Causes of Infidelity: Identify Potential Problems Before Cheating Occurs

Some may argue the causes of infidelity are not causes but rather excuses or the rationalizations for being unfaithful to your significant other. However you prefer to explain the betrayal of a once loved one, the reasons why men cheat and the answers to why do women cheat are many and varied, and you can always find a way to rationalize an affair.

Common Causes of Infidelity

The common answers to why a person seeks an intimate relationship with someone other than the partner with whom they have had a committed union include:

  • Love - I am in love: A skeptical response is that you thought he or she was in love when he or she entered into your relationship. According to a study that recorded the responses of 55 women and 22 men by psychologist Dr. Julia Omarzu, falling in love with another person is one of the major causes of infidelity.

  • Sex - I am a sex addict: Although some psychiatrists are waiting for the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual to include hypersexuality, many believe sexual addiction is a real illness. Psychiatrists maintain it is not about having sex with a particular person, it is a compulsion to have sex with anyone and the sex occurs more frequently when the addict is stressed or depressed.
  • Lonely - I am lonely: Loneliness results from actual physical separation such as long military deployments or emotional separation, which is the loss of connection from your partner who may be in the bed by your side. The new relationship fills the void that has crept into the once committed relationship and is another one of the major causes of infidelity.

  • Boredom - I am bored: It takes work to keep a relationship exciting as time passes and it is easier to get excited about someone new. Boredom can be about what happens in the bedroom or when the general day to day chores and routines become stifling. The excitement of sneaking around and the surprises a new person brings to a relationship bring back the zest to daily life.

Emotional Neglect

When one or both partners no longer offers physical or mental support and assistance, which may mean no affectionate pats on the arm or any kind words, emotional neglect occurs. It is difficult to recognize sometimes, as no one is abusing or even criticizing the other, yet something is definitely lacking in the relationship.

Emotional neglect is also very individualized as the level of emotional support a person needs varies from person to person. When one person who needs a lot of positive feedback begins a committed relationship with someone who needs very little, the potential for a disconnect increases.

Mid Life Crisis

Mid life crisis most frequently refers to that time in your life, when you realize you are not a kid anymore and feel that your are missing something, and frequently, it is a reason to buy a new sports car, try sky diving or sadly cited as one of the causes of infidelity.

Elaine Wethington, a Cornell sociologist, believes that less than 20% of people actually experience mid life crisis but rather a real life crisis occurs such as death of a loved one or loss of a job during their middle years.

Habitual Cheater

When looking for causes of cheating in a relationship, you need to ask the question: what-is-a-habitual-cheater? The habitual cheater has a long history of cheating and has multiple affairs while his or her partner believes he or she is in a monogamous relationship. In order for this type of cheater to change, he or she has to want to change and be willing to face the reason or reasons why he or she continues to behave this way.

According to a study group of predominately women, the most common causes of infidelity were their once committed relationship was not satisfying their emotional or sexual needs, or they fell in love with someone else. Keeping in mind what attracted you to your partner in the first place, working to keep things interesting and staying connected to your significant other, are the preventative actions that may help you and your partner avoid infidelity.

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