Why Do People Have Affairs? (It’s Not Just Men That Cheat) 

We often view cheating as something only men do, but in reality, it’s quite common for both men and women to have affairs. 

The reason why someone might choose to have an affair is extremely varied, meaning there is no way to narrow cheating down to just one type of person. Both men and women can cheat in their relationships, but often men are accused of doing it more. 

Sometimes people cheat because they are unhappy and unfulfilled in their relationships, so they seek comfort from someone else.

“The percentage of married women having affairs rose almost 40 percent from 1990 to 2010, reaching 14.7%, while the number of men admitting to extramarital affairs held constant at around 22%”, according to data from the National Opinion Research Centre’s General Social Survey. 

This statistic demonstrates that it is not just men who are having affairs, but it doesn’t explain the reason why so many people are choosing to love outside of their marriage. 

There are many reasons why some people choose to explore an extramarital affair, and it is not always a bad thing! Sometimes an affair can reignite the spark in a dull relationship. 

In this article, we will go over some reasons why people have affairs. You may find some of the reasons interesting, so keep on reading to find out more!

Why Do People Have Affairs When They Are in a Committed Relationship? 

One of the first questions to ask when someone finds themselves in the position of being unfaithful is why? Seeking an affair is not usually something that happens overnight; it can be a feeling that has been building for some time. 

This is why it is so nuanced when we ask why people have affairs.

The answer to this question varies with each relationship, so let’s explore some of the reasons why people choose to have an affair when they are in a committed relationship. 

Lack of Intimacy 

One of the primary reasons for affairs is a lack of intimacy in the relationship. When you have been with someone for a long time, it is easy for the relationship to turn a bit stale and for both of you to lack intimacy. 

Intimacy is a crucial part of any healthy relationship, so it is easy to see why people seek that intimacy elsewhere. 

Emotional Disconnect 

Another common reason for cheating is an emotional disconnect in the relationship. Communication is essential for any healthy relationship and if you are unable to communicate your emotions with your partner, then you may seek comfort from someone else. 

Having an affair gives you a chance to connect with someone emotionally again and have your emotional needs met.

Low Self-Esteem 

People who have low self-esteem are more likely to cheat as they may feel like their partner doesn’t love them. When you have low self-esteem, it is very easy to get caught up in your own feelings and assume that your partner doesn’t love or cherish you. 

While this may not be accurate, exploring an affair can help you boost your self-esteem, so it is easy to see why so many people have an extramarital affair. 

Need for Variety 

Some people may feel the need for variety in their relationships. This could manifest itself through physical or emotional affairs. Being with one person for the rest of your life may sound ideal for some people, but for others, monogamy doesn’t float their boat. 

While you can have some variety in a marriage, exploring an affair opens up so many other options for you, which can give you a chance to experience more variety in your love life. 

The Psychology Behind Cheating 

Many people have affairs to fill a void they feel in their current relationships, often due to a lack of emotional or physical connection. When people feel that their current relationship is unfulfilling and not meeting their needs, they will often seek that fulfilment elsewhere. 

Having an affair can sometimes be an effective way of bringing some excitement back into their life. If you know that you do not have an emotional or physical connection with your current partner, you may find that you can make this connection by having an affair. 

The idea of being monogamous and staying with your partner forever is very much a social norm. Having an affair can be a way to show that you do not conform to societal norms and that you prefer to seek your excitement elsewhere. 

Cheating can also be an expression of power and domination, as well as a way for some people to rebel against social norms and values. 

Signs to Look Out For if You Suspect Your Partner is Having an Affair 

If you are suspicious that your partner is having an affair, there are a few signs to look out for. While some people find it easy to hide when having an affair, others are less inconspicuous. There are a few obvious signs that could indicate your partner is having an affair, so let’s explore some of these signs. 

1. Changes in Appearance 

If you notice your partner is suddenly making a lot more effort in terms of their physical appearance, it could signify that they are having an affair. Wanting to dress up and look nice could mean that they are going out and meeting other people. 

If your partner usually doesn’t care about their appearance and then suddenly starts making an effort, they might be trying to impress someone else. 

