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Why Spouses Cheat in Marriage

Whatever your spouse's reason, remember you are not to blame


Couple sitting on opposite sides of bed, close-up of young woman
Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images
Although these are some reasons why a spouse has an affair, you may never truly know why your spouse was unfaithful. Your spouse may never truly understand either.

Please realize that you are NOT responsible for your spouse deciding to cheat. You are not to blame for your spouse making an inappropriate decision.

  • Anger
  • Unresolved issues
  • Ego and opportunity
  • Trying to avoid conflict in your marriage
  • Career problems
  • Looking for excitement or passion they judge as missing in marriage -- boredom
  • Validate manhood or womanhood and boost self esteem
  • As a way to end an unhappy marriage -- an exit strategy
  • Fear of growing older
  • Feeling self-righteous
  • Thrill of the chase
  • Desire to sow wild oats
  • Deep-seated unhappiness
  • Feel neglected
  • Jealous of new baby
  • "Buyer's remorse" and second thoughts after wedding
  • Feel trapped
  • Insecurity
  • Arrogance
  • Revenge
  • Because he/she can
  • Feel unappreciated
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Financial pressures
  • Escapism from daily life
  • Believe he/she can get away with it
  • Thoughts of being above the law both morally and legally
  • Lack of consequences
  • Looking for a one-night stand
  • Sex addiction
  • Change in hormonesLong-term relationship outside marriage
  • Is a selfish jerk
  • Is a serial/chronic cheater

Readers Respond: What Reasons Did Your Spouse (or You) Give for Cheating?

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