Numerous studies have been conducted to find out why people cheat, and it’s no wonder:  surveys show that 40-50% of people are unfaithful. Whether you have been cheated on or were the cheater yourself, it’s likely that you’ve had some sort of encounter with this problem.  Understanding why people cheat can help you understand what has happened in your past relationships and move on into a better future.

Rationalization:  Most of us would agree that it is wrong to cheat on a partner.  An experiment conducted in 2013, however, showed that cheaters rationalized their behaviour to themselves so well that they didn’t actually believe it was wrong.  Those who rationalize may choose to believe that they have a good reason for what they’re doing or that it doesn’t make them a bad person.

Situational:  It seems that some folks have a much harder time staying monogamous when they are regularly put in situations that encourage cheating.  For instance, someone who has a job that requires a lot of one-on-one time with a coworker may find themselves cheating without any reason other than they had the opportunity.

Science:  Several studies have been conducted to determine, scientifically, why people are inclined to cheat.  It has been pointed out that men are biologically programmed to spread their genes out to ensure they get carried on, but that doesn’t explain why women cheat.  Other studies have searched for an infidelity gene, which may be associated with risk-taking in general.

Disappointment:  Most relationships aren’t perfect, and they usually evolve over time.  While this can be good, some people can’t handle their disappointment in a lack of excitement in a long term relationship or a spouse who no longer puts up an effort.  Rather than confront their feelings by discussing it with their partner, they turn to an affair.

Self-Esteem:  People who are either emotionally or physically insecure may seek out extramarital relationships to prove to themselves that they are desirable.  Unfortunately, it often leaves them with a sense of regret over what they have done and gives them the opposite of the confidence boost they so desired.

Everyone is different, so there’s no way to know exactly why each person cheats.  While you can’t control what your partner does, it’s vital to discuss your relationship on a regular basis so you and your partner can stay up-to-date on each other’s feelings.  Talk about what constitutes cheating, both emotionally and physically.  Put effort into your relationship and treat it well.  Self-reflection and good communication can keep you from becoming a statistic.