Cheating is a violation of the relationship agreement. It is the greatest relationship killer, even greater than finances. Some would say this violation goes beyond repair and even a deal-breaker. Although the reasons for cheating are different for each person, the reasons can be rather complex.
What’s at the root of the cheating mystery and why would one cheat? Studies have found that at the root are several reasons: a lack of love or commitment, anger, neglect, sexual desire, self-esteem, a need for variety or it was circumstantial. The motivation is not the same for everyone, and why they cheat can determine how long they cheat, if they told their primary partner, and if their primary relationship ended as a result.
Cheating likely involves sex, but often isn’t just about sex. Most may have felt an emotional attachment to their affair partner, but it is much greater in those who experienced a lack of love or neglect from their primary partner relationship. There’s no surprise that the less connection to their primary partner they had, they felt the affair fulfilled that need. When infidelity is connected to those experiencing a lack of love in their primary relationship, they found the affair relationship more emotionally and intellectually satisfying.
Cheating is rarely about the other person in the primary relationship and more about the person who is choosing the infidelity. We all have needs from our primary relationship and when they aren’t being met, that’s when one looks outside to fulfill that need. If the one who has been cheated on could see from this lens they may feel less like a victim. Then maybe it could release some of the tension and you could begin to have communication time if you desire to repair the relationship. In the case of infidelity, I recommend at least once a week or more for a designated day of uninterrupted communication time.
Satisfaction with sex while cheating differs depending on the reason for their affair. If lack of love or a need for variety was desired then sex is reported to be more fulfilling while cheating. Unlike cheating which was circumstantial.
Only half of the cheaters have reported having vaginal penetration sex. In fact, more than 80% were kissing and at least 70% were cuddling. One would have to define what is cheating to them and what is your personal deal-breaker. In the cases of kissing or cuddling, these primary relationships usually survive the affair.
Short affairs usually involve circumstantial situations such as being drunk or feeling overwhelmed. If it’s revenge they seek, the cheating will likely be short and the cheater is likely to be ok with getting caught. It’s noted that these affairs don’t usually share emotions or “I love you’s.” Men tend to have shorter affairs than women on average. Women are more inclined to confess to their infidelity than men, especially if it were out of neglect or anger in the relationship. If they cheat out of variety or desire for sex then the cheater is less likely to fess up. Rarely do affairs lead to a committed relationship, roughly only about 10%.
Typically the relationship breakdown is due to non-communication. It sounds simple, but can be a relationship-saver. What motivated the cheating is a greater factor than the act itself if the primary relationship is to survive. Neglect, lack of love, and anger are less likely to survive than other motives. Surprisingly, about 80% of relationships survive a cheating partner. This shows cheating doesn’t always end in a break-up, but there is communication and even therapy involved to make a healthy relationship last.