why do people cheat

#INFIDELITY – Why do people cheat?

Why do people cheat?

Faithfulness is undoubtedly a glue to any relationship. Unfortunately, the promise to never let each other down isn’t kept as much these days. The question, “Why do people cheat?” could be vast while trying to unravel the reasons behind cheating partners; nevertheless, we shall walk you through some study proven facts.

A recent General Social Survey (GSS) shows that 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they had sex with the opposite sex other than their spouse while married. Cheating is a major cause of divorce and fear of even getting in the family way.

percentage of cheating men to women
Source: Institute For Family Studies

Have you ever been with a cheating partner? Do you know someone who has? Or you have this burning inquisity as to why people seem not to be satisfied with their spouse. This is a research-based article covering the major reasons why people cheat in a relationship.

Divorce may not be the best advice to resolve matters of infidelity, but many persons feel significant relief after a successful separation from their cheating partner.

If you’ve found yourself in a heartbreaking situation whereby someone you loved, cherished, and trusted for years betrayed those feelings in the name of cheating, you will better understand the hysterical questions that come to the mind of a victim, such as, “why me?” “Am I not good enough?” “After all we’ve been through together?” “After all I’ve done for her/him?” “Why do people cheat?” and much more.

And most times, the answers to these hysterical questions often induce a burning hateful desire in the heart of the victim, and the only solution that may be right for them at that point in time may be to divorce.

Although, men cheat more than women in a relationship, according to the research carried by the Institute for Family Studies. But, in recent times, reports have it that the percentage of cheating wives to husbands has increased to about 40% since 1990.

All these have left us with the burning desire to know the reasons why people cheat in relationships.

From study, we will be summing up to 17 possible reasons why people cheat. But before then, we shall highlight some viral reasons from some social media reactions on Reddit (answering the question “why do women cheat?”) and relationship experts on marriage.com (answering the question “why do men cheat”?).

Chart: cheating Men vs cheating Women
Source: Institute For Family Studies

Why do women cheat?

The Insider” carried out a survey on Reddit to discover the reasons why women cheat. These were the individual opinions of cheating women.

  • Redditor Pleindesprit says:

“I desired an emotional attachment”

I have cheated, yes, but on my husband before we were married. It wasn’t physical, but more of an emotional attachment that my husband (then boyfriend) believed was cheating. Which, after settling down my pride, I agree with. It was unnecessary, and it’s something I still have to deal with today. There was a lot of trauma in between the time that I did it, and while it’s no excuse, it’s the sole reason I desired an emotional attachment.

My husband had left, out of the blue, for nearly a year, and when he came back I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to be with someone who could so easily leave after developing such a strong relationship with me. During that year, I developed a relationship with another man, which I cut off once my husband and I started dating again. However, there were still problems between him and I, so I reverted back to the other man.

  • Redditor Orange_Paisley said:

“I wasn’t quite ready to leave him because of the kids”

He had cheated on me multiple times and I wasn’t quite ready to leave him because of the kids, so I tried to exact some kind of revenge by sleeping with someone too. In retrospect, I wish that I had kept the high ground. I left him two months later.

  • Redditor Emmster said:

“It was not really a satisfying and healthy relationship”

I kinda sorta cheated on a boyfriend way back when. In my defense, I was only 19, so not a grownup, and said boyfriend came out of the closet not long after, so it was not really a satisfying and healthy relationship.

  • Anonymous Redditor 1 said:

“He pushed me over the edge one night”

I did cheat on one person in my life … He wasn’t a great guy and he was always accusing me of sleeping with other men when I wasn’t. He pushed me over the edge one night when he told me I was going to f— the guy taking my pictures for a photoshoot, and in my rage, I just decided ‘screw it all.’ It was immature as hell, but in my defense, I dumped him the next day rather than lying to him and continuing the relationship. I don’t plan on cheating again.

  • Anonymous Redditor 2 said:

“(He) got back together with me once he had his fun”

I would cheat on my current boyfriend because he dumped me to date someone else, then got back together with me once he had his fun. I’m just biding my time until the right opportunity presents itself.

  • Redditor HarleySpencer said:

“I was afraid of being alone”

I wasn’t happy in my relationship, and I was afraid of being alone. I didn’t like confrontation, and I was scared out of my mind of making the wrong decision, whether that decision was staying or leaving. I cried about it a lot. I knew I was hurting him and myself, but couldn’t bring myself to just end it … I did break up with him after a while. Cheating is unforgivable, and by being the cheater, I didn’t deserve to be with him.

  • Redditor throwawaycheat said:

“The relationship wasn’t right”

Over six years together, and the relationship wasn’t right, but all the memories, experiences and TIME together made it hard to admit. I emotionally cheated, got caught, went through hell, and then somehow was forgiven and we tried to work it out. We broke up a few months later, which was awfully tough. Still is.

