Why Do Partners Have Affairs? Part I

Note: This is Part I of a four-part series of blog articles. Here I will introduce 3 of the reasons for affairs. In the 3 follow-up articles, entitled “Why Do Partners Have Affairs? Part II, Part III and Part IV”, I will present the remaining 15 reasons for infidelity.

Why Do Partners “Stray”?

In our contemporary times, it has become harder to define what infidelity is. (See my other “Infidelity/Affairs” blog article entitled “What Is Infidelity?”) There can be many different types of infidelity and methods through which to have an affair.  Read my other blog article entitled “How Does a Partner Have an Affair?”.

With all the blurred lines, confusion and uncomfortable realities, we may still find ourselves asking something very fundamental… Why do partners stray from their partners?”

15 Possible Reasons Why Partners Stray-Off

Some of these reasons are understandable. Others are not. And it may be difficult to pinpoint a single reason for a partner to stray. There may be multiple reasons that make a partner susceptible or motivate affair-seeking behavior.

Nevertheless, an affair is usually symptomatic of either an unfulfilling love relationship or deeper psychological problems.

Below are 3 of the total 15 possible reasons outlined in this article about “why” affairs occur. Go to the 3 other follow-up blog articles to discover the full 15 potential reasons and get other information as well.

  1. Partners Are Human and Can Be Impulsive

We humans have a hard time committing and remaining faithful to one partner. For some, there are just too many arousing opportunities that present themselves. These possibilities may stimulate a partner to take real action or a desire may remain in their head as an active and repetitive fantasy.

Not all men are cheaters and not all women are loyal. Although men are far more likely to stray than women, we are all imperfect and can be emotionally drawn into an affair that was unintended and unplanned. An affair might be an impulsive one-time interaction or the contact may be initiated when a partner is intoxicated or actively seduced.

We all have weak, flawed and regrettable moments in our lifetimes when we lose control of our behavior or lose sight of our values and commitments. Discipline slips.

  1. Family History

If one or both of your parents cheated, there is an increased likelihood that you will, too. Our parents are powerful role models and they teach us our values. It’s best to be upfront with your partner about this family history. Engaging in couple counseling and discussing this issue in order to avoid replicating your parent’s past behavior can be a very useful step. Don’t keep this a secret. Get it out in the open. Secrets tend to sabotage relationships and can be very destructive.

  1. Sexual Incompatibility/Dissatisfaction

You can still be in love yet not in lust anymore. One or both partners may experience intimacy deprivation and lose their sexual excitement for the other. For a host of different reasons, some men or women may love their partner but they are not fulfilled sexually or receiving enough intimacy. They hunger for more affection or better sex, or they just want to be held or paid attention to more frequently.

Ultimately, they may get bored or disinterested and then start fantasizing sexual encounters with other mates. After failing to get satisfaction within the relationship, they go outside for fulfillment. They are starving for affection, love and sex.

Sexual compatibility can wither away if not addressed directly and consciously in an attempt to revive the sexual arousal in both partners. If it is not dealt with openly, then it can lead to one or both partners straying.

Go to Parts II, III and IV to read about the other 12 reasons for infidelity. See the link below.


Who’s Responsible for the Affair?

The “unfaithful partner” is always responsible for their affair behavior. And if the relationship is to be repaired, they must take full responsibility for all of their past behaviors and stop the affair immediately.

However, the “hurt partner” has also, in some ways, contributed to the dissatisfaction and wandering. They failed to notice that their connection was dwindling and/or took no action to revive it.

Usually the love and respect in the marriage or relationship has deteriorated over time and has not been addressed or repaired sufficiently. Both partners did not prioritize keeping their relationship alive and healthy. So, because intimacy deteriorated, both partners are usually and ultimately responsible for the infidelity.


If you want to read Part II, click this link: 


For more information about “Therapy for Infidelity”, please visit my web page at:  http://www.drrevelmiller.com/what-we-treat/therapy-for-infidelity/

I have also posted a number of other articles about infidelity and affairs on this blog. You can find them by clicking on the blog category here: http://www.drrevelmiller.com/category/therapy-for-infidelity/


If you want to understand why your affair occurred, take responsibility for your possible contribution to the infidelity, and improve your relationship, then please call me at 805-448-5053.

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