Why Do Couples Cheat?
Why do couples cheat?
Why don’t couples just break up instead of cheating?
During my years as a therapist, I’ve come across many situations where couples were on the brink of divorce, and infidelity was the main cause.
Here are the two main reasons why couples cheat based on my ten years of therapy experience:
#1 Reason: Unfulfilled Sexual Needs
Even if a relationship is stable and there’s an emotional connection between a couple, one partner -the cheater-, may feel their sexual needs are not being met.
Maybe their partner hasn’t wanted to get intimate with them. Maybe their partner hasn’t wanted to get intimate in a way that satisfies them. Or their partner is long distance.
When the cheater meets someone outside the relationship who they click with emotionally and physically, they come to a conflict.
They are in this committed relationship with someone who loves them or who they have been secured with long-term, yet they also have interest in this other person that fulfills them sexually.
Another sexual need could be a desire to have multiple sexual partners or to engage in new sexual experiences, but they are afraid of expressing this to their partner.
They feel that not being sexually satisfied by their partner is not a good enough reason to end the relationship, or bring up issues when things are “good” between them.
They think it’s not right, because they morally believe that having love SHOULD be enough for a relationship. Thus, the cheater feels the need to maintain their committed relationship while having an affair.
Having an affair is not an act of love to your partner.
Believe me when I say it’s in your right to express your sexual needs to your partner.
Sex may be important to you, and that’s can be a good reason to leave your relationship and go elsewhere if your partner isn’t willing to work with you on the issue.
It’s not right to lie to your partner and seek sexual needs behind their back.
Why aren’t affairs “okay?” Because… consent IS key.
If you are having an affair… you are not getting your partner’s consent.
You are omitting the truths of your actions and not allowing your spouse to consent.
#2 Reason: Unfulfilled Emotional Needs
These cheaters feel they lack love, intimacy, and attention from their partners.
There’s an emotional disconnect that has developed. the cause for the disconnect could be many reasons such as: not feeling like they can talk to their partner, not feeling appreciated by their partner, or not excited by their partner anymore.
They seek emotional validation and nurturing elsewhere.
So, now you ask, why don’t they just leave?
It could be that they’ve been together for so long, that it takes too much emotional effort to have the conversation to end it. They don’t want to go through the pain or guilt of breaking hearts.
They stay in the relationship until the other feels like breaking it apart first.
The relationship wasn’t a priority for them, so they feel no need to maintain it.
They don’t consider their partner’s feelings when they don’t want to go through the trouble of breaking hearts. In fact, this is not considering them at all.
It’s lazy behavior and the cheater’s partner deserves better.
What’s my answer to this?
Say it with me, communication!
Express your discontent and work through it.
Identify what your partner NEEDS.
Ask them questions.
When they answer, ask them what it would look like if you were both getting your needs met.
What would each of you being doing differently? How would you spend your time?
If you can’t get your needs met alone, my favorite strategy of all is to bring your partner to therapy!
This will help you assess how to clearly get your needs met or how to respectfully end the relationship in conscious uncoupling.
Can you think of any other reasons that someone may want to seek a physical relationship elsewhere?
Tell me in the comments below!
If you want to learn more about how to face infidelity and or tantra techniques to enhance intimacy, please reach out to us at LCAT.
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.