Infidelity is a common problem in marriages. In fact, a survey found that 55% of divorces are, at least partially, caused by infidelity. With technology on the rise, the ways in which people are cheating is also changing as well. 33 percent of divorces in the United Kingdom cited “Facebook” as evidence of cheating in 2011, up from 20% the year prior. With infidelity on the rise, many people wonder what causes cheating. Many would argue that it isn’t about sex, rather, infidelity is simply a symptom of more profound issues in the relationship, but “The Normal Bar”, a book published in February of 2013, suggests that sex (or lack thereof) in a marriage is the prime cause of infidelity.
“The Normal Bar” utilized surveys from 100,000 respondents to figure out what makes a couple a happy couple. The results about infidelity are of particular interest. So, what causes a cheater to cheat? Sexual boredom topped the list as the most common reason to be unfaithful. 71% of unfaithful men and 49% of unfaithful women cited being sexually bored as the reason they gave into temptation. The kicker is it didn’t matter how satisfied the responders were in other aspects of their relationship. Sexual boredom and a need for an exciting sexual experience trumped everything from family security to genuine love and respect for their partner.
Changing friendships were also cited as a major cause of infidelity. In a poll, about 90% of both men and women reported they weren’t worried about their partner being attracted to their friends. Also, about half of men and one-quarter of women admitted being sexually attracted to their partner’s friends. While sexual attraction was about even for couples who were happy and unhappy in their current relationship, 52 percent of respondents who were sexually unsatisfied in their relationship said they’d cheat with a friend if given the opportunity. Meanwhile only 17 percent who reported feeling sexually satisfied in their relationship said they’d cheat.
Being away from one’s partner, and reconnecting with an old flame were also sighted as top reasons for straying from a committed relationship. Women, however, were less likely to stray when away from their partner for an extended period of time, however, were far more likely to fall for a past love or crush. While all of this is interesting and should be looked at from an objective angle, it appears as if it is safe to say, that most people cheat because they are sexually unsatisfied with their relationship. Whatever the catalyst happens to be, it seems sexual boredom or dissatisfaction plays an underlying role in all most cases of infidelity.