A University of Maryland study revealed the eight most common reasons people cheat on their partners.
- Anger: Seeking revenge for a partner being unfaithful.
- Sexual desire: Feeling unsatisfied with the intimacy in the relationship.
- Lack of love: “Falling out of love” with your significant other.
- Neglect: Not getting enough love, attention and respect.
- Low commitment: One partner is not as committed to the relationship as the other.
- Situation: An unusual circumstance like being drunk, on vacation, overly stressed, etc.
- Esteem: Trying to increase self-worth by having sex with other people.
- Variety: Wanting to experience sex with as many people as possible.
"Despite the widespread prevalence of infidelity, there hasn't been much research into what makes people cheat," said University of Maryland Assistant Professor of Psychology Dylan Selterman. "Gaining a deeper understanding of what motivates people to engage in infidelity may help couples repair their relationships following an infidelity, or may help them prevent the onset of cheating in the first place."
Selterman and his team found that men were more likely to be motivated to cheat by sexual desire, wanting variety and situational forces. Women were more likely to be cheat due to feelings of neglect.
"We often hear that infidelity is a symptom, not a cause, of a damaged relationship," Selterman said. "Our research suggests it's not that simple: People cheat for a variety of reasons, many of which are not a direct reflection of a relationship’s health."