Why do people cheat? [Signs of Cheating] – Scientific reasons and statistics about infidelity!
Just the thought of your husband cheating on you puts a bit of a pit in your stomach, right? He has been acting weird lately and you have been perpetually wondering if he has been unfaithful but you are too scared to say something or perhaps you are the one who is considering cheating and want some sort of scientific justification for these actions to give you peace of mind or at least to sluff the blame off of yourself and onto something else. Either way if you are reading this you want to know how it works and why it works and why you feel so miserable after you have done it.
Why do people cheat on their partners? This is an important question to consider and one that, no matter how hard and long we search, will ever be entirely applicable in the same ways to all cheaters.
General reasons for infidelity
Why do men/women cheat? Is he/she cheating on you? These are questions that mostly all women wonder at some point in their lives. There are many reasons for infidelity and all of them will vary depending on the person. We’ll take a closer look and unpack these reasons in a little bit but for now here are a few general reasons for infidelity:
- Sexual dissatisfaction and lack of sexual exploration in current relationship (mostly felt by men)
- Emotional disconnection (mostly felt by women)
- The feeling that all of the magic between a couple has suddenly become mundane, boring, routine and repetitive
- Lack of time spent bonding, hanging out and simply communicating with your partner can create a void that spouses desire to fill elsewhere, most commonly with someone they already know in their workplace
Infidelity statistics and quick facts
Why do men cheat? Here are a few quick statistics about infidelity to get you thinking and prime your mind for what’s next in our conversation:
- 56% of men who had affairs said that they were happy in their marriages while they were having an affair
- Men are more likely to cheat because they are sexually unsatisfied with their wives, whereas women are more likely to cheat because they are emotionally unsatisfied with their husbands
- Women are more likely to “jump ship” and terminate their primary relationship if they are having an affair because they are mentally and emotionally disengaged with their partners, whereas men are more inclined to “supplement” their primary relationship with extramarital affairs and have little intentions of actually leaving their wives
As someone who has both cheated and has been cheated on, this topic is very important and interesting to me. The following article draws upon the voices of a dozen researchers and is scientifically rooted in studies, surveys and personal experiences. We’ll dive into what the experts are saying, give you a few warnings signs of infidelity and lay out the facts fairly straightforward. Not all of it will be easy to stomach, but it sure is interesting. Ready?
Reasons for male/female infidelity
Like we have previously mentioned, there are numerous reasons for both male and female infidelity. While these reasons may vary and may be extremely different depending on your situation, there is no doubt that it always hurts. Infidelity is quite common, that's for sure, and we often hear people talking about it like they're changing their underwear--like it's this normal every day thing, but is it really?
Should infidelity be disregarded as something less than difficult, painful and problematic? While finding out that your spouse is cheating on you is never easy, it may not always be for reasons that are as bad as you think they are.
What experts are saying about infidelity
What are professionals saying about infidelity? How is infidelity evolving and changing? Is it becoming more or less common? These are just a few of the questions that have been on the table for discussion when it comes to infidelity and cheating.
1. Cheating is more than sex
Experts have identified cheating as more than a mere physical act. Cheating is considered to be anything that betrays the trust of a significant other. This betrayal of trust could be anything from a secret cyber relationship, to having regular sexual fantasies with other women, engaging in the physical act of cheating, and all sorts of emotional correspondences such as sending emails, texts, making phone calls, calling each other nicknames, writing each other letters, etc. Cheating is definitely more than just having sex with someone other than your spouse.
2. Men cheat to “fix” their marriages
More than 50% of men admit to being really happy (and even in love) with their wives while having an affair with another woman, or with multiple women. When you and your partner are having problems one of the less intelligent ways men tend to deal with and process their problems is to literally remove themselves from the situation, which means placing themselves with someone else.
This rarely works
Family therapist, Susan Mandel, PhD., says that men tend to have a skewed notion that being sexually intimate with another woman will make their longing for “something more” disappear. Having sex with someone else is a way for men to get out of their heads, forget about the issues at home, and get into their bodies where everything feels deceptively good for a period of time. Of course this doesn’t always work out the way most men hoped it would, but they go on thinking it will and they go on trying to live happily ever after with their wives while fucking their mistress and without confronting the real issues.
3. Emotional cheating can feel worse than sexual cheating
(and sometimes it is) "Online cheating—without any physical contact—is the most damaging type of infidelity," says Orlando. Ever since social media became one of our main forms of communication, emotional infidelity has been on the rise and is actually more common among females. For females, becoming emotionally involved with another person usually means that they’ve already given up on their marriage. Men, on the other hand, tend to remain more emotionally invested and tend to think of themselves as more emotionally faithful and prefer physical (sexual) infidelity. For women affairs tend to become about attachment; for men they become a series of hurtful mistakes.
4. Men usually cheat with women that they know
Mary Jo Rapini, a sexual intimacy expert, has noted that (extramarital) "relationships are usually friendships first." In fact, according to an article written by Focus on the Family, more than 60% of affairs begin in the workplace and happen with someone that he knows, talks with and sees on a regular basis. If you think about it on a practical level this makes sense. Work occupies 40 to 50 hours of our weeks and we tend to spend more time with our coworkers than we do together as couples.
5. Stay away from stupid men
We’re not kidding; they’re actually more likely to have an affair. Research conducted by Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Political Science analyzed thousands of American teenagers and adults. The results: "More intelligent men are more likely to value monogamy and sexual exclusivity than less intelligent men." While his conclusions seem pretty straightforward we aren’t encouraging women to hand their hubbies an IQ test as a prerequisite to determining fidelity.
Dr. Kanazawa says that sexual exclusivity can be read like an evolving novel that contains in its earlier chapters, men who were programed to be promiscuous, have multiple partners, be fruitful and multiply and to do it all proudly. Its later chapters, however, contain no immediate or social advantages to having multiple sexual partners.
The correlation and relationship between intelligence and monogamy then, specifically for men, has its origins in evolutionary development. Today men aren’t necessarily being told (and encouraged) to sleep with many women. This is evidenced by the words we associate with such acts: cheating, infidelity, affair.
What are the signs of infidelity?
Signs of infidelity are hard to pin down because everyone explores in a different way. There are, however, a few signs that experts have identified as routine:
Change in sexual behavior
One of the main signs of infidelity is your man getting super frisky and hot for you after you’ve gone a while without any action. Sleeping with “her” will spike his sexual interest and unleash his formerly dormant sexual desires. Pay attention to behaviors that seem inconsistent and abnormal and expect things to settle back down to “normal,” (i.e. no sex) when he’s become totally disengaged with your marriage and totally into life with her.
Boredom is another common reason why both men and women begin to seek satisfaction and excitement elsewhere. When things start to settle down and life becomes somewhat routine, men are more likely to look for something to “spice things up” again. This is common in middle-age where the majority of a couple’s time is spent at work, taking care of the kids, attending their soccer games and sporting events, packing lunches in a brown paper bag and cleaning up piles of puke at night. When put plainly, like that, there is definitely a lot more “care taking” then there is “sex making” going on.
Creating spaces to be intentionally together, setting aside spaces specifically to make love and having plenty of “children-less” moments are crucial to rekindling the romance and passion in a relationship that has reached this stage.
“Even though we’re making love, it is not passionate.” This is a common phrase heard by many therapists and spoken by many individuals who have felt the energy and life leave their relationship or their marriage. Affairs can be complex, messy and painful. Affairs have the power to make or break a marriage and they happen for a million different reasons. They are not easy but they are something that you and your partner can work through and something that, if you are willing and wanting, you and your partner can also avoid.