The saying goes "once a cheater, always a cheater," and while it may not always be true, it's arguably one of the worst things to happen in a relationship.
But if you come face-to-face with an unfaithful partner, you must decide to either work on the relationship or walk away and never look back.
While there are several reasons a person would cheat on their significant other, Tammy Nelson, a consultant at Ashley Madison, a renowned website for people seeking extramarital affairs, said that it can ultimately be attributed to two different reasons why infidelity occurs.
Why Do People Cheat?
The sex and relationship therapist explained to Business Insider that an individual may cheat as a means to end their current relationship, or to find something they're missing.
She dubbed the the first as a "can-opener affair," adding that women are more likely to practice this kind of adultery.
"That's when you have an affair because you want out," Nelson said, "and you don't know how to end it."
"It's kind of a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘I want out,' even before I know I want out."
On the other hand, Nelson said those who participate in the other category of betrayal aren't looking to break up with their partner, but rather to fill a void their current relationship is lacking.
"It's a way of filling that one part of their life that their marriage doesn't. And then they feel like they have everything," she said.
"Maybe their marriage gives them physical and emotional validation, but they're not getting the sexual risk-taking that they would want. So they get that from the affair."
Nelson added that while an individual may not have a full-blown affair and only cheat a few times a year, they can "come back to their marriage and they're perfectly happy."
Although we've established the two reasons a person will cheat, various people have categorized betrayal in several different ways.
While we can all agree having a sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse is wrong, people who've admitted to acts of infidelity before took a survey conducted by Ashley Madison and revealed what they count as cheating:
- Forming a deep emotional bond with someone else – 55%
- Sending naked pictures to someone other than me – 46%
- Texting erotic messages to someone other than me – 44%
- Maintaining an online dating profile – 29%
- Spending time with their ex-partner – 29%
- Casual flirting with someone other than me – 18%
- Thinking about someone other than me when having sex with me – 18%
- Going out to dinner with someone who is the opposite sex – 18%
- Communicating with their ex – 16%
- Fantasizing about someone else – 13%
Although you may not agree with every point on this list, it'll ideally save everyone from heartache by establishing boundaries when your relationship first begins.
Have you ever cheated or been cheated on? Tell us your story in the comments!