Cheating in relationships is a betrayal that can break trust, cause emotional distress and lead to the end of that relationship. Cheating can ruin a marriage, make it impossible for that person to trust potential romantic partners, it can harm your children, and even result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Although most adults believe cheating on a partner is wrong, still 39 to 52% of the population find themselves guilty of it at some point in their lives also, for developing a more comprehensive understanding of cheating, gaining insights into one’s motives & factors is important.
Exploring the Diverse Motivations for Infidelity
According to the psychiatrist and author of ‘Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat’, Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, “There are various reasons why people cheat”. To make this even more complicated, what ‘counts’ as cheating for you may or may not be the case for your partner. According to Dr. Rosenberg, emotional affairs should not be undervalued because they can be just as damaging, despite the fact that sexual relationships are frequently seen as the worst types of betrayals.
However, according to a 2017 article in the Journal of Sex Research: personal issues or beliefs; problems with the partner or with the overall relationship; and situational factors like alcohol excess or easy availability of dating sites are the three major categories of cheating while examining the total of eight motivating factors also, this study was conducted on 495 participants who had cheated on a romantic partner through an online survey about their motivations.
In this article, we will explore the major underpinning motives, factors and strategies for cheating.
Motives Behind Cheating:
- Lack of Emotional Support: Feeling a void in the relationship leads to a lack of emotional support and fulfilment.
- Unfulfilled Sexual Desires: Unresolved sexual conflicts, lack of communication in sexual desires or fantasies and sexual dissatisfaction are some of the leading motivations behind cheating.
- Actions in Revenge: Revenge against the partner is also one of the leading motives to involve an individual in cheating.
- Low self-esteem: Low self-esteem people are often involved in cheating behavior due to seeking validation from outside.
- Boredom: People who seek novelty in the relationship are more inclined towards cheating and, this happens due to the lack of expression of love.
- Distorted Body Image: Lack of confidence in one’s body image due to ageing is one of the leading motives towards cheating.
- Substance Addiction: Substances like alcohol, drugs, etc. may play a major role in one’s life to cross the line in dizziness.
- Insecure Attachment: Insecurity in attachment between the relationships leads to mistrust and cheating.
- Childhood Trauma: A history of physical, mental, or sexual abuse leads to cheating as a mechanism to escape unresolved conflicts.
- Exposure to Cheating in Childhood: One’s previous experience with it can lead to a higher risk of cheating.
- Psychological Disorder: Some mental disorders, such as bipolar affect one’s ability to think and perceive leading to a higher risk of cheating in a relationship.
- Psychological Problems: People with personality disorders or narcissistic traits are more likely to cheat because their ego drives them to pursue self-centred relationships with a sense of entitlement.
- Addiction to Sex: Sex addiction leads to dissatisfaction in sexual life, increasing the chances of cheating in a relationship.
Addressing the Factors:
- Communication is the key: Genuine and open communication is the key to addressing emotional and sexual dissatisfaction in a relationship. Creating a safe space to talk about your feelings leads to strengthening the bond.
- Spending Quality time: Spending quality time while actively listening to one another promotes emotional intimacy and fulfilment in the relationship.
- Discussing Sexual Desires: Discussing sexual desires and preferences of each other to ensure sexual satisfaction.
- Addressing Requirements: Addressing each other awareness and support requirements leads to boosting self-esteem and confidence.
- Putting Efforts: Resolving conflicts effectively and putting efforts on both sides is the key to a healthy relationship.
Strategies to Consider:
- Setting Clear Limits: Establishing clear boundaries and respecting what is acceptable and what is not in a relationship is important to consider.
- Seeking Professional Help: Considering professional help in need can work as a guidance tool for couples.
- Trust Building: Building the foundation of trust to resolve conflicts and share anything works as a wonder in a relationship.
- Involving Forgiveness: Forgiveness for a partner’s past mistakes opens the door for honest communication.
Couples facing cheating during relationships encounter a complex issue driven by various motives and factors. However, understanding these underpinning reasons and addressing them actively, prevents cheating and one’s healing. Genuine and open communication, emotional fulfilment, and respecting each other boundaries are essential components in maintaining healthy and trustful relationships. Navigating complexities faced during the course of a relationship leads to strengthening the bond as well as fulfilling one’s desire.