The first question that comes to mind when a spouse cheats is: Why? A recent study by the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, attempted to answer that question and found that the reasons behind infidelity differ greatly between the sexes.
For men, it’s typically about the sex—the more sexually excitable they are, the more likely they are to cheat. For women, it’s more about the level of satisfaction in her relationship; if a woman is unhappy in her marriage, she’s 2.6 times more likely to cheat. Regardless of the reason, there’s one thing that’s certain: infidelity is devastating.
Among the respondents, a massive 58% of men have had an affair for sex, compared to 40% of women.
Dating and relationship expert Katy Horwood revealed the top reasons why people tend to stray.
1. It’s available
The classic reason behind cheating is simply giving in to temptation so if it’s on the table then love rats are likely to act on it.
Katy explained: “When men are offered sex, they take it.
“According to research, men are less likely to be propositioned and so more likely to take advantage of an opportunity when it arises.”
2. That big bad ego
Flirting with a new partner can be very flattering and it makes people feel attractive again, especially if they fear they’ve lost their spark.
Katy explained that an ego-boost is one of the main reasons people look elsewhere.
She said: “Nothing boosts a man’s ego like a person who isn’t their partner suggesting a quickie in the proverbial stationary cupboard and despite being possibly the most hopeless of reasons to cheat, it is often the root of the infidelity.”
3. Grass is greener
Becoming bored of your relationship can make people begin to wonder if anything better is out there.
“Ironically it can be the familiarity and monotony of a relationship that drives a person to cheat in itself stirring the fear of ‘is this all there is’ and the temptation of one last adventure,” Katy said.
4. Cheating is fun
The risk of getting caught, passion and secrecy involved in having an affair also heighten the excitement level.
Katy said: “It hurts people, it’s selfish and potentially devastating for everyone involved however it doesn’t matter how you wrap it up what makes an affair so tempting is the excitement and thrill that comes with it.
“There will never be the same level of ‘naughtiness’ from an honest relationship for the simple reason that it’s not a secret.
“And for a lot of people an affair is less about the sex or even the person it’s about the thrill of the secrecy and yes, even the deceit.”
5. You’ve both stopped trying
It doesn’t matter if you are a few months down the line or decades in, relationships always need work to survive.
“What makes an affair so tempting is the excitement and thrill that comes with it”
Once you’ve fallen into bad habits and stopped making an effort it’s easy for the desire to die.
“I’m in no way blaming the ‘victim’ for the infidelity but sometimes it’s easy to get comfortable,” Katy said.
“Sex, appearance, communication – all the things that we invest so much time in at the beginning of a relationship often drop by the wayside the more comfortable we become.”