Infidelity in Relationships: Causes and Prevention

Last Updated on February 5, 2023

Infidelity in relationships is a widespread issue that can leave a trail of emotional destruction from which the hurt partner might never recover. The betrayal of trust, the feeling of worthlessness, and the breakdown of communication are devastating consequences that can follow a partner’s infidelity.

But why do people cheat in the first place? Is it a result of a lack of love, a search for novelty, or a cry for attention? And can relationships ever recover from infidelity? The answer is yes, but only if both partners are willing to work through the causes and take preventative measures. 

This is why our comprehensive guide delves deep into the reasons behind infidelity. We’ll also provide practical solutions for couples who want to protect their love from the threat of infidelity.

Whether you are experiencing infidelity in your relationship or looking to strengthen the bond with your partner — this guide is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of infidelity and its impact on relationships.

Causes of infidelity in relationships

What Is Infidelity?

Infidelity is a breach of trust in a romantic relationship, where one partner engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with someone outside of the committed relationship. It is often considered a form of betrayal and can result in significant emotional pain and harm for the affected partner(s).

However, the definition of infidelity can vary depending on cultural, societal, and personal perspectives. For some, infidelity may refer solely to sexual activity outside the relationship. While for others, it may also encompass emotional affairs, sexting, and other forms of intimate communication with someone who is not one’s partner. In either case, infidelity is often considered a breach of trust.

Infidelity is not new and has been a topic of discussion and concern in relationships for centuries.

However, with the emergence of technology and the proliferation of social media, the definition of infidelity has expanded to include digital forms of cheating.

This includes online affairs and sexting with someone outside of the relationship. Hence, it has become easier for individuals to engage in infidelity without being physically present with the other party.

Read: How To Build Trust In a Relationship

Causes of Infidelity in Relationships

While the reasons behind infidelity can be complex and varied, several common causes contribute to this breach of trust. So, understanding these causes can help couples prevent infidelity and strengthen their relationships.

These are some of the causes of cheating in relationships:

Boredom can cause people to cheat

Boredom and Lack of Intimacy 

Boredom in a relationship can occur for various reasons. Couples may become complacent and take each other for granted, leading to a lack of effort and engagement in the relationship.

In addition, a lack of variety and excitement in a relationship can also contribute to boredom. Couples may fall into a routine and fail to keep things fresh and exciting, leading to a sense of dullness in the relationship.

A lack of intimacy can also contribute to the likelihood of infidelity. Intimacy refers to the emotional and physical closeness between partners. And when this closeness is lacking, people may feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. A lack of intimacy can occur due to poor communication, conflicting schedules, and physical or emotional distance.

When couples experience boredom and a lack of intimacy, they may seek fulfillment outside their partnership. This can lead to a decline in the quality of their relationship and a sense of disconnection, which can drive individuals to engage in infidelity.

Low Self-Esteem and Insecurity 

Understanding the underlying causes of infidelity in relationships helps to prevent it. Low self-esteem and insecurity are two factors that can lead to infidelity. This is because individuals lacking confidence in themselves and their abilities may seek validation and affirmation outside their relationship.

Jealousy and insecurity in polyamory relationships.

Different experiences and circumstances can cause low self-esteem and insecurity. This includes childhood experiences, previous relationship issues, and societal pressure to conform to certain standards.

Individuals who lack self-confidence may feel like they do not deserve to be loved or shown affection. Hence, in some cases, they may engage in infidelity to boost their confidence and feel good about themselves.

They may crave the validation and attention that comes from engaging in a relationship outside of their partnership. This can give them a sense of excitement and fulfillment that is lacking in their primary relationship.

Read: What are the Best Lessons For Love?

Unsatisfied Emotional Needs

When individuals feel neglected, unsupported, or unappreciated in their relationship, they may seek satisfaction outside their partnership. Emotional needs refer to individuals’ psychological and emotional needs in a relationship.

These needs include affection, attention, intimacy, a sense of belonging, and respect. When some people in a relationship do not receive the emotional support and fulfillment they need from their partner, they may become dissatisfied with their relationship.

