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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Infidelity, Why do people cheat?

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Sep 20th 2008

 The University of Montreal Department of Psychology recently released the results of a study on infidelity. The research was conducted by a PhD student as part of her doctoral dissertation.
The results were very interesting.

The study found a strong correlation between "avoidant attachment style" and the wish to cheat on a lover. Those with avoidant attachment styles are uncomfortable with intimate relationships and find ways to get out of them. What better way to accomplish this than to have multiple sexual encounters? Another way to state this is to say that cheating is a strategy to enable an individual to avoid intimate relationship. These are people who are phobic about intense personal relationship and need to dilute and destroy them as a way of calming their fears.

Contrary to popular belief, this avoidance of intimacy by cheating is not an exclusively male characteristic. The study showed that men and women cheat equally or think about doing so.

In addition:

While this study is interesting it is also limited. There are probably multiple reasons why people cheat. For example, there are those who remain married for many years and then engage in infidelity. Of course, there is no reason to assume that because two people have been married a long time, they are truly intimate. Many are the ways to avoid intimacy even in the context of marriage.

I want to suggest that in addition to the wish to avoid intimacy, people cheat for some of the following reasons:

1. Mid life crisis: having that last "fling."
2. Lack of sexual satisfaction in the context of marriage.
3. The need for a "secret life."
4. In general, a marriage with a long history of unhappiness.
5. Drug and alcohol abuse, Etc.

Your comments and opinions are welcome.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

In a NutShell - - Feb 7th 2012

Irrelevant of the excuses and justifications, everybody knows it's wrong, everybody knows it ends their relationship right at that moment, caught or not. Every cheater would go ballistic if they found out they got cheated on.

People cheat because their emotionally immature. Simple.

I'd dump you're worthless ass in a nano second. Because it shows me you're incapeable of even knowing what a committed intimate relationship is, let alone you've got no strength, integrity, empathy or intelligence.

Oh and let me add, i've had a lot of experience, and emotionally immature cheaters always have a higher opinion of their worth and sexual prowess than is justified.

You're betraying, lying, selfish, manipulative personity is apparent in every part of you're life, not just you're sex life.


Not so - todd - Dec 10th 2010

I find the article to be ego-centric in the context of Judeo-Christian influenced human grouping strategies for maximization of resources for survival.

If groups of humans can survive well with dissimilar relationship styles, such as children living with father's, mothers living together, father's living together, communal living, etc. etc.  then why are other relationship types maladaptive.  After all the statement has been made that an intimate relationship is being avoided. 

I contend it is possible to have high quality intense human relationships, without having monogamy. The intellectual relationship is the more intense after all.  Why is the world view of psychology conscripted to frame it's logic such that any sexual contact outside of a monogamous relationship diminishes the primary relationship. 

I think that's a incorrect presumption and should be seen as religious dicta or of the like. I think it is a strategy that has developed though times of scientific and medical ignorance, and ultimately religious superstition. 

In the modern world one is able to enjoy their sexuality with more than one partner and still be safe, and still enjoy the experience and still egagee with their primary partner, and fulfill all aspects of their life without creating stressors between life partners or sex partners or polarizing allegiances. 

In this sense I beleive that the morals of the past amount to dogma, and the psychiatric community can't look at it scientifically. 

Monogamy: just because the loudest says it right, doesn't make it so.

Comment on the military spouse. - - Nov 23rd 2010

I'm a soldier and married, you ho ass tramp.

military spouses - Verconia - Oct 7th 2010

Hi.  My husband is active duty military and I live on a base;  my next door neighbor~ who I have found completely attractive to since he moved in is experiencing a year long deployment from his spouse.  One night things got heated and it happened.  The next day he said he felt horrible and loved his wife too much etc.  I felt very rejected.  We had made some clear arrangements that it was just for fun and out of lonelyness.  Last night it happened again and today the same old I love my wife I can't do this.  I am just so hurt;  I'm not deeply connected to this person but the feeling of being rejected and that he is all that much better of a person than me makes me sick inside.  I'm very angry with him.  He acts like I forced him;  and believe me it was not that way!  He wanted it and so did I.  Any thoughts on this?

