Infidelity: Why Do We Cheat?

Infidelity: Why Do We Cheat?

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Whether they are high and mighty or ordinary folk, humans can find it hard to be faithful to one partner for a lifetime. Studies show that many reasons may contribute to why people cheat, including education level, income and religious background. While certain patterns exist, the fact may be that the reasons for infidelity are as varied as relationships themselves.


Animal Instinct

Researchers sometimes say that being with a single partner for life may not be a natural condition for humans. Many mammals, after all, have multiple partners throughout life as a way to spread their DNA and strengthen the gene pool. In “The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People,” authors David Barash, PhD, and Judith Lipton, PhD, say that very, very few creatures are completely monogamous.


Mental Health

Human behavior is complex and unpredictable. While infidelity is by no means a sign of illness, cheating can be a sign of unhappiness or insecurity and is more like to occur when individuals have been drinking or taking drugs. Some unfaithful spouses may be unable to stop themselves from pursuing “conquests” which is in fact a form of a narcissistic disorder, says Don-David Lusterman, PhD, and author of “Infidelity: A Survival Guide.” Infidelity among men can be a sign of depression, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Sending a Message

Cheating can be seen as a way to get a partner’s attention. If a couple spends too little time together or their sex life wanes, they can grow apart. If communication is poor, one partner may try to replace what’s lacking in the relationship by seeking the attention of someone new. In some cases, all that what is needed is someone to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Letting a spouse know that someone else finds you interesting or attractive can be a strong message. Unfortunately, an innocent flirtation can become full-blown infidelity without anyone intending it.


Exit Strategy

Some people cheat because they want to leave their primary relationship and don’t even know it. People may be unhappy with a partner and not even realize it. They may not be able to explain their feelings or may not have the courage to talk to their partner. Cheating may provide a dramatic way to express dissatisfaction and consciously or subconsciously end the relationship. In the Western world, infidelity is cited as the cause in up to 50% of divorces, according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control report on sexual health.


Age, Education, Religion

Statistics for cheating vary but according to the National Science Foundation, about 13% of all married men and women have been unfaithful within the last year. The NSF also found that those in higher income brackets and those with higher levels of education were more likely to engage in extramarital affairs. Those who attended weekly religious services are 2 ½ times less likely to be unfaithful. Teenagers who married under age 17 were four times as likely to cheat as married people 23 years or older.

Editor, 15.02.2012

0 | 04.03.2017, 01:04

Can also be a bi-product of loneliness whether in a relationship or not , that is to say two people can become embroiled through the loneliness of one of them despite one being married or in a firm relationship.Hope I got my point across lol

1 | 06.05.2012, 21:10

The reason that people cheat is that are not getting love at home..also you are only here once and it's fun! No jealousy, no mental problems..unless they meet that special woman or man and change,I did at the age of 37, remained faithfull to my second wife for nearly 40 years,until I lost her. I loved her..

1 | 09.03.2012, 00:12

well I think people cheat for the thrill and also they are very insecure within themselves

1 | 06.03.2012, 19:27

I was in a relationship with a man once who'd cheated on just about every partner he'd ever had, not just one night stand's but full fledged affairs that went on for years. I know I know, why the heck would I be in a relationship with someone like that? Well the truth was, once I found out about his history I end the relationship but him and I remained good friends. And through our conversations I asked him many times why he cheated, what drew him to it, what he got out of it, what he regretted about it, and what would it take for him to not cheat on the next partner in his life. And his responses taught me a lot actually about men and what they want and who they are. I'd always assumed men cheated simply because their dogs, and because they just wanted sex all the time. He'd told me that each and everyone of his affairs started as a friendship only with the women and that he had never expected or intended or went looking for sex with any of them, BUT, that in each and every situation he was looking for warmth, and caring from someone that he wasn't getting in his relationships. He'd said the thing that he enjoyed most about the affairs was the talking, that each of these women "listened" to him, they cared about him, they showed warmth, even as a friend, long before it developed into anything sexual. he'd found that in his relationships the women were cold and distant and uncaring and he always felt like he had no one to talk to, no one to share with and no one who cared. He felt women's focus was always on their kids and he wasn't important to them anymore. And each of his affairs was with a single women who had no kids and while he didn't seek that out he felt these women paid attention to him and actually "saw" him. I had been guilty of always thinking that men just wanted sex and as long as they got that they'd not stray. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, as I see it now, men want to be cared about, listened to, and "seen" just as much as women. And all the sex in the world can't make up for that.

2 | 24.02.2012, 01:45

I think people cheat because they have insecurities  about themselves they are constantly looking for approval Just saying only my opinion and I have a lot more lolol

1 | 23.02.2012, 15:47

It sounds. Some facts are very realistic...