Infidelity. A breach of trust. An act of sin. An unforgivable betrayal. Often, the end of a relationship. When a partner cheats on us, it is almost inevitable that we unconsciously sit through a drudging tape of precious memories and feelings tainted with the bitter smoke of betrayal. As a wallowing sense of self-doubt, shame and remorse looms over us, it seems impossible to avoid all the negative emotions and thoughts that seem to envelope us.
Given the immense distress it can cause onto loved ones, it is puzzling to understand why our loved ones choose to put us through so much pain. In fact, it is unclear why cheating has remained - since the beginning of human life - a constant reminder that a forever love can not exist. As the heart and mind weigh in the options, it is natural to wonder why do people cheat and what causes infidelity.
To gain some perspective, it is important to understand what infidelity means. Infidelity is the break of an oath. It is in some ways, the break of the social norms of commitment and solidarity towards a beloved partner. Infidelity is not always or only about sex, it is so much more than that. Infidelity/cheating can occur in many forms. Here are the basic criteria for an act to be considered as infidelity in marriage or in a relationship:
- It includes an emotional connection and sexual attraction
- It de-prioritizes spouse and prioritizes the third party
- Emotional dependency on the third person
- Financial secrecy and cheating
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Correlates of Infidelity:
Couples engaged in affairs reported:
- Less time and less enjoyment in time spent together
- Heading towards separation and divorce
- Problems with trust
- Narcissism in the cheating partner
Causes of Infidelity:
- Individual reasons, such as a character or personality trait: It is important to understand that if you were the one cheated on, you are NOT responsible for your partner making the decision to cheat. You are not to blame for your partner's behaviour. It was his/her choice to do so. In some cases, it could be his/her personality trait ,Few personality traits and mental illnesses may pull the individual into infidelity, Having an episode of mania or substance abuse; a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder; and sex addiction can increase chances of infidelity.
- Relationship reasons, such as relationship dissatisfaction: Many people are involved in an extramarital relationship because of frustration in their marriage or relationship. He/she may have made several attempts to solve the problem to no avail. or perhaps,the individual lacks the skill of effective communication to express their feelings and needs.They may get involved with another person to fulfil their needs a as an act of revenge.
- Situational reasons, such as being in a situation that puts one at risk for cheating: Few might not cheat regularly or intentionally, but it could be a lack of impulse control. At other times, it could be caused by rare chances, that the individual grabs hold of. (e.g., living away from a partner in a different country or state).
Reasons Why a Spouse Has an Affair: Causes of Infidelity
- Conflict Avoidance and Unresolved problems
- Sexless marriage or due to sexual addiction
- Childhood baggage or financial pressures
- Career problems
- Looking for excitement or passion or a one-night stand
- Get a self-esteem boost or thrill of the chase
- As a way to end an unhappy marriage — an exit strategy
- Feeling neglected or a "cry for help"
- Feeling trapped or Insecure
- Hormonal changes
- Is a serial/chronic cheater.
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