Alfred De Zehyoue You're Wrong! - Chrissy - Sep 29th 2010

Alfred De Zehyoue, God, fear of God has NOTHING to do with infidelity. It did not stop David and Bathsheba! And eventually they were blessed!

Also Atheists and Agnostics have a significanlty lower divorce and infidelity rate than Christians and other religious people do. Don't take my word for it; just simply google 'atheist divorce rate'.

People cheat because they have insecurity, are missing something, are afraid of commitment, selfish, amongst other things, leave God out the statistics prove you wrong.

Why married people cheat - Alfred De Zehyoue - Sep 21st 2010

I think married people cheat because they don't have fear for God

The Bible says in the book of proverb,the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

If people were dying because of cheating on their partners, I think people were going to desists from these ungodly behaviours.

sometimes it's just temptation or out of anger - - Sep 11th 2010

Right now I"m in a relationship where I feel that my spouse/boyfriend of 7 years keeps repeating the same mistake. He cannot communicate and I feel like he neglects me and is not considerate of my feelings. For example, we've had to have a distance relationship, so he said that he will call at a certain time and does not call. I get so frustrated, that I feel like I'm left with no choice but to go out and find someone else to show him how serious I am. (I haven't cheated) I've expressed to him that I'm not happy and he said "well, that's your decision, I don't want to break up."  When he's here, things are good, but I think he takes me for granted. As much as I try to verbalize it to him, I don't know if he actually hears me cause he has not changed his ways. I also don't feel like he takes me seriously.

I feel like sometimes people are left in situations where they have no choice. My spouse doesn't want to break up, but also doesn't change.  I feel like either way I will end up screwed, if I stay I'm miserable, if I leave him, I will be miserable because I will be viewed by him as the bitch who broke it off.

I think when you're not living together and have separate apartments etc it can be easier to say "goodbye", but when you've ended up in a marriage like situation, I think it's harder (everything is shared etc..)

they cheat - - Sep 4th 2010

Yes they cheat alright and we are still wondering why

Men like to have sex with other women and their wives.. its a sex drive thing. and the excitement of it and still comes back to their wives and have sex with them.

What is wrong with that? THey are just sharing how good they can have sex with other women..

Men are men and women are women. When I am having sex with my man.. my mind wonders to other men and him on top of me as well.. why not.. its fun and I love it

Stop being shelfish of your man and enjoy when he is with you

Chemistry anyone? - anne - Aug 29th 2010

I think we are forgetting a very non-logical factor in cheating- chemistry and pheremones. I am in a relationship for 3 years now and I adore him, and know that I could be happy with him for the rest of my life.

I work one night a week at a dance club and come across all kinds of cute, funny, smart, charming guys...they don't do it for me. Its not hard not to cheat because I don't feel attracted to them.

But one day that changed. I met someone and he was nice and all, but we knew each other for such a short time, you couldn't call it love, it was just lust. We both found each other irresistable. I wore a shirt of his home afterwards and even two weeks later, if I sniff his shirt, my pupils dialate and I get light headed.

I have NO other explanation for this rare phenomenon other than the fact that something else plays a role in cases of infidelity- I don't really know what there is to do about this problem.

Is it me???!!! - - Aug 20th 2010


I have been in relationship three times now since I was 15. Every of them ended up cheating on me. I dont know if it is me or them!!! My first relationship started with a crush and we were very far from echother never met but it was an online dating thing..Cheating was understandable I geuss..

Second relationship went well at first, but than ended up in him cheating on me because it was the first time for me and I didnt know anything about giving your time to some one.

Both these relationships never were sexual.