  • Anonymous Redditor 3 said:

“There was something missing”

(I was) with someone for several years. There was something missing and I by chance met someone and after a year of knowing them, I knew I couldn’t hold back what I felt. I cheated emotionally for months, then once physically and then I ended the relationship to be with the other person.

  • Redditor finallyxfree said:

“I cheated on my abuse r”

(My husband) would throw things. Hit things. Break things. He would curse at me. Yell at me. He would raise his hands to me. And I couldn’t stop him. I wasn’t in love with the man I cheated with. But he treated me how I wanted to be treated. If I wanted to take it slow, he moved slow .

My wants mattered. I would do anything he wanted me to. Even things I wasn’t into. I’d do anything because I knew he would respect my wishes if I decided I wanted to stop.

Our relationship was purely sexual. We didn’t even cuddle … But he respected me more than my husband did. So yes, I cheated on my husband. But I never cheated on the man that I married. I cheated on my abuser. I cheated on my tormenter.

  • Redditor Billie_Jean_is_not said:

“I just went along with it”

I was on a girls’ night out on Friday, it had been a while since all the gals got together, so we really let loose. I bumped into a former work colleague who was out with her fella and some of their friends. We chatted and after a while, they invited me back to their hotel room. I knew what was going to happen but I went along with it anyway.

We ended up back at their hotel room where she seduced me. I ended up having sex with both of them. It was mind-blowing at the time but I felt ashamed and disgusted with myself afterward. I don’t know why I did it, I just went along with it. I love my husband. I cannot believe what I’ve done.

  • Redditor mtwife88 said:

“My isolation turned to selfish physical need”

Yesterday I cheated on my husband. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t thought out, it just happened. He’s been overseas with his military contracting company for nine months now. I’ve missed him horribly. I’m in a town basically on my own without any family or any close friends I can really connect with. It’s been alienating and isolating and has been torture at times.”

A few days ago, I met a guy about my age in a coffee shop. He noticed a sticker on my laptop that was of a band I was sure no one had ever heard of. Turned out he had, and after a whirlwind of a few hours, I found myself at his house that evening where I did it. I thought at first this guy would just be a friend I could share music recommendations from, but in an instant of a moment my isolation turned to selfish physical need.

  • Redditor thatsmychairb—- said:

“I met a guy who enjoyed talking to me and hanging out with me”

We were in a long-distance relationship. Dated in high school and I went to college. He always complained about coming to see me every other month when I would come back to see him every weekend. He also didn’t like texting or calling as much as I wanted him to.

Then I met a guy who enjoyed talking to me and hanging out with me. I didn’t make many friends so I took what I could get, even if he had a girlfriend while he was constantly hitting on me. I was lonely and weak. He was very manipulative.

Me and my SO eventually broke up but I didn’t tell him about the affair until after we got back together and dated for two more years. He was hurt, but understood I regretted it and felt disgusted with myself.

  • Redditor notnowfetz said:

“He refused to leave me”

Because we both knew the relationship was over but didn’t want to admit it. I didn’t have the guts to dump him and he refused to leave me. I took the easy/cowardly way out and I cheated.

  • Redditor CarolineManihot said:

“I was scared of commitment”

I was scared of commitment, he wanted us to be ‘exclusive’ and I wasn’t ready so I got super drunk and yeah slept with another guy and told him the next day.

  • Redditor -feelingblue- said:

“He always played the victim”

Cheating on him (a festival ‘romance’ of two days) made me realize that the relationship with my SO was complete s–.

He always played the victim, made me feel bad even about the smallest disagreements, hinted at killing himself if I ever left him, etc. … I don’t think that what I did was/is the right thing to do at all, but sometimes things like these make you realize that ‘Oh. This is what it’s supposed to be like.

  • Redditor Shadows23 said:

“I thought he had cheated on me”

I think there are a couple of reasons (I cheated). One, I thought he had cheated on me, and based on something he said to me implied he’d been intimate with someone else

secondly he was abusive and the other guy made me feel desired and wanted and since he was making me feel like crap I fell for the other guy. All said I still regret it as I’ve always vowed I wouldn’t cheat.

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Why do men cheat?

30 relationship experts from marriage.com also gave their personal views on why men cheat. Here are their different opinions:

1. “Men cheat when they are made to feel inadequate.”

