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Why Do People Cheat? | The 5 Different Types of Infidelity

Why Do People Cheat? | The 5 Different Types of Infidelity

If you have ever been a victim of infidelity, the first question you likely asked was: “why?” The consequences of infidelity are vast, and it’s completely natural to want to know why your partner was driven to commit their actions. 


So, what constitutes “infidelity”?


Infidelity is the act of being unfaithful to a spouse or any other significant life partner. It involves engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one’s existing partner; thereby breaking a promise or commitment to them.


Every case of infidelity is unique, and each one fulfills a different need. Having knowledge as to why your partner cheated most probably won’t diminish the pain that you feel; but being able to define and rationalise the behaviour to a certain extent might alleviate some of your confusion. It will also assist on the road to either healing your marriage, or allowing you to move on more quickly if you choose to get a divorce. 


Below is a list of The 5 Different Types of Infidelity, in an attempt to understand a little bit more about why people cheat:


  1. Opportunistic Infidelity


Opportunistic Infidelity happens when an individual is in love and attached to their partner, but – in the moment – falters and succumbs to their sexual desire for another person when the opportunity presents itself. This kind of cheating is often made possible by situational circumstances, risky behaviour, and when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The more invested and in love an individual is with their partner, the more guilt they will feel as a result of what happened. Although, once the initial fear of being found out subsides, the feelings of guilt tend to fade away along with it. 


  1. Obligatory Infidelity


Obligatory Infidelity is rooted in the fear that resisting somebody’s sexual advances or interest in them might result in some form of rejection. In this instance, people may still have feelings of sexual desire, love, and attachment for their partner, but may still wind up cheating as they have a deep desire for approval. Their need for this approval can often trigger them to act in ways that are in opposition to their true feelings. In other words, some people cheat not because they want to cheat, but because they seek the approval that comes with receiving the attention of other people.


  1. Romantic Infidelity


Romantic Infidelity takes place when the cheater has little to no emotional attachment to their spouse. They might be invested in trying to make their marriage work, but they cheat because they are longing for a passionate, intimate, and loving connection with someone — which they’re likely not getting from their partner. More often than not, their sense of commitment to their marriage will inhibit them from actually leaving their partner. Romantic Infidelity often means pain for the “other” man or woman, as well as the partner who is cheating.


It is rare for this kind of an affair to materialise into a long-term, committed relationship. The cheater’s marital problems need to be quite serious before they’ll actually go ahead and get a divorce in lieu of being with another person. 


If you do not feel intimately and emotionally bonded to your spouse — remember that cheating is not the answer to your problems! Check out The Love Flame Method, and start your journey towards attaining the passionate connection you’re so deeply longing for with your husband or wife!


  1. Conflicted Romantic Infidelity


Conflicted Romantic Infidelity can happen when people experience real love and sexual desire for more than one person at any given time. Despite our idealistic notions of monogamy in today’s society, and having only “one true love” — it is 100% possible to experience intense romantic love for multiple people at the same time! 


These kinds of situations are emotionally possible, but they can often get super complicated, and tend to create stress and anxiety. Ironically, in an attempt not to cause anyone harm, the cheating partner often ends up hurting everyone involved.


  1. Commemorative Infidelity


Commemorative Infidelity occurs when an individual is in a committed relationship, but has no feelings of love towards their partner. Sexual desire, love, or attachment may be missing; and only a false sense of “commitment” is what’s keeping the pair together. These cheaters justify their actions by telling themselves that they have the right to experience exactly what they are not getting in their current relationship.


Life After Infidelity: Next Steps


I hope that this short guide served to alleviate some of your confusion surrounding infidelity — but now it’s up to you to decide what steps to take moving forward. A marriage or a relationship can surely survive infidelity, but whether or not your relationship will survive might depend on what type of cheating actually occurred. I mean, think about it; it’s common sense to know that an Opportunistic Cheater is likely to cheat regardless of how many times their actions may be found out and even forgiven. Having said that, any other reasons as to why your partner cheated do not necessarily imply they won’t do it again — so keep this in mind when contemplating what steps to take next. 


Sigurd Henrik Vedal is an American-Norwegian entrepreneur; investor; e-commerce- and social media specialist; life, business and relationship coach; and public speaker.

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