I really wish that I were kidding, but today, November 18th, is actually the day that most people will cheat on their significant others, per Indy100, so with that in mind, we figured it'd be a good time to disclose why psychologists believe people actually do cheat.
In a recent article published in Medical Xpress, Ann Hartlage, PhD, a psychologist at Rush University Medical Center and the director of Rush's Marital and Sex Therapy Program, said that there's no single reason why people choose to have affairs, but, because they still occur, let's see what other experts said.
According to psychologist Jay Kent-Ferraro, in an article in Psychology Today, he believes that most cheating can be classified into four different groups.
- Fantasy & Flight
- Pathology & Deviant Affairs
- Poor Strategies & Bad Intent Affairs
- Benevolent Neglect Affairs
For example, while a man or woman might decide to cheat on their partner, some may do so during a one-night stand after being too liquored up and in need of living out a sexual fantasy. While that doesn't make it right, it is, according to Kent-Ferraro, a reason someone might cheat.
In contrast, if a man or woman routinely cheats or develops a relationship outside of their partner, the primary person will have a much harder time to cope with the situation, thus, making it harder to mend fences.
The good news is that stats do show that relationships can overcome infidelity, and, according to Kent-Ferraro, "Infidelity always has a purpose to it, although most often that purpose is not known or understood, and must be, in order to really answer the questions around 'Once a cheater, always a cheater.' All behavior is purposeful and people don't do anything without a reason for doing it."
So while this suggests that there are four categories behind the reason why people cheat, it's important to understand the depth of the infidelity, personally weigh the situation and decide whether or not the relationship should be salvaged or not.
Let's be honest, though, not cheating is always the best way to keep a relationship strong.