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This is why people cheat, according to a relationships expert

Some people just can't respect monogamy

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 31 October 2017 10:05 GMT
(Getty Images)

Adultery is no picnic for anyone involved, but it happens - quite a lot actually.

Monogamy might be the traditional ideal, but with one in five British adults having affairs, it’s not always the reality.

It’s systemic across genders too, with men most likely to unlawfully canoodle with work colleagues, while women go for male “friends”.

So, what is it about cheating that seduces so many of us?

We spoke to relationships coach Dee Holmes at Relate to uncover the most common emotional triggers that are leading partners astray.


Some people cheat out of resentment, Holmes told The Independent.

When someone feels neglected in the relationship because a partner is spending most of their time at work or isn’t giving them their full attention, it can lead to adulterous relationships as a way of that person regaining control.

This motivation for cheating could be interpreted as a cry for attention, she said, and is a clear symptom of a lack of communication between couples.

Sexual satisfaction

Unsurprisingly, when a couple isn’t having sex, or there are issues in the bedroom, it can lead to one party seeking sexual satisfaction elsewhere.

It’s a common motivation for adulterers and is often linked with a number of other triggers, such as feeling neglected, which Holmes explained regularly transpires as a specifically sexual neglect.


For some, cheating is merely something to spice things up i.e. one partner has tired of the relationship for whatever reason and is looking for a way to reignite some passion into their lives, regardless of any marital ties they may have.

Relationships are a game to some people, Holmes said, and for them infidelity is little more than a manifestation of a person’s opportunistic tendencies.

Boredom and curiosity could fall into this category as well, she said.


Another common motivator for adultery is when one person in the relationship lacks self-esteem.

This could spurn from a number of factors, Holmes explained, such as feeling insecure about one’s body, career prospects or even their age.

Wanting to “feel young again” is something that motivates a lot of cheating partners, said Holmes, who look for younger partners to reignite the youth they feel they’ve lost in their married or committed years.

Serial cheaters

For some people, monogamy simply isn’t an option and they will cheat their way through relationships until the cows come home.

Though they may try to mend their wandering ways, some men and women just can’t comprehend the idea of being with just one person for the rest of their lives.

This could be down to a variety of factors, explains Holmes, such as attachment issues, commitment phobias or even sex addiction.

Regardless of the reasoning; some people are just destined for a lifetime of philandering.

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