7 Reasons Why Your Spouse Would Cheat On You

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These seven signs signal that your marriage is at risk for an affair.

There are a lot of extra marital affairs each year in the United States. I must admit that I was completely naive about how many affairs were taking place. The research is not clear on just how many, but there are estimates ranging from 30 percent all the way to 60 percent of marriages suffer from the effects of infidelity.

What drives someone to infidelity? There have been books written on this subject, and this post is not trying to summarize the profound literature on this topic. But I thought you should be aware of my top 7 reasons why your spouse would cheat on you. The more you know the better you can protect your marriage.

Amy (my wife) and I have always taken a pretty strong stance against affairs. There are moral reasons for our stance as well as emotional and psychological reasons. But when it comes to protecting our marriage, I believe the smartest thing we did to protect our marriage from infidelity was to both admit that we were capable of having an affair. This might sound strange to you, but think for a second about the consequences of believing that you are incapable of an affair. Pride set in, and you know what comes after pride…the fall!

But this is not a post about protecting your marriage from an affair. This is a post about learning why your spouse would possibly commit an affair (which will ultimately help you protect your marriage from an affair).

I do want to make perfectly clear that NONE of these seven reasons are your fault. It is never your fault that your spouse chooses to have an affair to cope with something broken in the marriage. But do understand that affairs are a huge signal that something is broken.

Here are 7 reasons that will help answer the question “Why?”:

  1. Your spouse feels disconnected and shares this with someone of the opposite sex. One of the most basic needs of any human is to feel connected. If your spouse feels disconnected in the marriage, then your marriage is at risk for an affair. Stay connected with each other by sharing feelings and needs openly and honestly and without condemnation. If I can’t share my feelings with my spouse, then I’m going to naturally feel disconnected and then I might search for someone to connect with. This is when it gets dangerous.
  2. Your spouse complains about you to the opposite sex. The worst way we can handle stress in our marriage is by complaining to other people. If I choose to complain to someone of the opposite sex, I’m setting myself up to have an affair. When I complain to someone of the opposite sex, what I’m really doing is telling that person, “Love me unlike my spouse is loving me.” People will catch this underlying desire and they will act upon it. The best person to complain about your spouse with is…no one. Complaining just makes things worse. Be productive and tell your spouse that something isn’t right and then go seek help from a pastor or marriage coach.
  3. Your spouse drinks alcohol heavily while traveling on business. This one drives me crazy! I was at a restaurant bar in Orlando once where I sat next to a man who was hammered. He could barely sit on his bar stool and he was hitting on the girl next to him like there was no tomorrow. I noticed the ring on his finger and decided to try and give him a chance to pull out of the situation. I can’t remember what I said, but I think I asked him how long he’d been married. Sadly, he laughed off my question and said, “My wife isn’t here, so that doesn’t matter.” He then went off with the young lady alone. Drinking too much alcohol is never a good idea, but especially if you are traveling without your spouse. The majority of affairs are actually one nightstands that happen outside of the state people live in.
  4. Your spouse hangs out with the wrong crowd late in to the evenings. This one is very similar to #3, but it is different because it centers around the activity at home. If your spouse likes to party until late in the evening with single friends or friends who are not good influences (and you know who those are), then your marriage is at risk for an affair. My mother always told me that nothing good ever happens after midnight. This is true for your marriage. Hanging out drinking late in to the evening is a formula for disaster. Stay home and keep each other company.
  5. Your spouse has low self-esteem and likes to be flirted with. This one can be a subtle danger to your marriage. If your spouse feels insecure then she might try to find a new self-image through an opposite sex friendship or flirting. This can often start off very innocent, but once feelings of security through the flirting and friendship creep in, the emotions will turn romantic. They always do, so do not fool yourself or be fooled.
  6. Your spouse feels bored in the marriage and wants more excitement. This one bothers me as much as #3! What a horrible reason to seek out an affair! Feelings of boredom are natural, but they are in no way an excuse to seek out an affair. If your spouse ever shares that he is feeling bored or uninterested, do not ignore this plea. Take it seriously and check out what needs to happen to spice things up (and I’m not hinting at just sex here, but emotionally as well). If you do not talk with each other, then you set up an environment where an affair becomes much easier to commit.
  7. Your spouse feels a lack of attention in the marriage. If you ignore your spouse, someone else will give the attention that is being desired.  I will reiterate that if your spouse has an affair, that is not your fault! But…please understand that you do play a role in the problem.  Even though an affair is the most hurtful thing you could do to your spouse, it is just a symptom of a larger problem in the marriage. So that means both people have to work on making the marriage stronger and resistant to infidelity.

What should you do with this list? Take a moment to check yourself to see if you (or your spouse) are doing any of these 7 things.  If you realize that one or more of them are occurring in your marriage, then sit down and bring it up before an affair happens. Be proactive in your marriage and not reactive. Take steps to connect and care for each other. The more satisfying your marriage, the less likely an affair will occur.

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