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Cheating sucks. I talk to a lot of people about their relationships. And a lot of these relationships are about as healthy as the Ebola virus: cold, distant, loveless, and flesh-eating. I hear the stories about the heartbreak and loneliness, the lying and cheating, and the pain.


Discovering a partner has cheated on you can be devastating. You might feel hurt, angry, sad, or even physically sick. A study published in The Journal of Sex Research set out to explore this very topic. The study used an online survey to ask people who had cheated in a romantic relationship about the reasons for their infidelity. The study identified eight key motivating factors that contribute to infidelity. But they do offer a helpful framework for better understanding why people cheat.

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Maybe you just discovered your partner cheated. You might want to make your partner go through the same emotions so they really understand the pain they caused you.

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Regardless of the underlying cause, anger can act as a powerful motivator to become intimate with someone else. When you first fall in love with someone, you might experience passion, excitement, and rushes of dopamine from simply getting a text from them. But the intensity of these feelings usually fades over time. Sure, stable, lasting love exists.

The cheating algorithm

But those first-date butterflies will only take you so far. This can make it harder to leave a relationship that still provides a sense of family, friendship, stability, and safety. But staying in a relationship without romantic love may lead to a desire to experience love again and motivate infidelity.

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Simply having an opportunity to cheat can make infidelity more likely. Other factors often but not always add to the motivation to cheat. You might not choose to cheat if only one or two factors were involved.

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But this combination of motivating factors — the distance in your relationship, your feelings about your appearance, the attention of your coworker — can make infidelity more likely. People who have a hard time with commitment may be more likely to cheat in some cases. In this case, one partner might end up cheating as a way of avoiding commitment, even if they actually would prefer to stay in the relationship.

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Many people choose to stay in the relationship, often hoping things will improve, especially if the relationship is otherwise fulfilling. This can provide motivation to get those needs met elsewhere. Unmet emotional needs can also motivate infidelity. Emotional infidelity can be tricky to define, but it generally refers to a situation where someone invest a lot of emotional energy in someone besides their partner.

This can lead to an intimate connection that resembles a relationship.

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A simple desire to have sex can motivate some people to cheat. But someone who wants to have sex might also look for opportunities to do so without any other motivators. Even people who have sexually fulfilling relationships might still want to have more sex with other people. This might result from a high level of sexual desire, not necessarily any sexual or intimate issues in the relationship. In the context of a relationship, the desire for variety often relates to sex. Attraction is another big part of variety. Some people in monogamous relationships might have a hard time not acting on those feelings of attraction.

Having sex with a new person can lead to positive feelings.

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You might feel empowered, attractive, confident, or successful. These feelings can build up your self-esteem. Many people who cheat because of self-esteem issues have loving, supportive partners who offer compassion and encouragement.

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Receiving admiration and approval from someone new, on the other hand, can seem different and exciting. This is partly why some people will go to great lengths to keep their infidelity from their partner. Still, it can cause ificant damage to a relationship.

You might want to do whatever it takes to repair the relationship.

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Your partner may or may not want to repair the relationship, and you need to respect their decision, even if you want to stay together. Working through infidelity can often strengthen a relationship. Saving a relationship takes work, but it's possible. Whether you're trying to make long distance work or dealing with a betrayal, we've got 22 tips…. Rebuilding trust in a relationship is no small task, but it is possible. Whether you've been betrayed or hurt your loved one, we've got you covered on…. There is some question among sex therapists about what the average is for couples in committed relationships.

The answers range from once a week to….

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Some people believe that they're a newly discovered…. When you stand, you burn anywhere from to calories an hour. It all depends on your sex, age, height, and weight. Sitting, by comparison, only…. Being touch starved — also known as skin hunger or touch deprivation — occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things…. When someone has an illness, it can be hard to know what to say.

We have tips for understanding how to find the right words. Breaking up is hard to do — and harder still when you live with someone.

Why happy people cheat

Here are 15 expert tips for talking it out, moving out, and moving on. Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect. Why Do People Cheat in Relationships? Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Anger or revenge. Falling out of love.

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Situational factors and opportunity. Commitment issues. Unmet needs. Sexual desire. Wanting variety.

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Low self-esteem. Repairing the damage. The bottom line. Read this next. How to Rescue a Damaged Relationship. How to Rebuild Trust After a Betrayal. What Are Rope Worms? Are They Even Real? Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.

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Posted June 26, Reviewed by Lybi Ma.


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