There is no one reason why people cheat on those they love. Research shows there are multiple factors that can contribute to infidelity. According to one study (which focused mainly on heterosexual young adults), there were a few common explanations people gave for cheating.
Falling out of love with someone can happen for many reasons, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you no longer care for or love them in any way. It is often a confusing experience that can involve exploring (consciously or not) other avenues toward romantic fulfillment, which may lead to cheating.
There are multiple factors that can lead to commitment issues, including an insecure attachment style, and a fear of abandonment. This study found that those who cheated were often in relationships characterized by mismatched levels or definitions of commitment between partners.
Some of the participants in the study were found to have cheated due to feelings of low self-esteem. Under these circumstances, cheating can be based in an effort to enhance their standing in others’ eyes by connecting with someone they consider well-regarded in their social circle. It can also result from a sense that their partner’s positive attention is undeserved or conditional.
Even if they love their partners in a profound and sincere way, some people also crave sexual and romantic variety. Depending on their partner’s feelings, such a situation can sometimes lead to an open or polyamorous relationship, in which clear boundaries and communication allow sexual and romantic exploration.
Sometimes the perfect storm of relationship friction and circumstance leads to unexpected, seemingly uncharacteristic cheating. Attraction to another, lowered inhibitions (for example, due to intoxication), and other factors can lead to an act of infidelity. People who cheated for situational reasons said they would not have done so if it weren’t for the specific circumstances of the moment.
Take this free, online Attachment Styles Quiz today to find out your attachment style. Get a free, customized report too! Knowing your attachment style is the first step to understanding why you act the way you do.