It could be said that just about any relationship is in danger of an affair. Depending on the source, somewhere around 50 percent of all relationships will succumb to the fate infidelity. If you think you could never be part of these statistics, so do most people who end up among these numbers. It doesn’t matter how good-hearted, stable, honest, faithful, committed, and loving you’re partner is, they are still capable of fault.
Many things can happen in a relationship to trigger the need for a partner to turn towards infidelity, such as a lack of intimacy, communication, or attraction. While the cheater is often the most chastised for a fallen partnership (and should be in most cases), it should be noted that it takes two to create an environment susceptible to cheating. To safeguard your relationship, you need to know why people cheat, and how to discourage it. Here are six common rationales given for cheating, and suggestions on how to respond.
1. Because I’m Bored
Many relationships become less exciting, romantic, and intimate over time. Perhaps the couple married too young and now one partner wants to experiment, or maybe they are under the impression that everybody else is doing it anyway. Research suggests most couples think cheating is more prevalent than it is. Many thrill-seekers do it simply because they can get away with it. Perhaps they’ve tested the waters without repercussion, and now have decided to wade even deeper into the pits of infidelity.
Don’t let your relationship get boring. A good relationship takes work. Never tolerate any amount of straying. You can’t give some people an inch, or they will take a mile. Set expectations, and uphold them like a mother lion protecting her den.
2. Because I Want to Get Caught
This cheater has a lot of issues. They are dependent on their partner, whether out of loneliness, identity, or financial support, and they obviously lack the courage to face their partner and tell them they want out. While they may not be able to bring themselves to break off the relationship, their body is doing its best to do it for them. Sometimes this form of infidelity can also be driven by the same type of pleasure as derived from sex in public.
This person is very dangerous. Not only do they have zero regard for their partner, but they are completely focused on their own needs, rather than what’s best for the relationship. If you don’t face this person right away, this behavior could go on indefinitely. Seek counseling immediately, but if it is too late to salvage, just walk away.
3. Because You Hurt Me
Some people truly believe that you reap what you sew (an eye for an eye), or so they hope. Others would rather take it upon themselves to dole out the punishment. This is revenge pure and simple, with the primary purpose to get back at a partner for cheating or hurting them in a way they perceive as similar.
Again, counseling is an option, though odds are not in your favor when your partner is so blatantly passive-aggressive. Whatever you do, don’t lower yourself to their level. If you really want to even the score, just move on with your life and find true happiness elsewhere.
4. Because You Aren’t Attracted to Me Anymore
These couples often have gone across the seven year itch, and no longer feel attractive to each other. Sometimes this occurs when one partner’s need for intimacy goes unmet, their libido is higher, or they are more ‘adventurous’ than the other. These cheaters justify themselves by their partner’s diminished interests. They are lonely, seeking attention, and looking for an ego boost. Sometimes this can be tied to a midlife crisis, or it could be that a wild, fantasy romp is all they really want.
This form of infidelity is often caused by a lack of communication. If a partner is unhappy, it should be addressed immediately. Many couples count on love to keep each other from straying, but sometimes love isn’t enough. Show your partner you care by taking the time to understand what they need. The right response might lead to renewed romance, if the cheated-on partner can truly forgive, and if the cheater is genuinely remorseful and really wants to make things work.
5. Because I’m Avoiding Intimacy
This is often one of the biggest shocks among couples, reason being that most people think an affair is born out of lack of intimacy, rather than the means to avoid it. Studies have shown that partners who exhibit an unhealthy phobia for intimacy are more prone to cheating, so they can avoid becoming too close to their chosen partner. In this case, it has nothing to do with their partner, and everything to do with their fear of commitment.
This person requires relationship counseling. There is nothing you can do if they don’t want to help themselves. They need to learn how to be comfortable with intimacy and love, which are the core, fundamental building blocks of any relationship.
6. Because I was Intoxicated
This excuse is in reference to the cheater not being within their right mind during the time of the crime, so it’s really not their fault.
Tell it to the judge … the divorce court judge. Seriously, get this person some help, but be ready to walk if this becomes a regular thing. It’s far more likely that they used the alcohol as a means to justify behavior they had already planned to pursue, than that they were too blitzed to be aware of what was happening.