Why we Cheat and What an Affair Means for the Partner
Why we Cheat and What an Affair Means for the Partner
For many people, loyalty is still the cornerstone of a great love: According to studies, 90 percent of Germans value loyalty. And yet the facts say something else, because more than a fifth of men and almost as many women have cheated themselves in a partnership. Why men and women cheat, what warnings there are for cheating and what to do if you have been cheated on.
Facts about cheating: that's what the numbers say
"I cheated!" Nobody would like to hear this sentence in a relationship. Yet many relationships have to face this issue. Because sexual infidelity in a partnership is no longer an exception. According to a study by the “Deutsches Ärzteblatt”, 15 percent of all women and even 21 percent of all men have cheated on - at least those who admit it.
And whoever cheats once, often becomes a repeat offender: A study by psychologists at the University of Denver followed 484 men for five years to find out whether cheats in a new relationship were cheating again. The result: For those test subjects who have already been unfaithful, the probability is three times as high that they will cheat on their partner again in a new relationship.
Researchers from the USA now also believe they have found out which type of person is more prone to fling. Women and men (surprise!) Are completely contrary in their cheating behavior. According to the study, women are more likely to cheat if they find themselves less attractive. In keeping with the cliché, men whose wives are not so attractive are more likely to fling - paradoxically, men usually cheat on women who are less attractive than their partners. Women, on the other hand, cheat with men who are more attractive. Sounds like a vicious circle, doesn't it?
Time also plays a role when it comes to who is cheating and why: According to the psychologist Ragnar Beer, who led a university study in Göttingen, the risk of cheating increases from the third year of relationship. Persevering and working on the relationship is rewarded, however: Interestingly, this risk then decreases again from the tenth year of the relationship. During ovulation, women are particularly prone to one-night stands, because the hormones released make them more sexually excitable during this time and they feel more interested in spontaneous sex. In the pregnancy of the girlfriend, men are statistically more susceptible to affairs, since the sex life in the partnership often changes significantly or falls asleep completely. And indeed, the merry month of May is the most prone month for cheating - here the hormones are likely to get particularly hot with all the rays of the sun!
Reasons for Cheating: Why Are We Jeopardizing Our Relationship?
But why are we cheating? Answers were often heard: “It just happened” or “It didn't mean anything”. But it's usually not that easy, because there are often clear reasons behind why an affair happens. A study by "The Journal of Sex Research" investigated the reasons that lead women and men to cheat.
Perhaps not really surprising: for most men, the lack of variety in bed is the main reason to turn to another woman. Too little or boring sex drives men to venture out on an adventure in strange beds. Women, on the other hand, stated that they cheated mainly because they felt too little love in their relationship. Women are primarily looking for emotional confirmation in the affair, men want to prove their attractiveness. And let's be honest, in long relationships there is usually little time for compliments, so flirting with a stranger is often a welcome change and also completely okay - only sometimes it leads to more quickly.
Women, on the other hand, stated that they cheated mainly because they felt too little love in their relationship. Those who do not feel valued by their partner tend to seek confirmation elsewhere. And of course, in long relationships there is usually little time for compliments - flirting with a stranger is often a welcome change, which can quickly lead to more.
Compliments that women really enjoy
Escape from relationship problems is also a common reason for both sexes that leads to an affair. In long relationships, routine quickly creeps in - and at some point Zoff is often more common than romantic and romantic moments for two. It is not uncommon for one of the partners to flee into an exciting affair, a wild adventure that lets you forget everyday problems.
And then there is the unplanned "slip". A good opportunity that was taken without thinking about it. Something that didn't mean anything and just happened. Often alcohol and the exuberant party mood are used as excuses, which then led to the one-night stand. A bad excuse for the cheated. In fact, alcohol is known to disinhibit and you see many things more loosely, with some people the dominant subconscious blurs morals.
Hard to believe, but true: Revenge is also a common reason for fling. According to a study by the University of Göttingen, women in particular are of the opinion that "revenge is sweet" and want to punish their partner for the previously committed infidelity. The study says that 40 percent of women betrayed feel a thirst for revenge, compared to almost half of men (22 percent).
Alarm signals: These are signs of cheating
The partner suddenly comes home later more and more often, important business meals are repeated - you can get suspicious. But how do you really know if the other is cheating? It's not always the obvious lipstick on the shirt collar that indicates an affair. In fact, according to the author Shirley Glass, there are a few essential points in the partner's behavior that should ring the alarm bells - described in her book "The Psychology of Infidelity", published by Klett-Cotta Verlag.
