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The 5 main Causes of Infidelity


Infidelity can be both physical and emotional undermining of a relationship by a partner. There isn’t one set definition of infidelity. It can take different forms such as actual sex, fantasies about being another partner or sending romantic or intimate text messages to other people. There are also different triggers of infidelity; here are the 5 main causes:

Ego boost

People can get a considerable ego boost from someone else being romantically, or physically, interested in them. Infidelity can be seen as a form of attention seeking, the person being unfaithful is made to feel as if they have ‘still got it’, whether they are getting sexual benefits or just flirty texts. They may see having an affair as a challenge which brings with it excitement and a rush of adrenaline, as though it’s a game to win.

They may see having a lover as a personal status symbol, as though they are living the high life and have the best of both worlds- a comfortable supportive primary relationship and a sexual fling on the side. Infidelity can increase a person’s self esteem if they feel as though they’re not successful enough or don’t earn enough.[5 Reasons why are you craving attention]

Opportunistic infidelity

Instead of intentionally setting out to find someone to cheat with in a premeditated fashion, people can take advantage of situations or circumstances which they find themselves in that enable them to cheat in a low risk way. They might cheat just because they cheat at that time and feel that they may as well take up the opportunity.

Sexual dissatisfaction

If someone feels that they want more than what they are getting from their partner in terms of sexual satisfaction, they might seek it out from someone else. They may wish to fulfil sexual fantasies that they would be embarrassed to mention to their partner and fear that they would be judged, or would rather carry out with someone else as part of an exciting new sexual encounter. A person might feel that their youth is slipping away and as though want to ‘live a little’ and sow their seed. They may be curious to experience other sexual partners without any issues in their current sex life.  [That loving feeling has gone - now what?] 

Retaliation and Revenge

People might cheat to hurt their partner or get back at them if they partner has been unfaithful as a way of retaliating.[Marital affair- Can a relationship survive?] They may see infidelity as a weapon which gives them power to affect their partner and give them a taste of their own medicine. If they don’t get found out, the partner who is being unfaithful may enjoy getting one over on their other half while they are none the wiser. An affair may also be an act of rebellion; they may want to be unfaithful as a reaction to intimacy and communication issues in their relationship that they blame and resent their partner for.

Exit Strategy

They no longer want to be in a relationship but don’t want to broach a difficult subject and sit down with their partner and tell them so. They may feel it’s easier for them to cheat, so that the partner ends the relationship for them, instead of being honest and communicating how they feel.

These causes don’t justify infidelity but they go some way to explain what can cause it. Infidelity may be a quick fix for a person affected by these life issues or relationship problems but have a damaging and lasting consequence.

Some couples survive infidelity and others don’t, a relationship councillor can help people experiencing the aftermath of infidelity in their relationships and assist them to address and discuss the issue and decide the best way to move forward. In the meantime for relationship advice and bite sized strategies join now and visit our Video Moods section or chat to others who may have been there in our community, alternatively book a Skype session or phone call from the privacy of your own home with one of our relationship coaches.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.