Causes and Risks of Why Married People Cheat

Causes and Risks of Why Married People Cheat

Causes and Risks of Why Married People Cheat_ichhori.webP

Motivations for extramarital affairs are vast and can vary by gender

Why do people cheat? A wide range of events might precipitate an affair. Anger, low self-esteem, lack of affection, low commitment, need for diversity, neglect, sexual desire, and the situation was discovered in a study of 495 persons.

It is critical to remember that these motives originate within the cheater and are not the fault of the betrayed partner.

Infidelity affects up to 40% of all married couples.

One common trigger is marital dissatisfaction; the cheater may make repeated attempts to solve problems without success. Perhaps they had second thoughts about getting married, or they were envious of the attention lavished on a new kid, and neither partner had the skill set to express their sentiments.

Perhaps the straying spouse has childhood baggage — neglect, abuse, or a cheating parent — that makes it difficult for them to maintain a committed relationship. Less frequently, the cheater has little regard for monogamy, lacks empathy, or just does not care about the consequences.

We'll look at a variety of risk factors and causes of cheating, but it's crucial to note right away that a partner does not lead their spouse to cheat. Whether it was a cry for help, an exit strategy, or a way to exact revenge after being dumped, the cheater is solely accountable for cheating.

How Motivations Differ by Sex

Men are more prone than women to have affairs, and they frequently seek more sex or attention.

Men often express their love in a more physical way since they lack the proper "feeling words" for their wives. As a result, sex becomes a vital means of connection and intimacy.

If males aren't sexually pleased (for example, if their spouse denies sex frequently), they take rejection personally, which can easily convert to feeling "unloved." In reality, men are more likely than women to cheat because they are insecure.

When women cheat, they are frequently attempting to fill an emotional emptiness.

Women frequently express alienation from their spouses, as well as a desire to be desired and appreciated. Women are more prone than males to feel unloved or ignored, leading them to seek the emotional intimacy of an adulterous relationship.

More often than not, an affair is a "transitional" partner for the woman as a way to exit the relationship. She is seriously considering leaving her marriage, and this other individual is assisting her in doing so.

That isn't to imply that sexual fulfilment isn't a significant motivator for both wives and husbands. Similarly, boredom with marriage can lead both men and women to cheat.

One research of men and women who were actively pursuing or engaging in extramarital affairs found that both genders hoped to better their sex life because they felt their primary relationship was lacking between the sheets.

Causes and Risk Factors

There are numerous reasons or causes why men or women may participate in extramarital affairs, but certain risk factors—either with one of the persons or the marriage as a whole—increasing the likelihood that it will occur.

Individual Danger Factors

There are obviously exceptions to the general rule that it takes two to tango, or in this case, to ruin their marriage with an affair. Individual variables that may contribute to infidelity include:

  • Addiction: Substance abuse concerns, whether it"s addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or something else, are obvious risk factors. Alcohol, in particular, can lower inhibitions to the point where someone who would never contemplate having an affair when sober may cross the line.

  • Attachment style: Attachment avoidance and attachment insecurity, as well as intimacy problems, have all been studied in relation to a proclivity to cheat. Insecurity and low self-esteem might also increase the likelihood of having an affair to establish one's value.

  • Childhood trauma: Having a history of childhood trauma (such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect) is linked to a higher likelihood of cheating (if he or she has not addressed the trauma and has unresolved issues).

  • Childhood infidelity: Previous experience with cheating might also enhance the chance of infidelity. According to a 2015 study, children who witness a parent having an affair are twice as likely to have an affair themselves.

  • Mental illness: Some mental diseases, such as bipolar disorder, increase the likelihood of marital infidelity.

  • Previous instances of deception: "Once a cheater, always a cheater" is more than just an old wives' tale. The first study to assess the trustworthiness of this statement was conducted in 2017. Those who had an extramarital affair were three times more likely to repeat the conduct in their next relationship, according to one study.

  • Problems with the mind: Cheating is related to narcissistic characteristics or personality problems. An affair with narcissism may be motivated by ego and a sense of entitlement. People with these disorders are frequently self-centred and lack empathy, thus they are unaware of the impact of their behaviour on their partner.

  • In a 2018 study of personality traits, women with high "neuroticism" and males with high "narcissism" were more likely to cheat.

  • Sex addiction: Undoubtedly, sex addiction in one partner raises the likelihood that they may be dissatisfied with the physical component of their marriage and seek other options.

Risk Factors Within a Relationship

Problems in the marital relationship can also be a risk factor for cheating. Some of these include:

  • Domestic violence and emotional abuse
  • Emotional and/or physical disconnect
  • Financial pressures
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of respect
  • Low compatibility (people who married for the wrong reasons): Low compatibility can lead to a sense of "buyer's remorse"

Primary Reasons for Cheating

There are a variety of reasons for marital infidelity, with or without individual or marital risk factors. However, there are a few threads that run through many of the causes. One example is the role of unmet needs.

One spouse may be unable to meet the other's demands, yet those requirements are frequently unspoken. Marriage partners do not have mind-reading abilities. Another issue is the failure to handle issues directly.

Another important aspect of communication and commitment in marriage is running away from difficulties (conflict avoidance) rather than staying and resolving them.

