There are many reasons why people are unfaithful, cheat and have affairs. These affairs are a betrayal to the person that they are officially involved with or married to and are very damaging to the relationship when their partner finds out about the infidelity. It's called 'cheating' it's unfair, it's underhand and it's secretive.
But why do people cheat and have affairs in the first place when they know that they can cause so much hurt and destruction?
Here are some reasons:
Lack of attention
Falling out of Love
If one person in a relationship has a higher sex drive than the other this can cause the eye to wonder. It may not be any reflection at all on the love that they have for their partner but their sexual appetite is such that they are battling constantly to refrain and resist temptation.
Not everyone succeeds and so some end up cheating or having affairs. Rarely do these type of affairs involve real affection, love and they may be very fleeting partnerships.
Sex may take place at an office party, a boys night out or making out with the kids babysitter. If it is the woman that is being unfaithful, then she may be sleeping with the boss, a colleague or the milkman!
Basically people who cheat and seek affairs or are susceptible to being unfaithful will find someone within their circle and if a spark is ignited and chemistry is present then they may just find themselves caught up in a moment of lust only to regret it afterwards.
If you have always had a fairly low sex drive it can be hard to understand how this type of loss of control can happen.
These type of 'one off' sexual encounters may seem less serious than a more emotionally involved affair where feelings are present and it lasts for years but that is a myth. Casual sex whether in a relationship or not can increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) which you may then pass to your real partner, unwanted pregnancy or the risk that the mistress may fall in love and threaten to blow your cover and tell your wife!
Men may find they have a bunny boiler on their hands..remember the film 'Basic Instinct'?
Women may find themselves being stalked, though men have those too nowadays. What a world we live in!
The man or woman falls in love with someone they are close to perhaps through work, friends of the family, perhaps your partners best friend. Love is not something we can control, it 'happens' whether we act on it though is something we can control though that is not to say it's easy and I am not here to pass judgment. Who am I to suggest to anyone that they should not be with the person they love? I don't know the facts, I have not walked a mile in their shoes.
Loneliness, sadness, boredom and lack of attention
I am lumping these three things together as they all amount to the same thing. For whatever reason there is something lacking in their existing relationship and despite the fact they may love their partner deeply they are not having their emotional needs (not necessarily sexual) met. Their partner may spend weekends on their hobby or own friends/family and exclude their partner. Family tensions may be causing a rift.
The person feeling emotionally robbed may find themselves inexplicably drawn to the first person who shows them some affection, kindness or attention. They may be very vulnerable and low when that knight in shining armor rides past! They may foolishly believe that they will be rescued completely and live a new life altogether or they may just be welcoming a break from their humdrum existence.
Some people have giant ego's and have neither respect for themselves or others and genuinely do think they can sail through life doing whatever they like without ever being caught out.
People fall out of love
This is very sad but true. Sometimes people change and some do not change enough, either way falling in and out of love is beyond our control.
So if people need more sex or fall in love with someone else why don't they end their existing relationship first?
There might be too much to lose and they may still love their existing partner, wife, husband. They may have kids that they do not want to see traumatised by divorce or separation or risk not being able to see them often or at all. There might be financial considerations. They might have their whole life and financial security tied up in the other person.
From what I know myself of people who have been unfaithful, they do not want initially to leave the person they are with. Circumstances get beyond their control. They give in to passion, they give in to feeling attractive and enjoying the attention of someone else and they hope their partner never finds out. Some hope they do! Some want to jolt an inattentive partner into being a better partner than they have been.
Should you forgive your partner for having an affair?
This is for you to decide and no one else. I myself have never had an affair, been unfaithful or been someones mistress so I am reflecting here on what I have been told by others who have had affairs. I have though had a partner who had an affair and I ended the relationship. For me though there were other issues and that was just the icing on the cake.
What you choose though should be based on how you feel about your partner, the unique circumstances and whether you can forgive and trust them once more.
Affairs are often a symptom of other problems within a relationship and should you decide to forgive and forget spend some time trying to work out what it was that prompted the affair in the first place. Complete honesty is called for. Be prepared to accept that in some cases you may share some responsibility. Though this will not always be the case.