Why Do Partners Have Affairs? Part III

Note: This is Part III of a four-part series of blog articles. Here I will introduce 4 more of the reasons for affairs. In the 2 preceding articles plus the follow-up article, entitled “Why Do Partners Have Affairs? Part I, Part II and Part IV”, I present the other 11 reasons for infidelity.

15 Possible Reasons Why Partners Stray-Off

Here are 4 more reasons why partners may roam away:

8. Pornography/Fantasy

Pornography is mainly created for men to masturbate to video-graphed sexual imagery. It is pleasurable, easy, private and can become addictive. Once it becomes compulsive, viewing pornography is usually engaged in frequently. As sexual arousal, pleasure and ejaculation are triggered by the sexual video images, this relieves the viewer and then there is less sexual arousal and energy left over for their partner. Soon, the couple may be having very little sex and their partner may seem less desirable and cannot compete with the exaggerated and exciting actors on the screen.

This is a form of emotional infidelity marked by indulgence in unrealistic sexual fantasy. It can also lead to impotence with their partner or, on the other hand, more assertive and bolder acting-out infidelity behaviors as they pursue other outside sexual partners.

9. Sexual Addiction/Compulsion

Some adults have a high need for sexual interaction, more than their partner can provide. These individuals may feel emotionally compelled to have sex with strangers and take risks at doing so. They often do their seeking behavior in secret to seduce new sex partners. Seeking and fulfilling their sexual drive becomes a compulsive behavior. If sexually addicted, they are out of control and cannot help themselves from seeking and relieving their anxiety-driven sexual appetite. These philanderers feel compelled to go outside their partnership for sexual gratification which does not last for very long. Therefore, these escapades become a repetitive behavior. They may also like the challenge and the feeling of domination over multiple new partners or victims.

10. Exit Strategy

Instead of leaving their partner and initiating a divorce, some partners have an exploratory affair and almost intentionally get caught in order to set-up conflict which gives them an excuse or enough emotional anger or discomfort to sever or leave a dissatisfying relationship/marriage. Or the “unfaithful one” sets up their partner to get angry and then let the “hurt one” initiate the separation.

This is a strategy to get rejected and avoids being courageous or responsible enough to initiate the break-up. By using this method, they may also appear to be victimized by their partner. This can make the separation more tolerable for the “unfaithful one”.

11. Transition Strategy

A partner may be very unhappy in a relationship however they cannot summon up enough courage to discuss the problem openly or separate. So, they wait until an attractive person comes along with whom they initiate and encourage an affair to occur or “fall in love with”. This new love then gives them the courage and motivation to leave their partner.

They use this method because they cannot manage separating or being alone and lonely. They are needy and dependent upon another person to cling on to and they use this outside person as their “bridge” to a new life.

Often, “transitional relationships” like this eventually fall apart but the temporary relationship they engaged in accomplished their goal of separation.

Go to Parts I, II and IV to read about the other 11 reasons for infidelity. See the links below.


Are All Partnerships Vulnerable to Infidelity?

In reality, yes, all relationships are vulnerable to infidelity, no matter how old or new the relationship is.

As you read above, all marriages and relationships have reasons for an affair. Infidelity can be impulsive. But usually an affair is in the making for a long time before it happens. If one or both partners stop sharing their inner most feelings, thoughts, needs and fantasies, then the relationship starts to gradually deteriorate. The friendship and respect must continue to grow and adapt.

Many affairs are discovered early on. Some continue undetected for many years. And, of course, some affairs are never discovered. Plus, some partners have multiple affairs or “serial affairs”, some of which may be discovered and some never uncovered or known about.

Maintaining a lasting and loving relationship takes effort, time and conscientiousness. Both partners need to be committed to their partnership and prioritize it in their life and repeatedly demonstrate it behaviorally. Partners have to give to one another and help meet one another’s needs. Because we think and feel differently, men must constantly learn more about women and women must persistently discover more about men.


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


For more information about “Therapy for Infidelity”, please visit my web page at:


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 and improve your relationship, then please call me at 805-448-5053.

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