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Why do people cheat? If you’ve been cheated on, you know just how devastating such a betrayal can be. A lot of people wonder why the cheating occurred in the first place. Though nobody can tell you why your spouse chose to cheat, there are numerous theories about why people cheat; some theories even point the finger at genetics.

Let’s Get One Thing Straight

Cheating is a choice. Just because specific situations or extenuating circumstances have led a person to seek fulfillment outside of their marriage does not absolve them of responsibility for their choice to cheat. For example, though most people cheat because their spouse isn’t meeting their needs, they do not have to cheat. Leaving is an option and, if you aren’t ready to leave, it may be best to cope with unmet needs to the best of your ability until you’re able to leave. Because discovering infidelity is such a devastating event for so many people, it’s not uncommon for a divorce process to become much more contentious when infidelity is involved. If you’re considering beginning an affair, it’s a much better idea to wait to start a new relationship until you’ve separated from your spouse and, ideally, until you’ve finalized your divorce.

It’s Usually an Accident

Though some people actively search for someone to cheat with, a lot of affairs begin innocently. It’s not uncommon for affairs to start off as friendships, then escalate to emotional affairs, and then it escalates to a physical affair. In some cases, this all happens before either party realizes what’s happening. If you have concerns that you may be involved in an emotional affair, it’s best to acknowledge it and remove the person from your life as quickly as possible. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to seek both individual therapy and couple’s therapy in order to work on the issues that have led to the emotional affair. When it comes to affairs, the sooner you stop them, the better it is for everyone.

Unmet Needs

A lot of people cheat because they have unmet needs. But this doesn’t mean it’s the betrayed spouse’s fault that the infidelity occured. Perhaps the cheating spouse didn’t communicate their unmet needs or unmet expectations. Or, perhaps, the cheating spouse had unrealistic needs or expectations. If you have communicated your unmet needs and expectations to your spouse, and your spouse is unwilling to change, you may need to either change your expectations, or leave the marriage. Cheating is not the answer, even if you aren’t able to leave the marriage immediately. Cheating can cause significant problems with familial relationships. For example, if your children ever find out that one of their parents cheated, the relationship between the cheating party and the child may become strained. Also, if you cheat, you’re more likely to have a high conflict divorce since infidelity is extremely upsetting, and in some cases traumatic.

The Grass Is Greener Mentality

Some people have all their needs met but they still cheat. In these cases, it may stem from the idea that the grass is greener on the other side. There are no perfect people in this world. No matter who you marry, they’re going to have faults. There’s going to be inconvenient parts of your spouse’s personality. Most people can easily overlook their spouse’s flaws, knowing that their spouse has many wonderful qualities even if they forget to put the cap on the toothpaste. However, some people struggle to appreciate what they have—especially in light of their spouse’s faults. When marriages are struggling, it’s particularly difficult for some to realize that, indeed, the grass isn’t greener on the other side. In fact, the other side will undoubtedly have issues too and those may be potentially worse than the issues they’re currently dealing with. 

Monogamy Is Particularly Difficult for Some

Some people have been dreaming of marriage and family ever since they were children. The idea of spending the rest of their lives with one person isn’t dreadful; in fact it’s actually quite comforting. Others tremor in fear at the thought of being legally tied to another person forever. Some of these people get married due to social pressures. In many cases, people get married due to unplanned pregnancies. Whatever the case, people who find monogamy particularly challenging do get married. In situations such as the aforementioned, a person may be particularly tempted to cheat.

When You’re Ready to File for Divorce

If you’ve been cheated on, and you feel as though you can no longer continue in the marriage, CoilLaw is here for you. Our experienced legal team can help you get the divorce process started so that you can focus on healing the pain of infidelity. If you’re ready to file for divorce, contact CoilLaw today to get the process started.


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