Many of your friends and family members have been married and divorced, some of them multiple times. Yet, regardless of the reasons why their relationships did not last, you probably never thought your spouse would cheat. When you vowed to be faithful, there was no way you could have known the struggles the two of you would face or the temptations that would come your way.

Studies suggest that roughly 24% of marriages survive infidelity. Statistically, couples counseling after you stray may help you and your spouse stay together, though understanding why people cheat may improve your relationship and minimize your need to worry.

Five motivating factors for cheating

Since each relationship is unique, the potential reasons for a wandering eye will vary but, in general, the reasons why people cheat stem from reasons which include:

  • Craving attention. When you feel neglected by your partner, you may thrive on the attention you receive elsewhere.
  • Revenge. An angry spouse may use infidelity to get back at you for doing something that hurt them.
  • Sex. Physical intimacy is a significant part of most committed relationships; unmet sexual needs or desires are a significant motivating factor behind many affairs.
  • Ego boost. Many couples get complacent over time; having someone show an interest in you can make you feel better about yourself.
  • Variety. For those looking for something different, being with another partner may be a response to boredom.

You and your significant other may still care about each other, but thoughts or acts of infidelity could indicate you are no longer in love.

Depending on your situation, a breach of trust may indicate your divorce is inevitable. Careful consideration and open communication about your relationship can help you decide how to move forward.