When talking on the phone, the partner leaves the room or lowers their voice
The partner often stays up longer and uses the computer while the partner is already sleeping
Working hours are often extended or meetings suddenly take place more often in the evening
The partner suddenly develops new hobbies that are pursued without the other
A new hairstyle or a changed style of clothes is acquired or a sudden diet or sports mania develops
Unpredictable behavior that can be dismissive at times and overly clingy at other times is evident
Sudden increased sexual interest, more passionate sex, or even an interest in trying out new techniques can be noticed
And the worst: the partner tries to avoid spending time together
Of course, none of these points is a hundred percent indication that the partner is cheating. Each of these changes in behavior can indicate other causes as well. If you have doubts, you should speak to your partner carefully and try not to imagine the worst scenario straight away.
Workplace Affair: Opportunity Makes Love?
The temptation lurks everywhere: Anyone looking for an affair will quickly find it. Usually such missteps happen unplanned at first. The workplace is an absolute danger zone here: It is said that around 60 percent of all affairs begin in the office. Working together, achieving a common goal - that creates a bond. The pressure in a joint project lets those involved pour out adrenaline, which can quickly be (mis) understood as sexual tension. Add to that the amount of time you spend together and faster than you can see it happened.
Ex-partners are also dangerous when it comes to infidelities. Old love can quickly be rekindled and emotions aroused. The memories of beautiful moments (the negative ones are successfully faded out) can quickly lead to the head being switched off and the heart taking over.
And the internet also offers a lot of potential for cheating. It's hard to believe, but the Internet in particular can quickly develop an intimacy that may be lacking in a partnership. Flirting on Facebook or Tinder is so much fun precisely because you don't get to know each other in real life and maybe you can take on a new role. A special thrill for many - and the desire for more quickly arises.
Forgive Affair: Opportunity or Immediate Separation?
What to do when it happens: According to statistics, cheating is not as uncommon in a relationship as you sometimes think and hope. If it then happens, both relationship partners face a major crisis.
Affair and goodbye? Immediate breakup is not the way to go for everyone. For those who have been duped, cheating is a great breach of trust. Forgiving is often difficult at first. Confession is an important factor here: if the cheater himself reveals the infidelity, the partner is often more willing to forgive. Basically, the greater the honesty with such a misstep, the better both relationship partners can cope with the situation.
If you want to hold on to the relationship despite a breach of trust, you should give yourself time. Being betrayed is a traumatic experience that takes hours to process. Especially with partnerships and marriages that have lasted a few years, it is usually worth taking up this fight. Often we even emerge stronger from such situations and can draw new strength for our relationship.
For this it is important that you deal with your partner. Above all, the cheater should face the partner's pain and anger. Work together to identify the causes of the fraud. If there are motives that can be tackled together, the relationship has a good chance of surviving. If there are reasons that are hard to cope with, you shouldn't hold on to something that has broken - sometimes you may have to go your separate ways.
Preventing cheating: can you prevent cheating?
So that you don't even lose your partner in someone else's bed, we have tips on how a relationship can be made exciting even after many years:
Keeping your sex life exciting: If both partners are happy with their sex life, there is less willingness to have a one-night stand. During sex, the love hormone oxytocin is released, which increases infatuation and happiness.
Talking about problems: If something bothers you or you have the feeling that something is bothering your partner, you should talk about it. And above all, sensibly and without accusations or attacks. Good communication helps a lot.
Sharing intimate moments - and that doesn't just mean sex. One should convey one's innermost feelings and intimate thoughts to one's partner. Such magical moments connect and a third person can hardly push in between them. And, you should tell your partner more often why you enjoy spending your life with him.
Don't let the routine creep in and add variety to everyday relationships: You should be crazy and unreasonable, but at the same time give each other space to develop yourself.
Trust your partner: You shouldn't even begin to control your partner. Secretly reading WhatsApp or emails only drives you crazy - and in the worst case scenario, your partner's trust is destroyed. If there are any warning signs, it should be addressed.
The risk of cheating can never be completely eliminated, but at least it can be minimized. An affair doesn't always mean the end of a relationship. The key word here is “talking” - before an affair, but definitely after it - even if it sounds trite. Anyone confronted with fraud must, above all, find a suitable way of dealing with it. It is often worth fighting, seeing an opportunity in the crisis, and drawing new strength. And if the relationship doesn't work out any longer - keep your head up and off to new adventures!