Now I am 20 and I am a virgin and I dont want to have sexual relationship before marriage. I have been in a relationship for 3 months now with this guy and I love him already!! I caught him cheating on me and he conffessed everything. He said that he wanted to get out of relationship adn he was playing with me at first. But than he tried to get me back by apologizing and confessing.I gave him another chance.

I learned that in order to have a good relationship you need to give your time and work hard for it. But, I still dont understand is it me the problem because I dont want to be cheated again...

Sad, Realistic Man - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jun 15th 2010

Hi Mr. Sad and eveyone here,

I do not agree with "Mr. Sad" that those who cheat are simply cruel and heartless people. It is not fair to paint people with a broad and general brush stroke. And, it is a complicated issue which is why there is so much discussion here.

In addition to the "Dr." who posted, it is not "just sex." Within the context of marriage love and sex are deeply connected. That is why people get hurt when cheating occurs.

It is important to keep in mind that "open marriages," in which there is mutual consent to cheat, very often end in failure. The emotions of jealousy and self esteem take over. No, its not just sex.

Dr. Schwartz

The Truth About People - Sad, Realistic Man - Jun 15th 2010

i believe that people cheat on each other because they are heartless, conscienceless, worthless, scum.

It's so simple. What is all the discussion about?

Response to Dr Primal - Eric - Jun 8th 2010

Hello Dr Primal. I see where you are getting, but I still don't agree. What if we allowed violence in society because it is a natural emotion? After all, animals are violent in nature all the time, so why can't we be violent? That is the logic you are using on this issue. Just because we have a human urge for something, doesn't make it right. Violence is obviously not right, just like how cheating isn't right.

Saying something is "just sex" is a pretty big "just". There are so many emotions tied into sex, that it is way more than just some act we do. It goes deep into our minds, and has caused jealousy, violence, and more throughout our history. Love is passion, chemistry, dedication, and more. Sex is lust. You might lust after many people in life, but that's what makes us human. Lust is impulse and urges. Like I mentioned earlier, we might have an impulse to punch someone that made us angry in the face, but we don't. If we allowed punching people in the face to satisfy our impulses, would that make it alright?

There is a different type of love for your friends, parents, etc. than for your spouse. You form a deep conection and friendship with your spouse that is the most emotional connection you can make with a human being.

I would love to see your source showing the swingers vs monogamy vs. etc. and a happiness graph or chart. I have a feeling you are just making up a stat to support your opinion. I am not saying swingers are not happy, I think there are many monogamous couples that are just as happy (I would know because I have seen many of them in my life).

Although swinging is sex outside of marriage, it's not the form of cheating everyone here is talking about. Cheating behind your spouses back is much different than discussing options of an open relationship, although I don't agree with either, I respect swingers a little more for at least having communication in their relationship.

Swinging and open relationships are not for everyone, such as myself, but I'm sure there are people out there that want it and enjoy it, just like anything else in life, whether it may be harmful or beneficial to their life. You seem very hostile against a committed marriage, sex and love, between a man and a woman and consider it poisonous, but that is your viewpoint and I will respect it, even though I disagree. I believe the best things in life are from hard work, commitment, and dedication, especially in a relationship. To me, cheating seems like an easy way out of a deeper problem in a relationship.


Reply to June Love - Eric - Jun 7th 2010

Hello June. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, as I forgot about this site after the last time I posted. Yes, men and women cheat, that is a fact. People also do drugs. People also commit crimes. There are many facts in life, but that doesn't mean they are acceptable.

That is not true. I know many guys that would feel horrible about cheating, including myself. I would never let my impulses control my body and thoughts. This has just been your experience in life, and probably are dealing with the wrong type of men.

Not all women feel bad about cheating. I have met women that feel like your stereotype of men. They feel cheating is alright until they are caught.

