Infidelity in marriage is pretty common off late. Whatever be the reasons for infidelity, it is a harrowing experience for the spouse who has been cheated upon.
If you are reading this article, perhaps you’ve been cheated on. Or, maybe you’ve cheated on your spouse.
But, what are the most common causes of infidelity in marriage? Why do people fall out of love with their partners?
It’s easy to just respond to the question with a slew of expletives, shouting at your computer or your cell phone as you read this. But let’s dive a little deeper and discuss what the real infidelity reasons might be.
Before we dive into the deep waters of why people cheator what are the causes of infidelity, let’s take a moment to mention how people cheat.
Types of cheating
When you hear that someone’s been cheated on, where does your mind take you?
Most of you would section infidelity into a physical realm; one that only includes sexual contact with someone other than the person they’re married to.
The truth is that an affair can be physical, emotional, or both.
Putting it into a box labeled “sex” makes it easy for someone to say “I didn’t cheat on you, we’re just really close friends. I’ve never touched her!”
And, this can be dangerous and irresponsible. Cheating can be a purely sexual act or even purely at an emotional level. In either case, someone who is participating in an affair is giving something away that they vowed to reserve only for their spouse.
Now that we’ve dispelled the ignorance of infidelity being purely sexual, let’s get down to what causes infidelity in marriage. There are basically two main reasons for infidelity in marriage.
The two causes of infidelity are discussed below.
Lack of physical intimacy
Everyone knows the cliched concept of your sexual life waning after you exchange vows and finalize your marriage to your spouse. Often cliches have some speck of truth to them, which is why they become cliches in the first place. This one, unfortunately, is no different.
Some couples experience incredible sex lives well after the honeymoon phase has faded, but other couples do not.
If you or your spouse have cheated because there was a lack of physicality between you, it probably has more to do with the absence of other foundational aspects of a strong marriage. Try to identify the other causes of infidelity in your marriage.
Lack of emotional intimacy
Just like the lack of physical intimacy, a lack of emotional intimacy too can lead to a disconnect in a marriage powerful enough to lead one or both parties astray. As explained above, in most of the cases, the disconnect in physical nature isn’t exactly what it seems to be.
The emotional distance and disconnection is a legitimate cause for concern. For most people, loss of emotional and romantic connection is more likely to be the number one cause of infidelity in marriage than a loss of physical connection.
Humans are emotional beings. It’s in our nature. Some may opine that monogamy isn’t natural, but a sense of connection absolutely is.
If someone chooses to marry the person they love, they expect that that person will be their source of emotional fulfillment and intimacy for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, just as we are creatures of connection, we humans are also creatures of habit. Once we get used to something–be it a person, a task, or an environment–we take it for granted, forgetting the conscious moments we enjoyed as we were first introduced to it.
When a relationship or marriage begins, there’s a freshness about it. Everything is new, so we appreciate it’s newness.
As time passes, novelty loses its nuance. That cute smile that your wife makes when she sees you is taken for granted. Your husband’s good morning message gets shorter and shorter until it ultimately stops coming.
Marriage becomes a habit, and as we know habits are hard to break.
As the habitual nature of the relationship cements many of our actions, we lose touch with what made the relationship meaningful in the first place. We talk less. We hardly listen.
And, we assume that the person will just continue to be there day after day because our habits tell us that they will. But, they won’t.
At some point that emotional distance will leave a void that only another human can fill. This is where infidelity will sneak in and snatch what was left of a marriage’s happiness.
Be more conscious and intentional with the person you lay next to each night. Tell them you love them…and mean it. Show them your appreciation. Be active in rekindling the emotional fire that has dimmed.
Infidelity is one of the scariest things that could happen to a relationship or marriage, but know that it can be prevented.
In order to prevent it, though, you’re going to need to take a hard and honest look at the current state of your relationship. Look for the cracks that could widen over time and lead to emotional and physical disconnection, the two primary causes of infidelity in marriage.
Once the voids grow large enough, infidelity will lurk in the shadows. Be more intentional with your connection to your partner. We all need an honest and loving relationship. Start with the person who is the most precious part of your life, your spouse!
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.