Cheating may be motivated by a variety of factors, including:

  • Unhappiness/Dissatisfaction: Emotional or sexual dissatisfaction with the marriage is widespread. Marriage is a labour of love, and without mutual care, couples may drift away. Both men and women frequently cite a sexless marriage as a reason.

  • Feeling unappreciated: Feeling undervalued or ignored might lead to infidelity. When both partners work, women frequently shoulder the majority of housework and childcare. In this situation, the affair supports the individual's feeling of self-worth. On the other hand, feeling neglected may be due to unreasonable expectations of a spouse rather than actual neglect.

  • Lack of commitment: Aside from that, a 2018 study discovered that those who are less dedicated to their relationship are more likely to cheat.

  • Boredom: Men and women who seek the thrill of the chase and the thrill of newfound love are more inclined to cheat. Rather than looking for a replacement for their partner, some argue that their affair is a method to spice up their marriage. Cheating is frequently cited as a result of falling out of love. This could be due to a misunderstanding of how love matures in marriage.

  • Body image/ageing: As stories of middle-aged men having affairs with women the age of their daughters commonly demonstrate, infidelity may sometimes be a means for a man (or woman) to prove that they still "have it." Along with these sentiments, a spouse may blame their partner for their own transgressions by declaring that their spouse has "let himself/herself go."

  • Revenge: If one partner has an affair or has harmed the other in some way, the offended partner may feel a need for vengeance, which may lead to an affair.

Secondary Reasons for Cheating

There are additional reasons for cheating, in addition to the fundamental reasons mentioned above. Some examples are:

  • Internet: Having an affair, especially an emotional affair, is easier than it used to be, and social media platforms have been linked to numerous affairs and divorces. Even if the two persons never met in person, internet infidelity or "online cheating" is still cheating.

  • Opportunity: Periods of absence, whether for employment or military service, create more opportunities for events to occur. Absence allows a spouse to have an affair without fear of being caught, but it can also lead to loneliness and anger. While a long-distance marriage is not ideal, there are strategies to keep your marriage together even when you are apart.

  • Ineffective boundaries: Poor personal boundaries, or the limits we impose on others as to what we consider acceptable or inappropriate, can also enhance the likelihood of an affair occurring. People who have difficulty saying no (those who are extremely cooperative or "people pleasers") may get involved in an affair even if it was not what they desired in the first place.

  • Pornography: While its role in marital infidelity has been minimized, pornography is harmful to marriage and has been clearly demonstrated to be a "gateway" drug for some people. Unfortunately, pornography is now much easier to find on the internet.

Coping With a Cheating Spouse

Sometimes people suspect their spouse is cheating on them but lack strong evidence. While being direct is typically the best option in marriage, you may wonder if asking openly may create more harm. And, of course, the answer your spouse provides could be true or false.

The ideal strategy will differ for different couples, but if you're concerned, you should look for some of the warning signals.

Cry for Help vs. Exit Strategy

In some marriages, an affair is a cry for help, a method to compel the pair to confront problems that both sides are aware of but are ignoring. In this instance, the spouse frequently attempts to be caught in order to bring the issue to light. Infidelity may sometimes be viewed by a partner as an escape strategy—a method to end an unsatisfactory marriage.

Regardless of the underlying reason for a spouse's infidelity, it can either destroy or rebuild a marriage, depending on how the infidelity is handled.

When You've Been Wronged

You might want to investigate how the dynamics between you and your partner got you to this position. Recognizing that infidelity is a symptom of deeper difficulties in a relationship might encourage a couple to address the underlying issues in their relationship and become closer.

If you were the one who was cheated on, it's vital to understand that you are not responsible for your spouse's decision to cheat. You are not responsible for his or her actions.

Women are more likely to be threatened by emotional affairs than sexual affairs, and men are more inclined to forgive emotional affairs; yet, the most typical reaction to discovering their partner's affair is jealousy.

Even if you were the one who was harmed, dealing with a professional can help you cope and recover. Unresolved jealousy can rise to resentment, which, as the old proverb goes, is "like a poison you drink yourself and then wait for the other person to die."

Overcoming Infidelity

Some couples can overcome infidelity and have an even better connection, while others cannot. Certainly, there are situations when prolonging the marriage is not advised.

Before you study the intricacies of the affair from your spouse's point of view and consider why the affair occurred in terms of his or her needs, you should consider your own needs. This can be more difficult than it appears, especially in the midst of jealousy and rage.

If you were the one who had an affair, you have numerous options if you want to save your marriage. First and foremost, you must cease cheating and lying immediately and accept responsibility for your decision. It is critical to be patient and to give your spouse space. That is not to imply it will not work out. It might not. However, the chances are slim unless you accept full responsibility (no blaming or justifying your behaviour).

The likelihood that you will be able to move on from the affair is determined by a variety of circumstances, including the reasons for the affair and the personalities of both parties. To truly understand and progress, both partners must listen to the other (which can be extremely difficult in this situation) and not assume that their partner's motivation or feelings are the same as their own. You may also benefit from the services of a qualified therapist.

For those who decide to try to overcome infidelity, it appears that mutual forgiveness and a strong commitment to the relationship are essential.

A Word From Ichhori 

Cheating can occur for a variety of reasons, and marriage is difficult. However, communicating frankly, expressing your needs, practising forgiveness, and committing to working on your marriage on a daily basis are the finest insurance policies for your marriage.

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