Causes of infidelity in relationships

As a result, they may sometimes engage in infidelity to meet unmet emotional needs. Because they feel neglected or unsupported in their primary relationship, they might seek the attention, affection, and intimacy they crave from other people.

A Desire For Freshness and Excitement

A desire for freshness and excitement is a natural human need. It is the desire to seek out new experiences and try new things. Individuals may sometimes seek new experiences and excitement in their relationships. But when they feel unsatisfied or unfulfilled, they may turn to infidelity to satisfy this need.

A desire for freshness may cause people to cheat

Infidelity can give people the sense of excitement and freshness they crave. Outside of their primary relationship, they may feel energized and recharged by the attention and affection they receive from their partner.

This sense of excitement and freshness can be addictive. And at the end of the day, it might lead people to seek it out even when it is detrimental to their primary relationship.

Difficulty with Communication and Conflict Resolution 

When couples have difficulty communicating and resolving conflicts, it can lead to a breakdown of their relationship. In some cases, people may engage in infidelity to escape the difficulties they are facing in their relationships.

Difficulty in communication is bad for a relationship

Some people use this as an excuse to engage in infidelity, or maybe it is just not an excuse. They may want to run away from the constant arguments in the night and nagging. So, they find solace in other people who might seem more “understanding.”

External Factors such as Workplace Relationships and Social Media 

In today’s connected world, it is easier than ever for individuals to engage in infidelity through workplace relationships or social media. These external factors can contribute to the likelihood of cheating.

For social media, one partner might be convinced that their other partner isn’t doing things right due to something they have seen on social media. As a result, they might want to try to be in the kind of relationship they saw on social media by trying out other partners.

Social media can be dangerous to a relationship

Read: The Impact of Social Media on Relationships

Also, another man/woman on social media might appear more pleasing than a person’s partner. This might cause a person to want to rush into their arms, even to the detriment of their primary relationship. People tend to forget that most social media users do not put out the bad sides of their relationships.

How to Prevent Infidelity in Relationships

Infidelity can be devastating to individuals and relationships, but it can also be avoided. Couples can strengthen their relationships and create a more secure and fulfilling partnership by understanding the underlying causes of infidelity and taking proactive steps to prevent it.

What can be done to prevent ourselves or our partners from infidelity?

Causes of infidelity in relationships

Improve Communication 

Open and honest communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. By actively working to improve communication, individuals, and couples can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that each person’s needs and desires are being met.

This may include setting aside time to talk, actively listening, and avoiding assumptions.

Fulfill Emotional Needs 

Emotional needs refer to individuals’ psychological and emotional needs in a relationship. By actively addressing and fulfilling each other’s emotional needs, individuals and couples can prevent dissatisfaction and prevent the likelihood of infidelity.

Create Freshness and Excitement 

A desire for freshness and excitement is a natural human need. And by actively working to create a fulfilling and exciting relationship, individuals and couples can prevent boredom and dissatisfaction.

The Best Lesson for Love

This may include exploring new activities and experiences together, taking time for self-care, and actively working to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Set Clear Boundaries 

Clear boundaries are essential in any relationship, and individuals and couples should establish clear and agreed-upon expectations around infidelity.

This may include open communication about expectations, and setting clear boundaries around contact with people outside the relationship. Individuals can also actively work on avoiding situations that may put the relationship at risk.

Address Any Underlying Issues 

Infidelity can often be a symptom of deeper relationship issues, such as low self-esteem, insecurity, or unfulfilled emotional needs. By addressing these underlying issues and working to resolve them, individuals and couples can prevent infidelity and build stronger and more resilient relationships.

Seek Professional Help


Infidelity can be a complex issue, and seeking professional help can effectively address the root causes and prevent it from occurring.

How to prevent infidelity in relationships

Couples therapy, individual therapy, or relationship coaching can provide individuals and couples with the tools and support they need to strengthen their relationship and prevent infidelity.

Ultimately, preventing infidelity in relationships requires proactive effort and commitment. Remember, prevention is key, and it is important to avoid infidelity before it becomes a problem in the relationship.

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