It’s normal for a person hurt by infidelity to wonder, “Why did my partner cheat on me?” Cheating on one’s partner can feel like the ultimate betrayal, leading to a loss of trust. Being unfaithful to one’s partner by engaging in romantic or sexual relations can have a disastrous impact not only on the primary relationship but family and friends.

As the pattern of lying (whether outright or through omission) and deceit rears its ugly head, the primary relationship becomes infected and strained and, if left unresolved, leads to further deterioration. At some point, one or both partners must come to terms with the indiscretion in a bold, new way of truthfulness if repair is to occur.

Why Do Partners Cheat on Their Spouses?

The Reasons Why Partners Turn to Cheat

There are many reasons why people cheat, and the patterns are more complex than common stereotypes suggest. A new study on the reasons for infidelity (Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy) sheds light on the subject for us:

The investigation included 495 people (87.9 percent of whom identified as heterosexual), who were recruited through a participant pool at a large U.S. university and through Reddit message boards with relationship themes. The participants admitted to cheating spouse in their relationship and answered the question at the root of the mystery: Why did you do it? An analysis revealed eight key reasons: anger, self-esteem, lack of love, low commitment, need for variety, neglect, sexual desire, and situation or circumstance. These motivations not only influenced why people cheated but how long they did so.

Although knowing the reason for the infidelity won’t necessarily lessen the hurt, betrayal and loss of trust felt by one’s partner, getting to the root of why one’s partner went astray may be the first step towards eventual repair and rebuilding of the primary relationship.

Does an affair lead to the dissolution of one’s primary relationship?

Not necessarily. If partners are committed to exploring what happened and how to repair their relationship, there’s a good chance that their relationship can be salvaged.

marriage counseling

Psychotherapy for Cheating Partners

Few marital problems or relationship issues cause as much heartache and devastation as infidelity. The Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery offers a supportive, solution-focused, and evidence-based approach to helping couples explore their relationship problems, move past hurt and resentments, and reconnect with joy and purpose.

We offer both in-office and virtual counseling sessions and look forward to hearing from anyone in search of caring and compassionate help from a marriage therapist in Delray Beach, FL., or around the area.