Sex & Relationships

The 10 most common reasons why people have affairs

Affairs happen far more regularly than we'd all like to think. So here we discuss why men and women cheat on the people they love.
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Around 70 per cent of marriages in Australia have experienced an affair. Often it doesn’t matter how honest, committed or in love you think you are – when temptation comes knocking morals can weaken, just look at the current political scandal that’s shocked Australia this past week.

While we all know cheating is wrong, it’s better to understand the enemy rather than hoping they won’t attack, so here are the top 10 most common reasons why men and women cheat on their partners.


After the initial honeymoon period wears off it can be tough to keep the spark alive in a relationship. Reality soon sees the inevitable Uggs and joggers creeping out of the wardrobe and before you know it you are turning in much earlier than you used to. If warning bells start ringing, don’t be afraid to act on your feelings.

Boredom in a relationship could influence someone to seek excitement elsewhere.

Hoping to get caught

Rather than taking the respectful upper hand, many choose cheating as a way to end the relationship. Either they do it carelessly in the hope of getting caught and dumped or they do it knowing they’ll have to own up…and presumably get dumped. Either way it’s win-win for the cheater.

It’s all about revenge

This eye for an eye tactic is favoured as an excuse when there’s extensive hurt and blame in the relationship. Either the cheater is getting back at the other for a past affair or is using extra marital sex to punish them other for bad behaviour.

Risk taking behaviour

Just as a cliff diver risks snapping his neck on a protruding rock, thrill seeking cheaters crave the adrenalin rush that sneaking around gives them. Even though they may know it is wrong, the thrill of such a risk can be hard to resists for some.

WATCH Malcolm Turnbull says Barnaby Joyce’s affair ‘a tough and distressing episode’. Article continues after video…

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Being intoxicated

“I don’t remember”… “it wasn’t me”… “he/she took advantage of me”- these are all common lines, but would this defence stand up in court? The divorce courts maybe.

Ego Boost

This reason for cheating is often demonstrated during times of neglect. Everyone likes to feel wanted and attractive to their partner, but if the sex dwindles and egos are dented, the result can be finding someone who’ll replace that missing confidence.

A partner may go looking for affection from someone else if they’re not feeling it from the significant other.

Your partner lets you

Well, let’s rephrase-your partner forgives you. While forgiving a past affair can be commended, often it sends the cheating partner a destructive message: ‘please feel free to do it again; I’ll still be here’.

Asserting power and independence

As you (hopefully) grow together, it’s common in a relationship to lose a sense of who you are. While a weekend drinking sesh, or a course in crocheting might do it for some, others use the sinister art of cheating to regain their independence and control.

Being mistreated

Feeling trapped in a bad relationship isn’t healthy for anyone. If people don’t get the love and respect they crave at home, it’s understandable they might find it elsewhere, whether they’re looking or not.

Avoiding intimacy

While infidelity can stem from the need for intimacy, it can also result from the need to keep away from it and remain detached from a partner. For a commitment phobe, the act of cheating serves to protect them from getting too close.

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