The Psychology of Cheating

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmDesire is the main cause of misery, said, Gautama Buddha. However, is desire a reason enough to break a marriage? According to psychology, no individual willingly wants to do the wrong thing. We all have a conscience and we all know cheating is bad? Then why do people do it? More than 90% of married people believe infidelity is wrong. Yet, 30%-40% marriages in California end in divorce due to infidelity. Science believes there are psychological reasons behind why this happens.

Individual reasons

People always try to justify their actions. The reason the saying ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ stands good is because people assume their actions are justified. A person when commits infidelity justifies his/her actions to convince himself/herself that he/she did right. Like a smoker, when he/she says his/her uncle smoked 20 packs a day and lived to be 100, a cheater minimizes the significance of his/her actions.

Men are proven to attempt infidelity due to the increased levels of testosterone in their body. At the same time, women tend to rely more on emotional thinking and therefore are led towards infidelity.

Situational reasons

A person might not necessarily be inclined to having an affair, but situations and environmental circumstances often amount to cheating. In few cases, people have found to commit infidelity as a form of seeking a thrill in their life. In others, they seek the emotional or physical void in their present relationships, leading to divorces.

In certain situations, dissimilarities among the couples lead to an inclination towards infidelity. In cases where one partner has a higher paying job, is more successful or more educated than the other, infidelity is common. This gives rise to a sense of superiority and the idea of the two individuals not being of equal level, giving rise to the dissatisfaction that can cause an imbalance.

Staying away from divorce

Communication is key in most cases. Communicating one’s perspective on infidelity and reinforcing the idea maintains a reality check for both partners.  Defining boundaries as a couple defines the meaning of infidelity which often fades due to self-justification. Ensuring that your partner communicates his/her needs from the relationship helps cater to those specific needs. Tackling infidelity is an intricate process and re-establishing trust and understanding will help save your marriage.

If you are facing infidelity, consult a therapist and try couple’s therapy. Leave divorce as a last resort if the mistakes can’t be resolved. Once you have decided to go ahead with the divorce, make sure that you hire the best Orange County Divorce Attorney/Orange County Divorce Mediator.

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