Why Do People Cheat on Their Partners?

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A survey about how and why people cheat says:

• 44% of males said they had cheated on a partner. 55% said they had at least thought about it.
• 39% of females said they had cheated on a partner. 35% said they had at least thought about it.
• 78% of people blamed a lack of sex as the reason for them cheating on their partners.

There are many reasons why people cheat on their partners; sometimes even the best relationships can break down. The dissolution of marriage and the sanctity of commitment to one person have undeniably helped boost the increase in someone’s partner searching for affection elsewhere. However, as stated there are many variables that could be contributing to someone searching for love with another person. Relationships are difficult and perplexing things, no one relationship is the same, the nuanced behavior of cheating is a lot deeper than you may think. We have created a list of what drives people to cheat on their partners and the possible causes that can lead you to that point.

Growing Apart

Sometimes the progression of a relationship leads you into territory where you don’t feel as strongly about that person as you previously did. Especially if you were with someone from a young age or have been with them for a long time. People do grow and change, the ideas and beliefs you hold adamant today could be whisked away as you grow older. This undeniably influences your relationship as you may be an entirely different person from when you met your partner. Some couples grow and change together, and therefore they continue to possess a loving and well-balanced relationship.

Imagine that this happened to you, that you felt yourself and your partner were no longer compatible. It doesn’t mean someone throws in the towel instantly, this could have been a growing feeling for months, maybe even years, that lead that person to their decisions. The reason people cheat when they are growing apart is done for many reasons. If you have been with that person for a long time, then trying to tell them that it isn’t working anymore can be difficult. A lot of people find it easier to create a reason to separate from their partner rather than discuss the issue they’re experiencing.

Furthermore, you may have met someone who suits your personality and your change in perspective more adequately than your partner does. As previously discussed people can find it hard to admit these feelings, as they don’t want the confrontation. So, if they have met this person and they can experience the love and unity that they may not have had in their relationship for some time it can be an incredibly tempting offer.

Love and Affection

It tends to be the natural progression of a relationship that, as time goes on, you’re less passionate and fiery with your partner. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them, but the neglect of that other person can be palpable. This doesn’t just cover intimacy, if you’re not talking or spending time with your partner it can lead them to believe that you don’t care for them. Humans are incredibly sociable and when you choose one person to be by your side everyday then you subconsciously expect a certain level of physical and emotional intimacy.

When this intimacy breaks down in a relationship it can send someone into emotional turmoil. Believing you have someone who can comfort and love you on a regular basis is a beautiful thing and when you’ve lost that it can be difficult to deal with. So, to feel the void some people turn to finding someone else who can offer them what they’ve lost. Sometimes all you need is to tell your partner you feel distanced from them, but relationships aren’t always so simple. However, if you can save a relationship, just by having open and honest discussions with your partner it is worth a shot. Even if it doesn’t work out between the two of you, it helps you maintain a balanced idea of how a relationship should work.

Lack of Communication

You have probably heard this to death, that lack of communication is a key element in the failure of a relationship. It is incredibly important though, when you’re so deeply connected with someone emotionally and in your everyday life you must talk about your issues. You can’t allow the small things to build up until you can’t handle them anymore. Feeling that you can openly go to your partner and discuss your fears and feelings, without blame, is incredibly cathartic. You won’t believe how much weight is lifted off your shoulders when you confide in them.
All the issues discussed in this article will stem from a lack of communication. Without being able to converse openly and honestly with your partner, some would turn to another person.

People like to be heard and they like to listen, you underestimate how much instinct you have when it comes to how someone is feeling. For example, if you sense something is wrong with your partner, but they won’t tell you it feels like they’re hiding something. There can be many reasons why someone does this, but it doesn’t make the other person feel good.

Therefore, someone is likely to look for companionship elsewhere, whether they talk to friends, family or a new lover can depend on the person. People need someone to talk to, someone who they can express their feelings and thoughts to, if their partner isn’t that person it can drive them into the arms of another.