Why do men cheat? A gnawing feeling of Inadequacy is a major prelude to an urge to cheat. Men (and women) indulge in cheating when they feel inadequate. Men who cheat repeatedly are those who are repeatedly made to feel like they are less than, they seek to find someone that makes them feel like a priority. In essence, they try to fill the void that their partner use to occupy. Seeking attention outside a relationship is a sign that they were made to feel inadequate by their partners. Looking for attention outside of a relationship is a prominent sign of an emerging betrayal in a relationship and the reason why men cheat.By DANIELLE ADINOLFI, MFT (Sex Therapist)

2. “Men cheat due to lack of maturity.”

Why do people cheat in relationships? Males, in general, will have a myriad of reasons why they engage in extramarital affairs. From my clinical experience, I have noticed a common theme of emotional immaturity with those that act on the emotional and physical aspects of cheating. Lacking the maturity to invest the time, commitment, and energy to work through core issues within their marital relationship is why men cheat, well, at least some of them. Instead, these men often choose to engage in activities that are harmful to both their significant others, families and themselves. The scorching repercussions that often come with the aftermath of cheating in a relationship is not considered until after the fact.

Cheating men have a visible proclivity to be reckless. It would be helpful for men that are contemplating cheating to think long and hard if the affair is worth hurting or possibly losing the ones that they proclaim to love most. Is your relationship really worth gambling with? By DR. TEQUILLA HILL HALES, LMFT (Psychologist).

3. “Men sometimes have intimacy disorder.”

What to look out for in men cheating? Any signs of your man grappling with intimacy issues could be a red flag. Men cheat because they have an intimacy disorder, whether they commit online cheating or in person. They likely don’t know how to ask for intimacy (not JUST sex), or if they do ask, they don’t know how to do it in such a way that connects with the woman, this is why men cheat. So, the man then looks for a cheap substitute to soothe his needs and desires for intimacy – By GREG GRIFFIN, MA, BCPC (Pastoral Counselor)

4. “Men feel embarrassed about their desire for pleasure.”

Why do good husbands have affairs? The answer is – Shame. Why men have emotional affairs and not just physical is because of shame, this is why people cheat. I know that sounds ironic and like a cart-horse dilemma since many people become ashamed after getting caught cheating. But cheating behaviors are very often triggered by shame. I hate to be reductive and categorical, but what many men who have cheated have in common–both gay and straight–is some degree of shame about their desires for pleasure.

A cheating man is often someone plagued by a strong but hidden sense of shame about his sexual desires. Many of them love and are deeply devoted to their partners, but over time they develop an intense fear of their desires being rejected. The closer any of us gets to someone we love, the more familiar and familial the bond becomes, and therefore the more difficult it is to seek pleasure as individuals–especially when it comes to sex and romance–without potentially hurting the other person in some way, and feeling shame as a result.

Rather than risk the shame of exposing their desires and getting rejected, many men decide to have it both ways: a safe, secure and loving relationship at home; and an exciting, liberating, sexual relationship elsewhere, this is why men cheat. As a therapist, I help people navigate the challenging task of negotiating sexual needs with their partners, rather than resort to cheating or unnecessary breakups. In many many cases, couples decide to stay together as a result.

In some cases, a frank and transparent dialogue about conflicting desires may lead to necessary separation. But openly negotiating sexual needs is better for everyone involved than deceiving your partner and breaking the mutually recognized rules of the relationship – By MARK OCONNELL, LCSW- R, MFA (Psychotherapist)

5. “Men cheat because they have chosen to”

Why do married men have affairs? Nothing “makes” men cheat on their partners, men cheat because they choose to. Cheating is a choice, he will either choose to do it or choose not to. Cheating is the manifestation of unresolved issues not dealt with, a void that is unfulfilled, and the inability to fully commit to the relationship and his partner. Husband cheating on wife is not something that happens, it a choice that the husband has made. There is no justification for why men cheat – By DR. LAWANDA N. EVANS, LPC, NCC (Counselor)

6. “Men cheat due to lack of appreciation.”

While there are numerous stated reasons, one theme that runs through them for men is lack of appreciation and attention. Many men feel they work hard for their families, they internalize their emotions, can feel they have been doing much and not receiving enough in return, thi is why men cheat. The affair offers the opportunity to receive admiration, approval, new attention, seeing themselves anew in someone else’s eyes – ROBERT TAIBBI, LCSW (Clinical social worker)

7. “Men cheat due to selfishness.”

On the surface, there are many reasons why men cheat. Such as: “Grass is greener,” feeling desired, thrill of the conquest, feeling trapped, unhappiness, etc. Underneath all those reasons and others it is pretty simple, SELFISHNESS. A selfishness that trumps commitment, integrity of character and honoring another above self By SEAN SEARS, MS, O.M.C. (Pastoral Counselor)

8. “Men need their ego stroked.”

