If the answer to this question were clear cut and consistent from couple to couple, the statistics on divorce would not be hovering comfortably around the 50% mark. Yes, research shows that as many as half of all marriages over the course of a decade end in divorce. And even for couples that don’t divorce, infidelity rates among men are at around 76% and 44% for women. The problem with these figures is that they are dependant upon people being honest about infidelity, which as you can imagine is not exactly reliable.
So, why do spouses cheat? If they know at some point, they are going to get caught and that in can rupture the family unit like a baby does the uterus, why would people still put so much energy into cheating. The web of lies, the constant conniving and manipulation not to mention the stress that it can put on a person who is trying to get away with adding a third person to a marriage. What makes matters worse is that most people who cheat still love their spouses and don’t necessarily do so to find a quick escape from an unhappy marriage. No, the reasons for cheating are different from that.
One of the reasons that people cheat is because of boredom. Just as a child gets tired of toys after a year or so or grows out of their bike and wants another – adults can be just as unhappy with the same old same old, day in and day out. Often, couples forget to make the other person in their life feel that zing and zest that comes with new attraction and lust. When that is gone, men and women can feel like they are no longer desirable. Often cheating starts out with a flirtation that quite simply just feels good. However, it can quickly escalate to sexual infidelity among other things. This other person makes you feel the way your husband or wife used to make you feel – and it feels good! Let’s be frank – after ten or so years together (or even less) sex can become monotonous, and the excitement of constantly trying to please one another wears off. Things become comfortable – and while this comfort is also stable and predictable, it can be a little bit boring. The worst thing is that this is an easy fix in relationships that can step out of their life roles of being a parent, employee, or spouse and easily trust their partner with their inner thoughts.
The disappointing thing is that this isn’t an excuse for cheating at all. Instead, this happens because so many people are unaware of the neurological evolution of relationships. What you feel in the beginning, when your partner could do no wrong and looked appealing with morning breath – is in reality a chemical reaction in the brain. Shortly after (6 months later), this chemical reaction settles back to normal (thankfully) and while you still adore, love and constantly crave the other person – you aren’t fueled by maniacal hormones. This physiological aspect of falling in love is rooted in our primitive and animalistic tendencies and can be compared to a dog going into heat. That doesn’t sound very romantic at all. The problem comes because so few people understand that this initial state of relationships, where everything is exciting and exhilarating, wears off and that what is left – are things that real marriages and friendships are based on. This means that responsibility, pressures, and real life cave in and you are no longer blinded by out of control hormones. To make matters worse, this happens to every human! There is no way around it. But it feels like a let down. And so some people choose to cheat to reignite the fire within.
Boredom is not the only reasons why spouses cheat.
Many cheat because they want to feel like a kid again, because they feel trapped in a life that is too consistent. Others cheat because they have an insatiable appetite for being with new people. Some people cheat simply because they can, and the adrenaline rush that comes with it is as addicting as a new drug. Some people cheat because they want to get back at their spouse for something, while others are just plain selfish and defiant, not wanting to be governed by any rules of marriage or otherwise. There are plenty of people who cheat without really intending to do so. And to make matters worse, today’s world gives plenty of more platforms to cheat on. Emotional cheating is just as catastrophic as actually sleeping with someone else.
Above all reasons why people cheat, there is one underlying condition that is necessary. A lack. This lack could be thousands of things and ALWAYS also includes a lack of effective communication. At a certain time in a marriage, either because people get too tired or have too many crosses in their relationship to bear, couples stop talking. When the talking and communicating end – people begin to feel lonely and they look outside of their relationships for things and people to fill the lacks in their life. Eventually, this will lead to someone else – which can easily lead to cheating.
Here’s the thing. Most of us in fairly comfortable relationships should know better. We should know that given ten years with anyone, things will get sort of sickeningly cozy. But rather than search outside of ourselves or outside of the relationship to improve it – and instead committing to searching within for the missing elements, the problems can usually be overcome and the relationship can become even better than it was in those hot and heavy days. Cheating is never the answer to lack – it rather complicates things and is potentially fatal to a relationship. Before you add another person to your relationship, it is best to either fix what is broken or at the very least be honest about what you are feeling and planning to do. In marriage, regardless of who is right, who is wrong or who is at the metaphorical fault – cheating is not the way to get a conversation flowing.