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Why Do People Cheat?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneysThousands of couples end their relationship because of infidelity every year. For some, one incident of infidelity is enough to ruin a marriage. In other relationships, the person who cheated may have been given second or third chances to change their behavior and did not do so. Eventually one partner decides that the relationship cannot continue and files for divorce. Many famous celebrities and political figures have struggled with infidelity. Tiger Woods, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—just to name a few—have all been caught or admitted to being unfaithful to their spouses.

Risk vs. Reward

Recent research shows that 2-4% of spouses admit to cheating on their spouse in the last year. There are several schools of thought about why people cheat. A number of theories suggest that people weigh the costs and benefits of infidelity. If a couple has invested a lot of quality time together, their tendency to cheat will be less than that of couples who have not invested as much time into the relationship. Spouses calculate the risk verse the reward of cheating.

Genetic Factors

Some experts suggest that the urge to cheat has roots in human genetics, dating back thousands of generations. From an evolutionary point of view, males have a biological tendency to reproduce as much as possible. Females have a biological tendency to choose the most genetically desirable mates possible. Both of these concepts must be overcome in a traditional marriage relationship.  

Challenges to Fidelity

Many people cheat on their partner because of specific difficulties in the relationship. For example, those who have spouses in the military struggle to stay faithful. The long absences that occur when their spouses are on active duty or stationed far away from home makes them lonely and susceptible to the temptation to cheat. Some men and women are tempted to have an extramarital affair because of a lack of intimacy in their own relationship. Others cheat because they feel trapped in the marriage and see an affair as an escape. Some become engaged in extramarital activities because they feel bored and listless with their current situation.

Cheating and Divorce

Some couples can weather the storm of infidelity and move past it. It takes a tremendous amount of honest communication and time to move past the wrongdoing and heal the pain. Other couples simply cannot reconcile after an instance of infidelity. The spouse who was cheated on may feel betrayed and that they can never trust their partner again. The spouse who was the cheater may recognize that he or she cheated because he or she truly does not wish to be married anymore. Only those in the relationship can say for certain if cheating will be enough to cause a divorce.

If you are considering divorce because of an unfaithful spouse, our experienced Kane County divorce lawyers understand. We are compassionate and knowledgeable, and will help you navigate the divorce process. Call 847-426-1866 or 630-945-8807 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-cheating/2012/02/08/gIQANGdaBR_story.html?utm_term=.509cf1885c83

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/experimentations/201708/what-keeps-partners-cheating

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