New research published in The Journal of Sex Research has delved deeper into the reasons why some people cheat on their partners, revealing that a “lack of love” is most often to blame.
The survey asked 495 adults (with an average age of 20) if they had ever strayed while in a relationship and their motivations for doing so.
Seventy-seven motivations for infidelity were named by participants. The study authors grouped these by commonality to find:
1. 77% cheated because of lack of love
2. 74% for variety of sexual partners
3. 70% because they felt neglected
4. 70% because of a situational reason (such as being drunk)
5. 57% to boost their own self esteem
6. 43% out of anger
7. 41% because they felt little commitment to their partner
8. 32% for physical sex
Furthermore, they found that men were likely to cheat for variety, sexual desire and situation while women were likely to be unfaithful because they felt neglected and ignored.
“Our results also show personality correlates with infidelity motivations,” the researchers stated.
Those with commitment issues were motivated by sexual variety while hopeless romantic types were driven by sexual desire, low commitment, lack of love, and neglect.
“These findings highlight multifaceted motivations underlying infidelity, moving beyond relationship deficit models of infidelity, with implications for research and psychotherapy involving people’s romantic and sexual relationships.”