Your Partner’s Desire to Prolong the Relationship
Because some cheat to end a relationship, it’s critical to learn how they feel.
Consider whether you can trust your lover once more. Rebuilding trust may take time, and your partner is undoubtedly aware of this. You won’t be able to mend the relationship if you know you’ll never be able to trust them again.
Consider Whether You Still Desire the Relationship
Do you genuinely care about your relationship and want to address any underlying problems? Or are you apprehensive about meeting someone new? Do you believe it’s worth repairing the relationship?
Speak With a Therapist
Individual therapy can also help you sort out your feelings and emotions about the circumstance if you’re going to work on a relationship after adultery. Couples counseling is highly advised if you’re going to work on a relationship after infidelity.
If you’ve cheated, it’s also crucial to think about why you did it and have an open and honest dialogue with your partner. Even if you want to stay together, your partner may or may not want to mend the relationship, and you must respect their decision.
Take a moment to think about the following:
Do you still want to be in a relationship with me? If your cheating was motivated by a desire to leave the relationship, it’s better to tell your partner about it immediately. Are you unsure of your motivation? To acquire some perspective, consider consulting with a therapist.
Can you figure out why you’re being unfaithful? Individual counseling, couples therapy, and improved communication can all help a relationship improve and reduce the likelihood of future infidelity. But, if you cheated because your partner was uninterested in a particular form of sex or was never home, what happens if the same situation arises again? Could you speak with them about their desire to cheat rather than really doing so?
Do you think you’ll cheat again? Infidelity can lead to emotional suffering, heartbreak, and pain. Don’t vow to remain faithful if you suspect you’ll cheat again. Instead, inform your spouse you’re not sure you’ll be able to commit.
Are you ready to make a commitment to therapy? Individual counseling can help you learn more about why you cheated on your partner if you’ve done so. Couples therapy can also assist you and your partner in repairing your relationship. If you’re serious about getting your life back on track after adultery, both are highly recommended.
Why would someone cheat in a happy relationship?
Sometimes, it can be traced back to one partner not meeting the other’s needs. Problems that aren’t adequately addressed, such as a lack of communication, boredom, or personal insecurities, can worsen over time. Suppose one partner in a couple’s primary relationship believes the other never pays attention to or respects what they say. In that case, that person may look for those qualities in another person.
Can someone love you and cheat?
It is not impossible at all for your partner to love you, to have loved you in the past, and to continue to love you in the days and years to come. A cheating partner does not mean the love is over or never existed. The truth is that it’s possible to love someone while still being unfaithful to them.
Can you repair a relationship after cheating?
According to professionals, a couple can have a happy relationship after one partner has committed adultery, provided both partners are willing to put in the effort. They believe a relationship can thrive and progress even after one partner has had an affair. They are required to because the connection will never be fulfilling if they don’t.
You’ve probably heard the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” to characterize those who aren’t loyal. However, while some people cheat regularly, others do not.
Working over infidelity can often help a relationship to grow stronger. However, it’s critical for both you and your spouse to be honest about what you can and can’t commit to in your relationship moving forward and to keep open communication.
Why Do People Cheat in Relationships FAQs
What is the main cause of cheating?
Some people are motivated to cheat by a basic desire to have sex. Other reasons, such as opportunity or unmet sexual demands, may also play a role in desire-driven infidelity. However, someone who desires to have sex for no other reason might hunt for opportunities to do so.
Can you truly love someone and cheat on them?
Yes, you can be in love with someone and still cheat on them, and here’s why… Are you reeling from the pain of being betrayed and wondering how this could have happened when you truly believe your partner loves you?
How does cheating affect a man?
It can cause emotional anguish, worry, sadness, a rise in risky behavior, and even physical pain. Infidelity by a partner can even alter our brain chemistry. In a nutshell, it hurts like hell and has far-reaching consequences.