What Causes a Person to Cheat in a Marriage?

cheating in a marriage

When considering the causes of infidelity in marriage, it’s crucial to understand that this behaviour often stems from a multitude of factors, and each situation is unique.

Why do married people cheat?

Cheating is a choice, and while certain elements can contribute to the likelihood of someone engaging in this behaviour, they don’t justify or excuse it.

Here are 11 common factors that might lead to infidelity in a marriage:

Unmet Emotional Needs

: Feeling emotionally neglected, unloved, or unappreciated can drive a person to seek emotional connection and validation outside their marriage.

Lack of Intimacy

: A decline in both physical and emotional intimacy can lead to feelings of disconnection, prompting one partner to look for intimacy elsewhere.

Opportunity and Temptation

: Cheating can sometimes be a matter of circumstance, such as being away from a partner for long periods, where the individual may give in to temptation if it presents itself.

Issues with Self-Esteem

: Engaging in an affair might be a way for some individuals to boost their self-esteem, feeling more desired or validated outside their marriage.

Seeking Excitement or Escape

: A person might cheat to find excitement or novelty, especially if they view their marriage as mundane or stressful, using infidelity as a form of escapism.

Communication Breakdown

: Inadequate communication can lead to unresolved conflicts and unexpressed feelings, creating a fertile ground for infidelity.

Lack of Commitment

: If one partner isn’t fully committed to the marriage, they may be more likely to engage in infidelity. This could be due to doubts about the relationship or unresolved personal issues.

Influence of Substance Abuse

: The use of alcohol or drugs can impair judgment and decision-making, potentially leading to infidelity.

History of Infidelity

: A person who has a history of cheating in previous relationships might be more prone to repeating this behaviour.

Cultural and Social Factors

: The influence of societal norms, peer pressure, and cultural attitudes towards marriage and infidelity can also play a significant role.

Personal Moral and Ethical Values

: An individual’s moral and ethical standards can significantly influence their decision-making, including the likelihood of cheating.

Read more: Infidelity: A Deep Dive into Types, Causes, & Effects

In situations where infidelity occurs, it is often beneficial for the couple to seek professional guidance, such as marriage counselling, to address the underlying issues and work towards healing, should they decide to stay together.

Understanding the context and reasons behind infidelity is crucial for effectively addressing the problem.