Infidelity—or cheating on a partner—is alarmingly common, but knowing you’re not alone doesn’t make you feel any better. When infidelity hits close to home, it can be devastating. So why do people cheat in relationships and what does cheating say about a person?
Psychological Facts About Cheating
Several infidelity studies have uncovered common psychological risk factors among those who cheat. Childhood neglect, abuse, or a parent who cheated can interfere with one’s ability to maintain a committed relationship. Mental health issues like addiction, narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder, and bipolar disorder are also associated with an increased risk of cheating.
Why Do We Cheat on Someone We Love?
Here’s a look at 10 reasons why a person might commit what many consider the ultimate act of betrayal.
1. Sexual Dissatisfaction
Sex is an important way for couples to connect and be intimate. If a woman declines sex often, her partner may feel “unloved.” And women may cheat because they feel emotionally disconnected from their spouse during sex and other aspects of their life as a couple.
More often than men, women may feel like their spouse doesn’t appreciate them, compliment them enough, or show much interest in their pursuits.
3. Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem is closely associated with unhappiness and neglect. A partner may sleep with someone else to bolster their sense of self-worth.
4. Lack of Love or Investment
Maintaining a loving relationship over many years takes work. Some people don’t want to make that effort or simply fall out of love, causing them to seek it elsewhere.
Craving variety and/or acting on sexual fantasies can lead to cheating.
Feeling bored and seeking variety go hand in hand. The thrill of the chase and overwhelming passion associated with newfound love can cause serial cheating.
While this reason is more common in middle-aged men, either party may claim they cheated because their spouse has “let themselves go.” When men justify this behavior, it’s not uncommon for them to put the blame on their partner.
8. Lack of Commitment
A study published in 2018 found that individuals who were less committed to their relationship were more likely to cheat.
Traveling frequently on business can cause the urge to seek extramarital sex. The temptation more easily presents itself, and the risk of discovery is slim.
10. Meeting Someone Else
A partner may meet someone else by chance or because they were looking for something that was missing in the relationship. This reason is often the most devastating and the one that nearly always ends the marriage.
While you can’t prevent a person from cheating, knowing the warning signs before you get into a relationship is a good first step. Once you’re in a committed relationship, it’s important to maintain a mutually satisfying sex life and be empathetic to your partner’s needs and interests as they change over time.
If you’re concerned about a partner’s faithfulness, reach out to DNA Diagnostics Center to learn more about the DDC Infidelity DNA Test. This analysis gives you peace of mind by either confirming or disproving your suspicions through semen detection and matching. If you suspect your partner’s infidelity resulted in an unexpected bundle of joy, the DNA Paternity Test will help determine if you are the parent.