Why do guys cheat? The one most common reason is personal insecurity that creates in them a huge need to have their ego stroked. Any new “conquest” gives them the illusion they most are wonderful is why men have affairs. But because it’s based on external validation, the moment the new conquest complaints about anything, the doubts are back with a vengeance and he needs to look for a new conquest, this is why men cheat. In the exterior, he looks secure and even arrogant. But it’s insecurity what drives him – By ADA GONZALEZ, L.M.F.T. (Family Therapist)

9. “Men seek love and attention.”

There are a few reasons why men cheat but the one that sticks out for me is, men like attentiveness. Often times, especially in our fast pace rush, rush rush, society, couples get so busy that they forget to care for each other. Conversations become centred on logistics, “who’s picking up the kids today,” “Don’t forget to sign the papers for the bank,” etc.

Men, like the rest of us, seek love and attention. If they feel ignored, bullied, or nagged at constantly they will seek someone out who listens, stops and compliments them and makes them feel good, as opposed to what they fell like with their own partner, a failure.

Men and emotional affairs go hand in hand when there is a lack of attention from the spouse. Emotionally cheating on your partner is, nonetheless, a form of cheating – By DANA JULIAN, MFT (Sex Therapist)

10. “Men become disillusioned with their marriage.”

Why do married men cheat? Often men cheat on their wives because they have become disillusioned with their marriage. They thought that once they were married, life would be great. They would be together with their spouse and be able to talk all they wanted and have sex when they wanted and live in an unencumbered world together. However, they begin to do life together with work, financial responsibilities and having children. All of a sudden the pleasure is gone.

It appears that everything is about work and taking care of other people and their needs. What about “my needs!” This why married men cheat. Men become jealous of those little ones in the house who are consuming all of their spouse’s time and energy. She doesn’t seem to want or desire him anymore. All she does is take care of the kids, running everywhere with them and not paying attention to him.

Why men cheat is because they begin to look elsewhere for that person who will give them what they need both in attentiveness and sexually. They are under the assumption that another person can and will meet their needs and make them happy. They believe that it is not up to them but up to someone else to make them feel loved and wanted. After all, “they deserve to be happy!” – By DEBBIE MCFADDEN, D.MIN, MSW (Counselor)

11. “Men cheat if they have sexual addiction.”

Why do men cheat on their wives? There are numerous reasons why men commit infidelity. One trend we have witnessed over the past 20 years has been an increase in the number of men who have been diagnosed with sexual addiction. These individuals abuse sex to distract themselves from emotional distress that often is the result of past trauma or neglect. They struggle to feel affirmed or desired and this is why men cheat. They often have feelings of weakness and inferiority and nearly all of them struggle with the ability to emotionally bond with others. Their inappropriate actions are driven by impulse and the ability to compartmentalize their behaviors. Men who undergo counseling for sexual addiction learn why they abuse sex – including cheating – and with that insight can deal with past traumas and learn to emotionally connect with their spouse in a healthy way therefore significantly reducing the likelihood of future infidelity – By EDDIE CAPPARUCCI, MA, LPC, CCSAS CANDIDATE (Counselor)

12. “Men cheat for various reasons.”

First, we have to recognize that there is a difference between why men cheat:

  • Variety,
  • Boredom,
  • The thrill of the hunt/danger of an affair,
  • Some men have no idea why they are compelled to do it,
  • No moral code for marriage,
  • Inner drive/need for attention (need for attention exceeds normalcy)

The reasons men give for why husbands cheat will help you understand men’s views on affairs:

  • Their partner has a low sex drive/is not interested in sex,
  • The marriage is collapsing,
  • Unhappy with their partner,
  • Their partner isn’t who they used to be,
  • She gained weight,
  • Wife nags too much, is trying to change him or is a “ball-buster”,
  • Better sex with someone who understands them better,
  • The chemistry is gone,
  • From an evolutionary perspective– they weren’t designed to be monogamous,
  • It’s just skin on skin– just sex baby,
  • Because they feel entitled/they can.

At the end of the day, however, even if their spouse is intolerable at many levels, there are much better ways to address the issue. Bottom line is that a wife can make a man cheat about as much as she can make him abuse alcohol or drugs– it doesn’t work this way – By DAVID O. SAENZ, PHD, EDM, LLC (Psychologist)

13. “Men desire adventure.”

Why do people cheat on people they love? For the desire for adventure and thrill, risk-taking, excitement seeking.

When husbands cheat they escape from the routine and blandness of everyday life; the life between work, commute, boring weekends with kids, in front of the TV set, or computer. The way out from responsibilities, duties, and the specific role they have been given or adopted for themselves. This is why why men cheat – By EVA SADOWSKI RPC, MFA, RN (Counselor)

14. “Men cheat because of the darkness in their hearts.”