An imbalance from a relationship can come from multiple places. Whether you believe your partner doesn’t do enough around the house doesn’t contribute financially, or their emotional connection doesn’t appear as strong, it can put a massive strain on your relationship. Finances are a main cause of issues within relationships and if you don’t feel like a team it puts a massive strain on you. There are many forces that act against you in the world, but you hope that your partner is always going to be the consistent and good force in your life. When there isn’t a share dynamic it puts more stress on one person and all these horrible feelings someone gets about life is placed on their partner. Whether you mean to or not, you will be placing the blame on them for not helping.

This leads people to cheat for one reason, they feel they need the stability back in their life. This person may have found someone who listens to their worries and helps them out in a meaningful way. Having a team dynamic in a relationship is essential, you must find your own groove, but the responsibilities need to be shared. You don’t want to cause more stress in your life, especially if there is someone who appears they could fix all your problems for you. That is why people can be lead to cheat on their partner, for someone who appears they offer the solution to all your problems.

False Idea of the Perfect Relationship

The idea of the perfect relationship is incredibly prevalent regarding cheating, especially with the technology available in the modern world. You are constantly bombarded with someone else’s highlight reel of their life and believe that to be the entire picture. You constantly see pictures captioned with ‘relationship goals’ and believe that someone else is leading the perfect life and for some reason your relationship doesn’t live up to that. Everyone has issue’s in their relationships, you can’t continue to compare yourself to other people.

It is self-explanatory why this idea can lead to someone cheating on their partner, they believe there is something better. You can start to believe that aspects of your relationship aren’t normal and that you should be reaching for something like what you see on social media. You could possibly believe that there are issues that require you to find another partner, only to hit into the same obstacles once again. People try to change this ideal of perfection in their relationships that is simply not there. If you’re in a safe and non-volatile relationship, there are ways and means to work it out. Not everything can be salvaged, but chasing the idea of perfection will get you nowhere.

Self-Esteem (Anxiety & Arrogance)

Another contributing factor to why someone may cheat on their partner is their own lack of self-esteem. To me, this falls into two categories; the first being anxiety, where someone needs constant reassurance about their relationship to feel safe and the second being arrogance, whereby the person is conscious of their image and self, so they search for reassurance from flirtation. Both categories display anxious behaviour, but one may cheat because they fear for the relationship and believe they lack something in themselves, whereas the other cheats because it boosts their ego.

It can be argued that these factors can’t be changed in someone, that through past experiences that this is something that will happen whether you do anything about it. This is perhaps true for someone who is arrogant, as they continually want affection and praise to boost their ego. However, for someone who is anxious there is something very simple that can be done to help the situation. Communication!

Your partner is probably anxious in your relationship because of previous partners. The best way to get through this and help your partner is to talk about the issues. The more you can be there for them, the less likely it is that their anxiety is going to push them to do something drastic. Ultimately it will take time for someone who is anxious to trust and feel secure with you, but if you love that person you can be the reason to stop them cheating and putting yourself in harm’s way. It is not your fault by any means, but helping to understand your partner is a great way to ensure cheating is unlikely to happen.


Sometimes you can continue to justify someone’s actions to a certain extent because of issues within the relationship, however, sometimes people cheat purely for selfish reasons. That person may not care about what they are doing to the other person and is just looking for the thrill of chasing someone else while they’re in a relationship. A lot of people have no staying power within a relationship and can’t think about someone else before their own reckless impulses.

Regarding someone who exhibits selfish behavior when cheating there is nothing you can do. They will either wake up to the way they have behaved, or they will continue to do what they have always been doing.

These are some of the most prevalent reasons why people cheat on their partners. Sometimes you can see what drove someone to cheat on their partner and why their relationship was failing. Ultimately, cheating is not the way to solve these issues, you can give people mental and emotional scars for the rest of their life. If you want someone to give you the courtesy of letting you know when they want to end the relationship, then you should do the same. It may be tricky at first and it can cause a lot of heartache, but it is so much better than the alternative.