Yes, it could very possibly be repression, and I appreciate that you analyzed this possibility :)

The "perfect" husband that you talked to isn't very perfect then, is he? If he loves his wife deeply and passionately, he would not cheat on her. If he loved her like he said he does, he would not set up a scenario that could tear apart her emotions, cause depression, and break apart their marriage. If he loved her deeply and passionately, he would not want to hurt her like he could by cheating. Anyone could call themselves the perfect anything, but those are only words, and words will only take you so far. A drug addict could say they aren't addicted, but their definition of addiction could mean doing a drug 10 times a day, and they only do it 9.

He just likes women, as do I! And I'm sure that you like men. We are human, and we have these feelings. It's how we were made! I have heard thousands of times, we are animals, and we have all the impulses that other animals do. There is a difference though, and that is we can control our actions. We have a conscience. We can say yes or no to something. We can hurt someone else with our decisions. There is a difference between thinking about stealing and actually stealing.

There is a difference between wanting to punch someone in the face, and actually punching them in the face; and there is a difference between thinking about other women/men, and actually getting with other women/men. We all have urges and impulses, but part of being an adult is learning to deal with those urges; not just for our own benefit, but for the people we care about's benefit.

Like I said before, nobody forces marriage on you. Marriage is what it is, and you can choose to partake in it or just date your whole life. Marriage is defined as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. You can bend that definition all you want, but it won't change it.

People can be monogamous, and many people have (and are/were happy being that way). As I mentioned earlier, I have witnessed it in my own life. Both my grandparents were monogamous and married over 50 years. One set of them still are today! They are mid 80s and still love eachother like they did when they were in their 30s. My parents have almost been married 30 years, and they have also been monogamous, so don't tell me it isn't possible, because it is.

Violence is sad in society, but it's true. Does that make it right? Does something being considered normal make it right? No, it doesn't, and that seems to be your primary argument. I will repeat what I have said numerous times: If you don't want to get married, then don't. Nobody forces you to. Relationships require hard work and dedication between two compassionate people that care deeply about eachothers feelings, and not just their own. If one person doesn't care about the other, the relationship will crumble like an old building. A relationship is built on so many ingredients, just like a cake, and if one ingredient is missing, it might look normal on the outside, but it won't taste as good.

If you aren't ready for the hard work of a relationship and want to resort to cheating and other easy ways out to meet your emotional and selfish needs, then I would suggest not getting married.


THIS IS IT - Dr Primal - Jun 7th 2010

cheating became a problem the day society gave it a bad reputation.  if we undo this fact then there will be no cheating and hence, happier couples.  we should learn to separate love and sex just like we do for church and government.  we marry for love and enjoy life with sex be it with your spouse or with anyone.  why do we have to connect sex with love?  obviously its society, culture, and familial upbringing that made a big deal out of cheating.  its just sex. same goes for falling for someone else,  we all know that people are capable of loving more than one person and that there is only one kind of love.  in our lifetime we can expect to love a lot of people like our friends, siblings, parents and etc so why not have multiple spouses?  we all know it's possible, others have done it.  the point is, this is exactly why the happiest couples in the world are those that we call swingers.  they stay honest and open to the roots of mankind, way before society, religion, government, etc poisoned everyone's mind with CHEATING.

Learning your lesson and Growing. - - May 17th 2010

Learning how to get your needs met with out going outside your relationship is key.

I had to learn this the hard way, and lost out big with someone I really loved and really loved me.

When I had went away to college and me and my boyfriend was an 1hr away from each other when we use to be with each other every day. I tried to subliment his absence with another guy "friend" that wound up turning sexual. It was just one time but it was enough to destroy and end our relationship.

Many years later I am still hurt and effected by this, but one lesson I have learned in my maturation and growth, is how to get what I need from myself interdependently within myself or in safer more guarded interactions to protect my relationship when I get one more worthwhile again. So I will no how to more properly guide it and protect it.

To much is given much is required. I think that is why god has not given me a good healthy relationship. Because I have not shown I would properly know how to handle and maintain it. I hope now with my further growth and acknowledgement he would reconsider.

