Would you remain loyal to your partner, no matter what? For many of us, it is hard to even think about cheating on our significant other.
Nonetheless, infidelity is one of the main causes of divorce. You could be wondering, how is that possible?
What are the things that drive people to do what they do? What causes infidelity in the first place?
In order to understand the causes of infidelity in marriage better, let us first try to analyze the effect of infidelity in a relationship.
The devastating effect of infidelity
Marital infidelity can be brutal. Just think about the trust and connection that might be lost forever.
People that have had to deal with cheating spouses can have a hard time trusting members of the opposite sex. They become bitter and resentful.
Why would your significant other decide to cheat on you? After all these years of care, love, and intimacy, such a decision seems almost impossible, right?
And yet it happens!
And when it does, it not only deteriorates trust and intimacy, it can also rip families apart. Just think about what infidelity will do to your children.
They look up to their parents and quite possibly see them as perfect examples of how they want to be. Whatever be the reasons for infidelity in marriage, if they see that one of their parents is being an unfaithful spouse, it will be a cruel blow for them.
Infidelity is a brutal, nasty thing. So what drives people to cheat on their partners?
Common causes for infidelity in marriage
There are some common causes of infidelity in marriage. Besides these common infidelity causes, there are also some other reasons which are more common among men than among women, and vice versa, that we will cover after this section.
1. Hiding from problems
The number one cause of infidelity is running away from problems. It is easier to make excuses than to work things out with your spouse. This opens the door toward emotional affairs.
One typical example of this is the coworker who offers a shoulder to lean on. This coworker often becomes a participant in an affair.
The Internet makes pornography widely available. You just have to go online and type in a search in Google. It’s that easy.
Watching porn from time to time can seem innocent, but the long-term effects are rather harmful. Porn addiction is thus one of the top reasons for infidelity.
So, if you feel that you are getting addicted, make sure that you monitor your addiction and dissuade yourself from getting too much into the habit.
3. The Internet in general
Apart from porn, the Internet, in general, is one of the primary causes of marital infidelity. It has never been more comfortable in the history of humankind to meet other people with no questions asked.
There are numerous dating sites and apps, making it very easy to meet attractive members and indulge in flings or affairs.
4. Escort services
The amount of available escort services does not seem to decline. Instead, it appears that more and more escort services pop up, making it very easy for both men and women to seek pleasure outside their marriage.
5. Boredom and routine
The drag of everyday life can weigh people down. Boredom and routine are also the causes of unfaithfulness in marriage.
People want to escape from their dreary lives, and thus they seek pleasure and excitement in extramarital affairs.
For men, these are the typically observed infidelity reasons.
1. He is insecure
He feels too old, too young, too thin, too fat. You name it. He uses both flirtation and porn as ways to feel good about himself. Sometimes this can end up in extramarital sex, just to get a feeling of being desirable and worthwhile.
2. He is damaged
Early childhood traumas can cause him to look for extramarital sex. Physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse can leave deep scars, causing him to look for sexual intensity to escape from the (mental) pain.
3. He is either bored or overworked
Boredom or being overworked seems like opposites, but as far as infidelity is concerned, the results can be the same.
He might think that some excitement is what will make him truly happy. More often than not, this results in extramarital infidelity.
4. He wants out
Some men have trouble being direct. They use infidelity as ‘a message’ to show their partner or spouse that it’s time to move on. Or sometimes, cheating comes from the need to have a ‘better’ partner before ending the current relationship.
Reasons for cheating in women
For women, these are the commonly observed reasons for cheating in a relationship.
1. She feels ignored, neglected or underappreciated
A woman who feels neglected, overlooked, or underappreciated might go looking for attention elsewhere. An attractive woman will not have a hard time getting her attention from other males. Appreciation can turn into affection, and that can lead to infidelity.
Women feel valued through non-sexual emotional interaction more than men. This includes kissing, touching, cuddling, and meaningful communication.
If these intimacy needs are not being met, she might go looking elsewhere. Sometimes resulting in romantic or sexual relationships.
3. She is lonely or bored
Boredom and loneliness are a recipe for disaster.
A lonely and bored woman might decide to go looking for some excitement. A woman has a strong tendency to feel responsible for raising her children. But after they have grown up and left the house, a woman (also a man) can feel empty inside. She thinks she lost her purpose and decides to use romantic or sexual relationships to fill the void.
4. She does not feel loved or appreciated
Feeling loved and appreciated is one of the core needs of a woman. Some women have very high standards or unrealistic expectations, which result in their needs never being met. Instead of relying on one partner, they decide to find love or appreciation outside of their marriage.
Also, watch the following video for rethinking infidelity.
But if both the partners commit to changing their behavior, the marriage can be saved. In many cases, it has been observed that marriages that survive infidelity even become more energetic and more intimate.
Also, if you feel no headway with the situation, seeking professional help from a counselor or a therapist can help you handle your relationship in the best possible way.
Counseling from a licensed therapist can help you discover new facets of your relationship that you could have been conveniently overlooking so far. An unbiased perspective from the counselor can help you make better decisions for your life.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.