We all know the statistics, in regards to first-time marriages, over 55% will end in divorce.
The statistics in “cheating” are a little bit more difficult to define, but on average, most experts believe that about 50% of men will cheat during their lifetime and up to 30% of women will do the same thing.
But why, why do we cheat in love?
For the last 29 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and Life Coach David Essel has been helping individuals to get to the bottom of why they do things in life that sabotage their own personal relationships and success.
Below, David talks about the four key reasons why we stray in love and have physical affairs with others. Read on to know why do we cheat in love.
Why infidelity happens even in happy relationships
It is true that approximately 50% of men will cheat in their relationships, and up to 30% of women will do the same thing. Does a happy man cheat? Totally.
It is a common assumption that affairs only when people or relationships are broken. With passion bearing a finite shelf life, people often get bug by the “wanderlust” whether they are in a miserable marriage or otherwise.
In fact, one of the scientific reasons we cheat in happy relationships could be attributed to phone snubbing or phubbing. When one spouse seemingly abandons the other spouse and engages more in their phone or other digital devices, it can make an already clingy or an insecure partner fear total abandonment.
Often in a bid to combat the abandonment that never occurred, they could pursue an affair to decrease the likelihood of them being cheated first.
Why do we cheat in love and jeopardize our relationship?
This is nothing new, it’s been going on since the beginning of time but why, why do we put ourselves in this situation?
This may or may not come as a shock to many, but even myself, with all that I know and have learned in the last 40 years in the world of personal growth, up until 1997 I often had affairs in my relationships.
This isn’t anything I’m proud of, but I’m not ashamed of it either because of what I’ve learned over the past 20 years regarding my own behavior and the behavior of my clients from around the world.
I am human, and in 1997 I devoted an entire year to work with a friend of mine, another counselor, to get to the bottom of why I did what I did in intimate relationships.
After understanding the reasons why I used to stray, I made a decision 20 years ago to never walk that path again, and I haven’t.
Have I been tempted? Actually, not at all.
I realized the downside of my actions were so much larger than the upside that I was able to take that part of my past and leave it in the past.
I want the same for you.
Why do we cheat in love? The four top reasons
I am free of shame, and I’m excited to write this article so that I can help millions of people around the world get to the bottom reasons of why they stray in love.
This is a shocker for many but it’s the number one reason why we have physical affairs in life.
And what does that mean?
The independent person would go to their partner, even if it took 10 or 20 attempts to get to the bottom of why the relationship was starting to fail, or why our needs weren’t getting met.
The independent person would consistently go back to their partner to try to find a solution, and they would also more than likely reach out to a professional counselor to get help to understand why the relationship is in trouble.
However, the codependent person hates to rock the boat, doesn’t want to upset the apple cart, may attempt one or two times to talk to their partner but if they don’t get the feedback they want, they will submerge their frustrations in the relationship and eventually whatever you submerge must come out in another way.
Individuals who struggle with codependency, as I did until 1997, will start to find every reason in the book why they’re not going to push the issue with their partner, even though they’re unhappy.
They may or may not attempt to get their partner to go to counseling, but if their partner says no, they don’t go either.
Do you see the crazy making this could create in any relationship?
The codependent person is so sensitive to their own emotions as well as their partners, that they shy away from anything that might be looked at as conflict oriented.
If this isn’t healed, if the addiction of codependency isn’t healed, then actions like physical affairs will just stay a part of our existence possibly forever.
A close second to codependency, when we have unresolved resentments at our partner for whatever reason in the world, we may stray into another person’s bed as a way to “get back“ at our current partner.
This is a very normal, very unhealthy, response system to stress and resentments.
Individuals who are willing to voice their resentments with the intention of the solution will decrease their chances of having an affair. It’s not easy work, but taking care of our resentments is a key to a long-lasting and healthy love affair.
Why do we cheat in love? Entitlement and self-centeredness.
If a person has these two personality characteristics, they will rationalize, justify, and defend their right to have sex outside of their relationship.
In our number one best-selling book “FOCUS! Slay your goals“, I tell the story of a man who came to me for help, he wanted me to be his counselor, and in actuality he wanted me to say that it was OK, to validate the fact that he had been having affairs in his marriage for 20 years.
His statement was “since I give my wife a lifestyle of luxury, she doesn’t have to work, I feel I should be able to do anything outside of the marriage that I want to get my needs met that she won’t do.“
Incredible entitlement. Incredible self-centeredness.
But once again we can justify, rationalize and defend any decision we make in life when we come from this place of entitlement.
4. We are bored
Why do we cheat in love? Well, because of boredom. Sounds callous?
Now, this can fall underneath codependency as well, where we get bored in a relationship of six months or 60 years, and feel the need for more excitement outside of our marriage or committed monogamous relationship.
Instead of dealing with boredom, and working with our partners, and going in and getting professional help to figure out a way we can be more creative in love, people just put their head in the sand and go and get their thrills outside of the relationship.
A woman recently told me that because she was so bored in her marriage, and was so unhappy with the way that her husband had sex with her, that she shut her husband out completely of any sexual activity whatsoever, but continued to get her needs met outside of the relationship.
She defended it as her right to be physically satisfied when her husband couldn’t do it, even though she admitted she didn’t try very hard to get her husband on the same page she was, sexually.
If you look at the above four keys as to why do we cheat in love when we are in committed relationships, you can see that any and all of us can be healed.
Some, like self-centeredness and entitlement, might be more difficult than others because these are the type of people that would probably refuse to go get help.
Or to admit that they’ve done something incorrect by breaking their partner’s trust, and betraying them.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked with several hundred individuals that were consistently having affairs and couldn’t figure out why, and for the ones that really wanted to change, change came quickly.
Once they understood the reasons that they were going outside of their relationship, it was easier for them to become humble, honest and admit that they are the ones that have to change.
One of the psychological facts about cheating is that when we cheat in love, we have zero integrity.
When we cheat , we eventually will be taken down by low self-confidence, low self-esteem, shame and or guilt.
If you need help, and you see a pattern in your love life, please reach out to a professional today.
I can honestly admit that without my commitment with another counselor in 1997 for 52 straight weeks, I probably would never have gotten to the bottom of why I had affairs, and more importantly, I may never have stopped the insanity and crazy-making that I was bringing it to my own life.
I can tell you the opposite, is powerful. And I want you to feel that internal power by doing the right thing in life.
David Essel‘s work is highly endorsed by individuals like the late Wayne Dyer, and celebrity Jenny Mccarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement.“
He is the author of 10 books, four of which have become number one bestsellers. Marriage.com calls David one of the top relationship counselors and experts in the world.