Wink your eye if you’ve ever cheated on your partner.
Wow! Those are a lot of winks.
Wait, who are we kidding that we are surprised?
Infidelity isn’t a new phenomenon. It has been around for as long as couples have united in romantic relationships. A recent study suggests 40 percent of men and 60 percent of women in the United States have been unfaithful at least once in their lives.
And the consequences of infidelity are well-documented: Broken hearts, failed marriages, destroyed families, and even violence.
With the stakes so high, just why do people cheat in relationships? Let’s find out.
Love is the glue that bonds couples together. It’s a beautiful, powerful feeling that makes hearts race, legs weak, and palms sweaty.
However, love, like most feelings, doesn’t always last forever. For some couples, the love they share gradually fades away and, sooner or later, they fall out love.
In the absence of passionate love, it’s easy for infidelity to creep in. One partner (or both) can start searching elsewhere for new love without first putting an end to their current relationship.
If love is the glue that keeps couples together, sex is the fuel that ignites the flames and keeps the fire burning. Beyond this, sexual satisfaction is good for your health. It boosts your immunity, improves mood, and can help you shed some pounds.
Yet, according to a recent survey, 62 percent of American women in a relationship said they aren’t satisfied with the quality of sex they’re having.
The numbers may vary from source to source, but one thing is clear: sexual satisfaction is vital in most romantic relationships.
So, are you satisfied with the sex you’re having? If not and you’re in a relationship, you’re likely to cheat in search of sexual satisfaction.
It’s important to note that a lack of sexual satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of love. You could be in love with your partner and still cheat on them because you feel they don’t satisfy in bed.
Also, people have different sex drives. If you have a high sex drive (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that) and your partner has a normal sex drive, you might be tempted to have more sex outside your relationship because your partner might not be able to naturally meet your needs.
For the most part, romantic relationships are all about emotions. You were drawn to your partner because of love, which is an emotion.
In the early stages of a relationship, it’s common for people to show each other deep emotion care. As time moves on, though, emotional neglect becomes a real possibility. When you fail to provide emotional support to your partner, they could feel neglected and start developing feelings of loneliness and unhappiness.
While some people resolve this by approaching their partners and sharing their feelings, others opt to find emotional support elsewhere, which leads to cheating.
Sometimes it’s not even about making a decision to cheat because of emotional neglect.
It could happen that while your partner is neglecting you, there is another person in your life, say a friend, stepping in to fill the emotional gap. You could feel attracted to this friend because they’re giving you what you lack, and before you know it, you’re in their arms cuddling.
Let’s admit it: variety is indeed the spice of life.
We all want the best things in life, and we want them in all their colors, shapes, and sizes. Who can blame us? It’s an evolutionary fault.
A desire for variety isn’t a bad thing at all, but when it comes to relationships, the consequences can be far-reaching. You may have the desire to have a variety of sexual experiences, and the only way to achieve it is to have multiple partners often behind your partner’s back.
Related to this but slightly different is the “you only live once” mindset. Especially among millennials and the younger generations, the fact that life is short and can end at any time is a reason to have multiple sexual affairs without the knowledge of their partners.
This is probably why the average adult in the United States will have about 7 sex partners in their lifetime.
If you’ve been a victim of infidelity, there are no words that can explain that feeling of betrayal, especially by someone you really loved.
The pain cuts to the bone. Your heart almost explodes. Images of their sexual encounter flash across your face incessantly.
The good news is the pain does go away eventually. Time is a natural healer.
While some victims choose to forgive their partners, others embark on a mission to revenge and ensure their partners feel the same level of pain if not worse.
Although revenge sex does might make an aggrieved partner feel even, it’s only a short-term solution. In fact, it can spark a vicious circle of sexual affairs, with each partner having an affair to just cancel out their partner’s most recent cheating episode. Plus, it puts your health at risk.
The old wisdom “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” couldn’t be more apt.
You friends play a big role in shaping your character. If the people close to you are wolves, there’s no way you can be a sheep. You’ll be a wolf too.
As such, if the people in your social circles are serial cheaters, you’re also likely to adopt their cheating ways. Perhaps they will tell you stories of their sexual encounters and because you’re of the human flesh and the flesh is weak, you could be tempted into cheating on your partner.
Also, it’s not just exposure to friends who cheat that can lead you astray. Watching movies and reading books with adulterous plotlines can influence you into a lifestyle of infidelity.
Technology has revolutionized how we communicate, consume information, and socialize. In short, it has made our lives a lot easier.
However, technology has also made it easier to cheat and have sexual affairs.
Today, you don’t have to hang out in social places to meet a potential date. All you have to do is download a dating app or join a dating site, fill out your details and start discovering new people. What’s more, some dating sites, such as Ashley Madison, are built for people who want to have an affair!
No, we’re not saying dating sites and apps are bad. On the contrary, they offer a convenient platform for single people to find love.
But, they have made it way easier for people in relationships to discreetly meet new partners and engage in cheating behaviors.
Are you in a long distance relationship?
Well, while it’s possible to have a successful long-distance relationship, the odds aren’t in your favor. About 40 percent of all distance relationships end in breakups, and most last barely five months.
It’s not hard to see why long distance relationship fail. It’s all about intimacy. The closer (physically) you are to your partner, the more chances you have of doing the things that keep you intimate.
Then there’s the factor of finding new company.
When you’re away from your partner, you’ll obviously meet new people and make friends. If you’re not really committed to your current relationship, it’s easy to start getting attracted to another person in your new social circle.
Also, insecurity can play a role. It’s not uncommon for couples in long-distance relationships to start harboring doubts over their partner’s sincerity, often for no reason other than they’re unable to physically monitor them. This lack of confidence can create a pathway to an affair.
A research report published by the New England Psychologists shows there’s a link between economic dependence and infidelity.
According to the researchers, the dependent partner in a relationship is more likely to cheat. However, the probability of dependent men cheating is much higher (3 times) than that of dependent women.
For men, it has to do with masculinity. A man who isn’t the breadwinner of his family may feel threatened and start cheating as a way to compensate for his insecurities.
If you have been wondering just why do people cheat in relationships, now you have the answers. It can be anything from falling out of love to lack of sexual satisfaction, long distances between couples and economic dependence.
That said, every relationship is different. It’s not automatic that any of the reasons fleshed out above will lead to infidelity. A lot rides on how a couple communicates and resolves issues.
Found the piece informative? Explore our Eppler blog for more relationship and lifestyle insights.
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