Mutual trust is the basic premise of any relationship - be it friendship, marriage, or a romantic connection. The entire foundation of a relationship majorly depends on this one key element, the lack of which can wreak havoc between people. In romantic affiliations especially, trust and fidelity are the fragile threads that tie the partners together. If any of these threads break, the results are often disastrous. According to a recent study, infidelity is a leading cause of divorces between married couples. It also causes break-ups between unmarried partners, in addition to triggering domestic violence.
So, why exactly do people cheat and what does it take to catch a cheater? What do they think when they tread down the path to unfaithfulness? To answer that for you, today we will discuss the top 4 reasons why people engage in infidelity. To some extent, this would answer the big 'why' amidst all the hurt and sadness you feel when you discover your partner cheating on you:
1. Falling out of Love
Not being in love anymore is the simplest, most obvious reason a person may decide to venture elsewhere in search of excitement. The spark in a romantic relationship quickly dies out once routine and predictability set in. While you may still want to be with your partner and feel comfortable with them, the passion and excitement felt by both at the start of the relationship just isn't there anymore, which is natural. Falling out of love does not mean that you don't love your partner at all. Most partners stay together because of the stability and security the relationship offers, despite having no romantic feelings for each other anymore. Consequently, one or both partners often seek other options in an attempt to feel 'in love' again and reignite the lost spark in their lives.
2. Opportunity and Circumstances
Your circumstances and certain situational factors can increase your chances of being unfaithful, even if only for fleeting moments. Say, for instance, you are in a long-distance relationship and swamped with work-related stress, while your long-distance partner isn't being particularly understanding lately. Arguments and misunderstandings are often magnified by using the crutch of technology rather than face-to-face communication these days. In this situation, imagine a not-so-bad looking friend/co-worker showing up at your doorstep, and making an extra effort to be sensitive to what you are feeling. They might even take the bold step and tell you straight away they are attracted to you, despite knowing your current situation very well. While this is not an excuse and may not always lead to cheating, it does increase your chances to give in to momentary pleasure and forget your worries for a while.
Other than that, certain factors and scenarios can make cheating a possibility even in a healthy, fulfilling relationship. These include, for example, a night of heavy drinking and unknowingly ending up with a stranger who you have no recollection of. Or, it could be a situation where you end up being alone with someone who is attracted to you, or a need for physical solace after a traumatic event.
3. Emotional Validation and Self-Esteem
All of us have an innate need to feel understood, valued, and appreciated. When people in relationships do not get that emotional validation from their current partner, they tend to look further. Feelings of understanding, appreciation, and high self-esteem are key elements of an emotional connection. Simply put, emotional validation in a relationship is the need to be heard and acknowledged. It has the power to calm anxieties and complexes a person may harbor. If these basic needs are not being met in the current relationship, one or both partners may be inclined to seek emotional fulfillment from others. Interestingly, emotional infidelity is becoming even more common than physical infidelity but has similar consequences on a relationship nonetheless.
4. Out of Boredom
Boredom is a dangerous feeling in relationships when not kept in check. While it is entirely natural to feel bored - or stable - after a few years into a relationship, things can go out of hand when boredom lingers on for too long. As humans, we are born curious and we tend to seek excitement and challenges to keep monotony at bay. When partners feel that nothing interesting is transpiring in a relationship, they often choose to fill the void in their lives by indulging in other relations. No one likes to wallow in long stretches of indifference and joylessness, and the novelty of another temporary partner offers just the opposite.
Relationships are undoubtedly a beautiful aspect of life, but one that takes much effort and commitment. Other than instant gratification, nothing good comes out of cheating on someone. When the non-cheating partner merely suspects being cheated on, s/he often undergoes severe emotional trauma and paranoia for life. The good news is, however, it doesn't take rocket science to catch a cheater. And, once the facts are laid out in front of you, it’s time to make some hard decisions.