2. No Longer Spending Time Together 

If your partner is suddenly spending less time with you and making excuses, this could signify that something is wrong. Not wanting to spend time together is always a red flag, but if you have noticed that they are making a lot of half-hearted excuses as to why they can’t spend time with you, then there is a real possibility that they are having an affair. 

In a healthy relationship, you should want to spend lots of time together, so pay attention to any excuses they make to not hang out. 

3. Lying and Keeping Secrets 

If your partner is lying to you and hiding things, this may signify an affair. Lying is a huge red flag in a relationship, so if you notice that your partner has been lying or hiding things from you, you should take this as a bad sign. 

Wanting to hide things from you could mean they are worried about you finding out about their affair, so you should always pay attention to your partner’s behaviour.

4. Increased Use of Technology 

If your partner has become secretive about their technology usage or is suddenly using it more often, this could signify an affair. Nowadays, having an affair has become easy, as there are plenty of apps and websites that can help people have extramarital affairs. 

If you have noticed that your partner is spending a lot of time on their phone and hiding what they are doing, it could be a sign that they are having an affair. 

Can Your Relationship Survive After an Affair? 

It is possible to save a relationship after an affair, although it will take a lot of work and patience. Contrary to popular belief, not all married affairs will lead to a divorce, but if you are going to make your marriage work after an affair, you must be willing to put the work in. 

No one expects the relationship to go back to normal after someone cheats, so you must understand that rebuilding your relationship will take a long time. 

Some couples might even find their relationship stronger after working through an affair. If someone has had an affair, it could mean that something was lacking in that relationship. 

If you intend to rebuild your relationship after an affair, you need to address the reason for the affair and work on that in the future. You may find that your relationship is much stronger after someone has cheated. 

Should You Be Considering an Affair? 

You might have caught yourself pondering what a different life might be like if you had an affair, but it’s important to understand the risks and consequences of cheating. 

Cheating on your partner will be a huge betrayal of trust, and it will almost certainly hurt your partner’s feelings. While for you, having an affair can be a bit of excitement, the same cannot be said for your partner.

Ultimately, if you are considering an affair, it likely means there are issues in your relationship that need to be discussed. So, instead of jumping straight into an extramarital affair, you should first consider the issues in your current relationship and see if there is any way to resolve those issues. 

You may find that just having a conversation with your partner about your issues is enough for you to squash any feelings of wanting an affair.

Summary: Understanding the Reasons Why People Have Affairs 

Answering the question of why people have affairs is not always simple. It is clear that having an affair can be a very complex and nuanced, which is why it is not easy to pinpoint just one reason why people have affairs. 

Relationships are complicated, which means each affair will be just as complicated, so you cannot put everyone under the same umbrella. 

It is important to remember that there are many underlying factors and motivations behind infidelity; it is not as simple as saying someone cheated purely to have sex with someone else. 

Understanding why people have affairs will always be a tricky question, but hopefully, this article has given you a bit of insight into some of the reasons.

FAQs 

Why do people have affairs? 

There is no set reason as to why people have affairs. The reason for someone having an affair will differ depending on who they are and what their relationship it like. Having said this, one of the most common reasons why people have affairs is because they are unsatisfied with their current relationship. 

Whether physically or emotionally, having an affair gives them a chance to explore something that is not available in their current relationship. 

Why do people have emotional affairs? 

People have emotional affairs usually because they are not emotionally fulfilled in their current relationship. Over time, relationships can stop becoming as fun and exciting, leading to people feeling like their emotional needs are not being met. Having an affair will allow them to get their emotional needs met by someone else. 

How do affairs begin? 

Affairs can begin in several different ways, but mostly they start because one individual isn’t totally happy in their marriage. Once this unhappiness expands, they will seek validation and happiness from someone else. 

Exploring an affair is pretty easy these days; you can simply use a married dating site to meet like-minded people. 

What is the psychology behind cheating? 

The psychology behind cheating is really quite simple. If you are unhappy and unfulfilled in your marriage, then you seek that happiness and fulfilment from someone else. Furthermore, if you are fed up with conforming to social norms, you may want to explore something different, like an extramarital affair.

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