Why do people have affairs? One of the most common reasons men cheat on their partners centers on a darkness in their heart or mind, where factors including lust, pride, the enticements of an affair, and personal frustrations with their partner or life, in general, make them susceptible to being unfaithfulBy ERIC GOMEZ, MS LMFT (Counselor)

15. “Men cheat when their partners are unavailable.”

Why do men cheat on their girlfriends or wives? Men (or women) cheat when their partners are unavailable to them. Both partners are particularly vulnerable during a reproductive journey including loss or fertility challenges, especially if their grief paths diverge for long periods of time. The weakness that comes through is why men cheat – By JULIE BINDEMAN, PSY-D (Psychologist)

16. “Men cheat for avoidance, culture, value.”

Why do men have affairs? There is not one defining factor that determines infidelity. However, the three areas listed below are strong factors working in unison that can determining if one makes the choice to cheat on their spouse.

Avoidance: fear of looking at our own behaviors and choices. Feeling stuck or not being sure what to do represents a fear of making a different choice.

Culturally ingrained: If society, parents, or societal leadership condones infidelity as a value we may no longer seeing cheating as a negative behavior.

Value: If we see maintaining marriage as an important value (outside of abuse) we will be more open and willing to make new choices that works towards maintaining the marriage.

“These are the reasons why men cheat” – By LISA FOGEL, LCSW-R (Psychotherapist)

17. “Men cheat when there is lack of intimacy.”

Why men cheat is because of intimacy. Cheating is a result of lack of intimacy in a marriage. Intimacy can be a challenge, but if a man is not feeling fully “seen” in his relationship, or not communicating his needs, it can leave him feeling empty, lonely, angry, and unappreciated. He may then want to fulfill that need outside the relationship.

It’s his way of saying “someone else sees me and my value and understands my needs, so I’m going to get what I need and want there instead – By JAKE MYRES, LMFT (Marriage and Family Therapist)

18. “Men cheat for ego inflation.”

Why do happy people cheat? I believe that some men cheat for ego inflation. It feels good to be considered desirable and attractive to others, unfortunately even outside of the marriage. It can make a man feel powerful and alluring. This to the detriment of the person that loves them. This is sad but is the reason why men cheatBy K’HARA MCKINNEY, LMFT (Marriage and Family therapist)

19. “Men cheat when there is lack of admiration.”

Why do men cheat and lie? The single most common reason I see for why men look outside the relationship for companionship is a perceived lack on the man’s part of admiration and approval by their partner. Why men cheat is because they tend to base their sense of self on how the people in the room view them; the outside world serves as a mirror of self-worth.

So if a man encounters disapproval, disdain, or disappointment at home, they internalize those emotions. So when a person outside the relationship then provides a counter to those feelings, shows a different “reflection” to the man, the man is often drawn to that. And seeing yourself in an encouraging light, well, that’s often very hard to resistBy CRYSTAL RICE, LGSW (Counselor)

20. “Infidelity is a crime of opportunity.”

While there are numerous reasons that could explain why men cheat on their partners, one or the most common reasons is that it is a ‘crime’ of opportunity. Infidelity does not necessarily signal something wrong in the relationship; rather, it reflects that being in a relationship is a daily choice – By TREY COLE, PSY D (Psychologist)

21. “Men cheat when there’s an emotional element missing.”

In my experience, people cheat because something is missing. A core emotional element that a person needs that is not being met. Either from within the relationship, which is more common, and someone comes along that fills that need. But it can be something missing from within a person. For example, a person who didn’t get a lot of attention in their younger years feels really good when they get special attention or is shown interest. This is why somewhy men cheatBy KEN BURNS, LCSW (Counselor)

22. “Men cheat when they feel their woman is unhappy.”

I believe men cheat because men live to make their woman happy, and when they no longer feel that they are succeeding, they seek a new woman that they can make happy. Wrong, yes, but true why men cheatBy TERRA BRUNS, CSI (Relationship expert)

23. “Men cheat when they don’t feel valued.”

While there are of course some men who are just entitled jerks, who don’t respect their partners and simply feel they can do whatever they want, my experience is that men cheat CHIEFLY because they don’t feel valued.

This can come in many different forms, of course, based on the individual. Some men may feel devalued if their partners don’t talk with them, spend time with them, or participate in hobbies with them. Others may feel devalued if their partners stop having regular sex with them. Or if their partners seem too busy with life, household, children, work, etc to prioritize them.

But underlying all of that is a sense that the man does not matter, that he is not valued, and that his partner no longer appreciates him. This causes the men to seek attention elsewhere, and again in my experience most often it is first this seeking of attention from another (that is often referred to as an “emotional affair”) that then leads to sex later (in a “full blown affair”).

