Infidelity is one of the major causes of problems in a couple’s relationship. But why are we unfaithful? What prompts us to take action? An American study decided to look into the subject.
Infidelity often leaves a feeling of shame and guilt. For love, for desire, for lack of consideration within the couple: the reasons are multiple and so are the stories. And if we are to believe the recent figures, French infidelity is doing well. According to one study carried out in 2019 by Ifop, 45% of French people and 37% of French women confess that they have already cheated on their partner. So what are the real reasons for being unfaithful? A American study published in the National Library of Medicine and relayed by the site Psychology Today looked into the subject.
Infidelity: anger and low self-esteem, the main reasons
To carry out their study, the researchers interviewed 495 people who confessed to having already cheated on their other half. The analysis revealed eight main motivations, most of which did not involve sex at all, contrary to popular belief. The number one reason people cheat on their partners is anger and revenge : cheating after being cheated or to get revenge after a couple’s argument. Among other causes, many reported cheating on their partner because of lack of self-esteem (wanting to feel desirable, independent), lack of love, and lack of commitment. Then we find the search for fantasy or the fact of wanting to spice up your sex life. In sixth position, lack of attention seems to push partners to be unfaithful. Finally, the decline in sexual desire and the situation (“I was stressed and had no clear ideas”, “I was drunk in the evening” …) complete this classification.
The duration of the bond differs depending on the reason
In addition, the study also reveals that the motivations of the cheating have an impact on the duration of the bonds. When people cheated on their partner out of anger, lack of love, or a craving for spice, their relationships were longer, while those who were motivated by the situation had shorter relationships. The relationships were also longer and more emotionally satisfying when the participants felt closer to their lover.
Whether it’s a one-night stand or a romance lasting several months, each couple has their own definition of loyalty and deals with it in their own way. It is possible to recover from an infidelity provided that the two partners agree, and that it is the object of a questioning.
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