Infidelity: 7 reasons why people cheat and become unfaithful



Infidelity is costly — it can lead to tears, break-ups, divorces and even violence. So why do people do it?

The question haunts lovers and fascinates researchers, with a recent study offering some sobering findings: You could be doing everything right and your partner could still be tempted to cheat for reasons that have nothing to do with you or the quality of feelings you share.

Infidelity is one of the most distressing things you can experience in a romantic relationship, so it’s very important to understand why lovers are motivated to be unfaithful.

The study, based on responses from 495 people who had cheated on a partner, found eight basic motivations for infidelity. The participants were young, 20 years old on average, but their reasons for straying are common themes that could apply across other ages.

Here are eight reasons why people cheat on their partners:

1. Lack of love

Feeling that your partner is not “The One” for you. No longer feeling passionate love or even falling out of love. Perceiving the relationship to be boring, dull or stagnant. Lack of love is a powerful motivation — it’s definitely one of the stronger ones.

2. Sexual desire

Feeling unsatisfied with the sex life you have in your relationship, perhaps because your partner has lost interest or you want to try something new that your partner can’t give you. People might be motivated to test the waters with regards to their own orientation or identity.

3. Neglect

Feeling that your partner is not paying enough attention to you or not spending enough time with you. Not feeling appreciated.

4. Low commitment

This is oriented toward people’s definitions of exclusivity. Some people say they never discussed being exclusive with their partner. They’re in a relationship, but they haven’t specified that the commitment level is high or the exclusivity is there.

5. Esteem

You feel sleeping with others will improve your sense of self-worth, signal your independence or increase your social status and popularity.

6. Anger

You suspect or know your partner has betrayed you, so you want to get even. The motivation is ‘revenge.’

7. Variety

You live by the motto “You only live once,” so you want to try lots of sexual experiences with as many partners as possible.

Recommended for you