So if you don’t prioritize your man, and don’t make him feel valued, then you shouldn’t be surprised when he seeks attention elsewhere – By STEVEN STEWART, MS, NCC (Counselor)

24. “Men cheat when they’re needs are not met”

I do not think that there is a common reason for why men cheat because everyone is unique and their situation is unique. What happens in marriages to cause problems, such as an affair, is that people feel emotionally disconnected from their partner and do not know how to get their needs met in a healthy manner so they look for other ways to fulfill themselves – By TRISH PAULS, MA, RP (Psychotherapist)

25. “Men cheat when they can’t connect with themselves”

Why men cheat is because of their inability to emotionally connect to their wounded inner child who is searching to be nurtured and affirmed that they are enough and deserving of being loved simply due to their inherent worth and preciousness. Since they struggle with this concept of worthiness they continuously chase an unattainable goal and move from one person to the next.

I think this same concept applies to many women too – By MARK GLOVER, MA, LMFT (Counselor)

26. “Men miss being adored, admired, and desired.”

Why men cheat is because they are lack the very feeling that drew them into the long term relationship they are in. The feeling of being adored, admired, and desired is the romantic cocktail that feels so intoxicating.

At around 6-18 months, it is not uncommon for the man to “fall off the pedestal” as reality sets in, and life’s challenges become priority. People, not just men, by the way, miss this short and intense phase.

This feeling, which plays upon self esteem and early attachment deprivation, counteracts all insecurity and self-doubt. It gets deeply rooted in the psyche and lives there waiting to be reactivated. While a long term partner can provide other important feelings, it is nearly impossible to replicate this original insatiable desire. Along comes a stranger, who may immediately activate this feeling. Temptation in full swing can hit hard, especially when one is not being elevated by his partner on a regular basis – By KATHERINE MAZZA, LMHC (Psychotherapist)

27. “There are different circumstances under which men cheat.”

There are no simple answers to this question as to why men cheat because each man has his own reasons and each circumstance is different. Also there certainly are differences between a man who gets caught up in multiple affairs, porn addiction, cyber affairs, or sleeping with prostitutes and a man who falls in love with his co-worker.

The reasons for sex addiction are embedded in trauma, while often men who have single affairs cite a lack of something they need in their primary relationships. Sometimes they are missing passionate sex, but just as often, they report that they don’t feel seen or appreciated by their wives.

Women get busy, running the household, working at our own careers, and rearing the children. At home, men report that they often feel neglected and taken for granted. In that state of loneliness, they become susceptible to the attention and adoration of someone new. At work, they are looked up to, feel powerful and worthy and may cultivate a relationship with a woman who notices that – By MARY KAY COCHARO, LMFT (Couples Therapist)

28. “Men cheat when they feel unacknowledged.”

There’s no one single reason why men cheat, but one common thread has to do with feeling unappreciated and not taken care of well enough in the relationship. Many people feel they’re the one doing most of the work in the relationship, and that the work isn’t seen or rewarded.

When we feel like all our effort goes unacknowledged, and we don’t know how to give ourselves the love and admiration we need, we look outside. A new lover tends to be adoring and focus on all our best qualities, and this delivers the approval we’re desperate for—approval that’s lacking from both our partner and ourselves – By VICKI BOTNICK, MFT (Counselor and Psychotherapist)

29. “Men seek novelty.”

Recent research shows that men and women cheat to about the same degree. The common reason why men cheat is to seek novelty (fear of intimacy). The common reason women cheat is because of frustrations in their relationship

These advice will help women identify the reasons why men cheat and perhaps give them some insight about how men think and what they can do prevent them from cheating – By GERALD SCHOENEWOLF. Ph.D (Psychoanalyst)

30. “Modern romantic ideal is the cause for infidelity.”

Why men cheat is because our modern focus on the romantic ideal is practically a setup for infidelity. When a relationship inevitably loses its initial luster, it is not uncommon to long for the passion, sexual thrill, and idealized connection with another that was present when it began. Those who understand and trust the evolution of love that exists in a truly committed relationship will rarely find themselves tempted to cheat – By MARCIE SCRANCTON, M.A., LMFT (Psychotherapist)

Now, let’s talk about the reasons behind cheating from a more general perspective.

Cheating: Divorce chart
Source: Institute For Family Studies


17 possible reasons why people cheat

  1. Libido
  2. Poverty
  3. Vulnerability
  4. Lack Of Sexual Satisfaction
  5. Environmental/Societal Influence
  6. Peer Pressure Influence
  7. Anger/Bitterness
  8. Highly Materialistic Ladies
  9. Hereditary (Gene Of A Cheating Mother/Father)
  10. Desperation (Intense Need)
  11. ClassGap
  12. Lack of love
  13. Esteem
  14. Infertility
  15. Genotype Disorder
  16. Adventure/game (quest for something new)
  17. Lack of self-control and self-discipline

Do you know the sexual chemistry of your partner?