Don't look without for things that you can give yourself within. Learn to ask for your needs to be met from within a relationship with out looking without. Find someone demand that you are worthy enough for these needs to be met, so you do not have to go looking elsewhere or out of your relationship for them.




I cheated - Elizabeth - Apr 29th 2010

I think why most people cheat is because they lose their since of sexuality. My husband cheated on me about 12 yrs into our marriage and I thought this would never happen to me. Boy was i wrong in that thinking.  I blamed myself until I was sick. So we did work through it at the time but then almost 4yrs later, i never got over it and found myself wanting revenge. He always accused me of this after it happened and I just simply was devestated. Finally, after 19yrs of marriage going on 20 liking 2 months celebrating, he accused me for the last time i met someone and cheated. I felt horrible at first but then i realized that i got even. But now i can't figure out if i truely love my husband and need to tell him what i done or just simply end the marriage and continue with the affair, problem there is i picked out someone i felt was safe because like i stated i was only getting even, so he is a married man living and working in another state, and going home to his wife about every two weeks or so for a couple of days. I find myself longing for this man i met around Christmas of 2009. I know it sounds selfish but i hadn't been with anyone else and the freedom i have i totally enjoy. and i don't have one bit of regret. I hope this helps in some way. The only regret is that the man im cheating with will probably never leave his 3 wife for and then im kinda scared all at the same time because this is his 3 marriage. Big red flag!!!!!

I am in love with my lover - Dawn - Apr 14th 2010

I am having an affair with a man I used to date 20 years ago, why you ask. Because i threw my husband out last oct after 17 yrs of marriage because he is an opiate addict. He spends 2,000 per week on percocet.

I now am in love with my lover and he with me. My husband and i have lived apart for 7 months and he always says he loves me but he pushes me away. So I found someone else 1 month ago.  Now my husband is going to rehab and tells me he dosent know how he will feel about me after he gets clean.  He does not know about my lover. I am so confused, I feel sorry for my husband but he pushed me away once to often. What if he wants me back after he gets out, I really dont know if i love him any more. And I don't know what to do.

boyfriend just confessed - Mary B - Apr 10th 2010

My boyfriend of 7 years just confessed that he kissed a colleague last night while both were drunk. He said it didn't mean anything and feels horrible. In talking this through he confessed to cheating on me during the early stages of our relationship. He is clinically depressed and is on medication for it. I love him and know he loves me. What should I do?


People have never been, are not and will never be monogamous - June Love - Apr 5th 2010

Men and women cheat. It is a Fact.

But what I noticed is when a man cheats he knows it is wrong but he does not feel bad about it and usually does not say "I'm a horrible person! I feel like shit". He usually feels great - until caught of course.

But the woman does. She might be cheating as often as a man but her mind eats her alive.

Stop it, girls. If u cheat - you cheat. Live with it. If u feel like shit - just don't do that then. It means you can't handle it.

I know what you are talking about as I'm a girl and I posted a comment recently about my cheating and feeling bad about it. I only feel bad the first week. Then it goes. Though, Eric said it is repressing one's feelings and there is nothing healthy about it. Probably.

I asked one man who claims to love his wife deeply and passionately: 

-WHY do you cheat then so often and with so many women?

He replied

-I'm a perfect husband but I have 2 faults: I never wash up dishes and I just like women.

"I just like women!" is not it brilliant?

Well, I JUST LIKE men! :)

People have never been, are not and will never be monogamous.

It is sad, but it is true.

PS. Hello Eric :)

why cant i stay fathful - seirra - Apr 3rd 2010

every time i get witha guy i flort or cheat on thim. i meen i have no clue why i do that. i am starting to fall for this guy but i find my self florting with other guys.i dont know wat is going on with me........ can any one help me i dont want to loss him!!!!

