Why Married People Cheat

A spouse’s infidelity can destroy a marriage. Upwards of 40 percent of married couples are impacted by infidelity. Despite this large percentage who cheat, most will say that cheating is wrong. You may never truly know why your spouse was unfaithful. Your spouse may never truly understand it either.

Here Are Some Commonly Identified Reasons Why a Spouse Has an Affair

  • Conflict Avoidance
  • Unresolved problems
  • Sexless marriage or sexual dissatisfaction
  • Childhood baggage
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Ego or arrogance
  • Opportunity
  • Excessive conflict
  • Career problems
  • Looking for excitement or passion
  • Boredom
  • Validate manhood or womanhood
  • Get a self-esteem boost
  • As a way to end an unhappy marriage – an exit strategy
  • Fear of growing older
  • Feeling self-righteous
  • Thrill of the chase
  • Desire to sow wild oats
  • Deep-seated unhappiness
  • Feel neglected
  • Jealous of new baby
  • “Buyer’s remorse” and second thoughts after wedding
  • Feel trapped
  • Insecurity
  • Revenge
  • Because he/she can
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Financial pressures
  • Escapism from daily life
  • Believe he/she can get away with it
  • Thoughts of being “above the law” both morally and legally
  • Lack of real consequences for similar actions
  • Looking for a one-night stand
  • Sex addiction
  • Hormonal changes
  • Long-term relationship outside marriage
  • Selfish or self-centered
  • Is a serial/chronic cheater
  • Having an episode of mental illness (i.e., manic) or substance abuse
  • Personality disorder such as narcissistic or borderline

Motivations for Seeking an Extra-marital Affair Differ by Gender

In general, men are seeking more sex or attention. Men express their love in a more physical way. They often don’t have the perfect “feeling words” for their wives. So, sex becomes an important path to connection and intimacy. When the wives turn them down for sex often, they take that rejection to heart, and it can easily translate to feeling “unloved.”

When women cheat, they are often seeking to fill an emotional void. Women frequently complain of disconnection from a spouse, wishing to be desired and cherished. An affair is more often a “transitional” person for the woman. She is seriously looking to leave to her marriage and this other person helps her do just that.


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