Sexual desires can either be normal, low, or high. Considering an individual’s strong urge for sex can help identify that he or she might be more susceptible to cheating; after all, we know that different people crave for sex at varying degrees.

There is a possibility that people with exceptional strong sex drive will most likely be unfaithful? Researchers aren’t suggesting it as the only factor, but it could be a significant predictor. A robust sexual desire may even be necessary to instigate someone to engage in sexual deportment outside of a committed relationship.

But what about those persons who feel an intense pull towards having an extra-dyadic affair but still resist? Or those who have a healthy sex drive but have the discipline to channel sexual energy towards their partner?

In Africa, there is an itching water yam known as “Mkpanyi” in the Eleme language. No quantity of detergent can stop the itching of mkpanyi. A high libido person can be likened to the itching yam. They are always demanding for sex; after each one, they will want another one. It is not a curse neither their fault. That’s their nature and body chemistry.

A man married to a woman with high libido has to be keen to withstand and provide for the sexual demand of his wife and vice versa. The danger of it is when a man that is married to the mkpanyi woman is always not around due to political meetings, jobs, or around but cannot satisfy his wife’s craving for sexual intercourse. It takes the grace of God and a lady with integrity to stand the itching of “mkpanyi” when her husband is not in town. If mkpanyi is itching after using detergent, imagine when detergent is not available.

Try to understand the sexual chemistry of your partner and try your best to drive him/her to their sexual paradise, if not, you are calling for an external intruder to help.


This factor is mostly likened to women. When a man is not able to foot the bills of his wife and children, and leaving the wife to carter for the basic needs of the family, it could be a push on the side of the woman to cheat.

Do you meet the basic needs of your wife?

Extreme poverty, absolute poverty, abject poverty, penury or destitution, was initially defined in 1995 by the United Nations (UN) as a condition characterized by stiff deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation health, facilities, education, shelter, and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.

Most women get sexual harassment when they try demanding assistance from other men that ain’t their intimate partner. Some may be able to resist this weighty temptation at the initial stage. Still, when the need to actualize a particular self/family desire becomes unbearably high without salvaging hope from the husband, even the strongest women with high integrity and self-discipline may likely yield to the demand of another man that’s willing to help solve her needs.


Vulnerability is another factor that can make a partner cheat. Take for example, a man of his early 30’s got married, and the wife brought along her sister, who is in her late 20’s to live with them in the same apartment. Now the sister dresses like spinster she is, leaving the fresh blooded brother-in-law with the temptation of lusting over her. In the absence of the wife on a little trip/vacation, the husband becomes so vulnerable to cheating with the sister-in-law. The husband may go to any length, trying to persuade the young sister-in-law and lure her to bed.


The majority of people cheat when they get less sexual satisfaction in their primary relationship. This may not necessarily mean that they are high libido centered; it may be that their partner doesn’t last long, or they don’t get the best demands their body seeks for sex. This was the most common cause cited by people in the Omarzu study. And most common among women.


The environment or society an individual grew up can also play essential roles in their life. If one grew up in a community where cheating is seen as a normal act, obviously, you shouldn’t expect anything less when they get bonded up in a relationship. Cheating has already become their part of existence, and it could only take the grace of God, with multiples of counselors and personal/self retraining of one’s habit, for such an individual to stop cheating.


Talking about peer pressure and influence. There is a saying that “the kind of friends you keep determines the kind of life you live.” This statement may not be 100% practically valid because there are still persons who are so self-disciplined that they could never be carried away by peer pressure or influenced negatively by friends. But the probability of maintaining self-discipline under high pressure induced by closed friends is so thin. Therefore, peer pressure influence is also one of the primary reasons why people cheat.


This reason here is self-originating. Most times, one desires revenge out of anger and bitterness because a partner betrayed their love and cheated.

Now, it’s not like the partner likes the act they want to play, but just for the sake of self-satisfaction and to calm their anger, they can’t think otherwise than cheat as payback.


When a lady is so greedy, she hardly gets satisfied by what the husband provides, no matter how big it is. A materialistic lady can go the extra mile to acquire the fortune she desires, so cheating is just one of the extra moves she may have as an option.

  • HEREDITARY (Gene Of A Cheating Mother/Father)

When either the father or mother or both were cheats, some of their children, if not all, could inherit the trait and become cheaters as they grow. Parents pass genes to their offsprings (both the good and bad traits), so when people cheat, do justice to go through their parent’s lifestyle when they were youths to fathom if the reason is as a result of hereditary. This will help you know the best ways to talk them through.

