Why Do Married People Cheat? 6 Main Reasons For Adultery
Cheating can become a decisive factor in breaking up a relationship. According to John Howard, a world-known behavioral psychotherapist, about 50% of people who are in a relationship cheat on their partners. At the same time, the global divorce rate is also around 50% and adultery has proved to be its main reason.
So, what makes a person cheat and get divorced? Many sociologists and behavioral consultants state that the phenomenon of monogamy rejects the principles of evolution. They treat a monogamous relationship as unnatural since a key goal of every man is to impregnate as many women as possible to ensure procreation. People started to live in pairs and have children despite the innate desire to constantly explore something new.
We can find thousands of excuses and reasons for cheating, talk about the mismatch of temperaments, the polygamous nature of a human, and continue to leave everything to chance. However, any human behavior has its reasons that are deeply rooted in a way of thinking, emotional needs, fears, and complexes.
Overall, the therapists talk about several main reasons that lead to adultery and may result in a divorce:
1. Falling out of love with your partner
Those people who have cheated at least once usually admit that the main reason for their unfaithfulness was a fact that they have fallen out of love with their partner. The statement “I don’t love you anymore” can actually be just an excuse. Moreover, the problem may be in something completely different. For example, a lack of communication, boredom, or a banal loss of interest.
Besides, some people are not very serious when entering a relationship, as they don’t want to bear any responsibility. And if their partner doesn’t share this point of view, it may become a real problem. It goes without saying that the happiness of a couple depends on the level of the faithfulness of both partners. Lack of loyalty and intimacy will sooner or later lead to a breakup.
2. Need for a constant emotional rollercoaster
The normal evolution of a relationship involves several stages that can last for years. A time when you find yourself madly in love falls on an initial stage only. Falling in love is accompanied by intrigue, idealization of a partner, passion, and a constant euphoria. For some people, such an emotional rollercoaster, spiced up with fear and excitement of being exposed, can become a guilty pleasure.
The therapists classify this type of cheating in a relationship as a romantic betrayal since it involves fantasy and usually turns out to be very ephemeral. A summer fling is a vivid example of romantic cheating, as people hardly know each other and do not bear any responsibility. Captured by a strong attraction, they, however, do not treat it seriously.
Yet, there is a flip side to the coin. Such a rollercoaster when a person is bouncing between two partners not being able to make a choice can last for years. As a rule, the cheater isn’t closely tight with either partner.
Usually, both spouses are blamed if such a problem occurs, as it demonstrates the inability of one of the partners to satisfy the needs of the other. In fact, a normal relationship implies that each side should feel comfortable and secure, remaining true to themselves. And if one of the partners feels uncomfortable, this is a reason to start working on your relationship.
3. Remonstrative cheating
This is another reason aiming to provide a response to the question of why do people cheat in relationships. Anger and resentment, an impulsive desire to “take revenge”, “harm”, “teach a lesson” underlie this kind of infidelity. This cheating can take place as revenge after the reveal of the betrayal of a partner. This is akin to “He does not give me flowers”, “She does not cook for me”, “He does not take care of me”, “She doesn’t want to make love to me.” As a rule, the cheaters of this type are infantile and don’t know how to talk about their resentment and express their feelings. In the head of the cheater, this is a partner who should be blamed for betrayal.
4. Revenge of an underloved
Cheating to attract attention and make a partner jealous is another issue. The key message of such behavior is to show that the person may be important to someone else. As a rule, a cheater lacks self-confidence and wants confirmation of their own appreciation. Usually, these actions do not even lead to formal adultery: it is often flirting, spending time together or close communication with other people. Such behavior is not hidden and often faked.
5. Fatigue and burnout
This is the most shrewd, cold, and dispassionate (in relation to the spouse) type of betrayal. As a rule, it doesn’t imply any fear of being revealed, because sometimes the goal is to declare that everything is over and provoke the partner to break the relations. In this case, the cheating occurs due to the chill in relations, mutual disappointment, choice of different life paths. The partners can be restrained by habit, children, unwillingness to litigate with the division of property in a divorce, etc. Attempts to save the relationship have turned out to be useless and now none of the partners hopes the things would change for the better.
This is probably the most painless betrayal. But the long-lasting relationship can still drag on as a burden. So, sometimes decisive action is needed to start a new page in both persons’ life.
6. Self-assertion and dangerous games
This behavior is typical for those who seek to assert themselves by humiliating their partner. It indicates the desire to declare power, to show who is in command here, to keep the other dependent and unable to fight back. Such chronic betrayal can only occur in an unhealthy, destructive, toxic relationship, and is very common among abusers.
According to the psychologists, cheating is what happens with a couple, not with one person. This fact provides a possibility to see the situation from another perspective. For example, many people who have cheated start appreciating their partners more. The others forget about a one-time affair and continue their normal life, as according to a 91-year-old sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a one-time occasional hookup is not a big deal and should not affect a long-term relationship.
But just as often, the relationship is ruined because of one tiny crack that finally destroys everything. And the breakup would have occurred regardless of the fact of betrayal. There is nothing that cannot be solved by those people who are able to take responsibility and stay brave enough to face the truth. There is love after cheating. But it requires a lot of consciousness and maturity of both partners.