  • DESPERATION (Intense Need)

When someone is in an intense need of something, the demand for sex as an exchange of assistance could be the only available option from their helper. At this point, such a person might get blinded by the desperate need and forget the vows taken at the alter. So desperation could be a factor why most people cheat.


Some persons might ask, “could ClassGap really be considered when there is love among two partners”? Then, I ask them, “what if there was never love”? Check out the following reason for more about love.

When a partner feels like they are in a relationship with a low-class individual, they tend to cheat among their class of equals.


There are many reasons while people get bonded together; love is just one of them. People can enter into a relationship out of situations beyond their control (for example, when the parents of both partners forced marriage on them in other to tighten both families’ connection). In this case, there’s no love between these partners, but they are forcefully in a relationship.

When this becomes, only a strong and well-disciplined person among the both could resist the temptation of cheating with the person their heart beats for.


Most people cheat because they think that sleeping with those higher in positions will improve their self-worth, increase their social status and popularity, and make them independent in the industry.


Infertility could also be another reason why one may decide to cheat on the partner. This is mostly practiced by women who are so desperate in need of a child, having the feelings that their husbands could be the reason for her inability to get pregnant. While some men may decide to cheat with another woman to test their fertility.


When two partners are genotype incompatible, it could be a trigger for one or both cheating. If they are yet to get married, finding a new compatible partner for marriage could be their excuse and justification for their actions.

  • ADVENTURE/GAME (quest for something new)

Most people see sex as an adventure or game. They live by the slogan You only live & die once,” hence, they are left with the quest for something new, and they want to try lots of sexual experiences with as many partners as possible just as they seek other adventures and games.


When a partner doesn’t have high self-discipline and lacks self-control, they fall so cheap to temptations. No matter how vital, the reasons why people cheat may be, someone with strong self-control and discipline will never fall prey or belittle their personality to cheating on their partner.


why do people cheat
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If you want a relationship void of cheating, or you want to prevent your partner from cheating on you, here are 21 best practices you must observe:

  1. Don’t be an over jealous partner.
  2. You both must understand each other.
  3. Respect your partner.
  4. Always go for occasional counseling.
  5. Be careful about your choice of friendship.
  6. Don’t be so materialistic.
  7. See your partner’s sexual weakness as yours too. Learn to flow along and help devise lasting solutions to your problem.
  8. Be self-disciplined.
  9. Have self-control.
  10. Do not make yourself vulnerable to the opposite sex. Be mindful of where you are, whom you visit and words you use while discussing with the opposite sex.
  11. Always be engaged in productive works. Never keep your mind idle for long; if you don’t have anything to do, read useful books.
  12. Be mindful of the nature of information you consume, whether from friends, relatives, or novels – learn to filter pieces of information that goes into your mind.
  13. Learn to satisfy your partner’s sexual desires. Do not be the “excuse type.”
  14. Always recreate yourself every day into what you were the first time you met your soulmate. Do not relax and leave your body careless because you think you’ve won their heart.
  15. Learn to use these short but kindful sentences: “I’m sorry,” “please forgive me,” “thank you,” “I love you,” etc. Sentences like this can do wonders to the heart of an angry partner.
  16. Keep your body always neat as though you are expecting a suitor.
  17. Make your partner your best friend. Play with each other always, crack jokes and go shopping together.
  18. Study the scriptures together with your partner – Pray together.
  19. For married women, be a good mother to your kids. Believe me, his loving you more for that.
  20. There’s nothing wrong with desiring big, but be contented with the available provisions.
  21. For the men, provide for your family; at least, provide their basic needs.


How do I stop cheating?

To stop cheating on your partner, there are a few major factors you must observe. These factors are not limited to:

  1. Self-discipline: To stop cheating, you need to start disciplining yourself from some habits that lures you to the act.
  2. Self-control: You need to train yourself to possess the ability to regulate your impulses. When you achieve this, then you will start having controls over sex drives and thereby reducing your craves for the temptation of cheating when your partner isn’t around.
  3. Quit from highness: Taking excessive alcohol and smoking to stupor can lead you into the temptation of cheating.
  4. Get busy: Keep yourself too busy that you won’t have time to cheat. Read books always and get yourself busy with house and office works.
  5. Stop flirting: Quit from flirting with the opposite sex

How do I make my partner stop cheating?

There are several reasons why your partner may cheat on you. To stop them from cheating, you need to discover what those reasons/problems are and put in all the effort necessary to make amends. When your partner sees change, they will naturally come back to you unless otherwise, there are other causes why they cheat beyond just you.

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