I just cheated - - Mar 30th 2010

I just cheated on my finance, and I feel like shit. BUT I know why i cheated, because my finance and I havent been having sex like we used to. We just been doing quickies, not doing like used to. The guy  I cheated on my finance with gives it to me. He is all passionate, and lustful....I know thats all it is with him is lust nothing else, and I feel bad about it, and make myself sick every time....:( I'm a horrible person

i just dont know anymore - victoria - Mar 27th 2010

i've been dating this guy for over a year now.  It started out as long distnace, but after 10 months in the relationship he moved up by me.  the age difference was 3 and 1/2 years, and he had just turned 18.  my parents found out about me sneaking out to meet him.  All my friends were just conerned that he would be a rapist or something, but my brother knew him for two years, and i trusted him completely.  he was the best thing that ever happened to me ya know?  he was my first love, and he just broke up with me last night.  im having a really hard time coping with this all.  i thought i was gonna end up married to him, he even gave me a ring!.  he gave me a shirt, bracelet, two jersery's, a pair of pants, and sweatshirt, a pair of his boxers, a blanket, and he made me a picture frame out of would. he was so nice to me, really, he would tell me how much he loved me all the time.  Although we agreed we wouldn't do anything stupid because of the law, we have never had sex, and all his friends/my brother's friends have told me that he has cheated on me.  When i confronted him, he denied it, he said that they were just saying stuff, and he got mad at me for even thinking something like that.  Well i snuck onto his myspace because i had his password, and turns out he had been "dating" this girl on the internet.  Oh and she lived an hour away... and he drove 14 hours for me, so what's an hour gonna hurt? well when i asked him about it, he got all upset and mad at me, he said that she was depressed, and that he was just tyring to help her so she wouldn't kill herself, but people kept telling me that she wasnt the only case.  For the past 3 weeks we have been fighting because ever since i haven't trusted him like i used to, and he has the night shift at his new job, so we hardly ever get to talk.  He moved back to his old home 14 hours away about two months ago, which really hurt me, and he changed he really did.  I really felt like we did before all this happend.  but apparently i have been always asking him if he cared about me or not, if he loved me.  he always said yes, but apparently 2 nights ago i just got his last nerve, and he didn't talk to me for a day, i went to school crying and i didn't even talk to anyone, not even my best friend, and when i got home i called and left a voice mail, and then he broke up with me through text saying that i always was complaining and he was sick of it.  This was so sudden, and i refuse to believe that it was just because of me...i agree though i was a bit naggy, but he just yelled and cursed at me for no reason...i'm almost positive he broke it off because he cheated on me.....he wont talk to me for now.....what do i extremely depressed and i don't want to live like this for the rest of my life...

Re to: Shall all - Eric - Mar 23rd 2010

Thanks for responding. You say that "50% of women and 60% of men cheat at some point in their marriage.". If 70% of men started doing hard drugs, or calling women derogatory names in public, would that make it ok? Just because a majority of people do something doesn't make it acceptable.

Correct, I don't think those people should be married. Why? Because marriage is literally when two people are joined together. You make the choice to get married. If you don't want to commit to one person your whole life, then live with your spouse and don't get married.

You say "I would prefer that he hides it so well that no one knows, including me. " While I can see why you want that, not having to know the truth, that's what life is, and marriage. Marriage is about commitment to a person you love deeply, being truthful to them, loyal to them, respecting their feelings and emotions, and caring more about them than yourself.

"I do want to believe that marriage without cheating is possible." It is, and the people that I have seen that lived their whole loves committed to eachother seem just as happy as any other couple that maybe wasn't as loyal. How does one live a life with one partner and without cheating? The same way one lives it without alcohol, smoking, or other temptations that can control your life. You make a choice to care about someone elses feelings more than your own, and hope they do the same.

Cheating is giving into your temptations, which you should learn to control and comprehend as you get older. If you have a problem with sex in your marriage, tell your parter so you can fix the problem. Don't avoid it and take drastic actions inspired by impulse. Although this is a little out there, why don't we punch people in the face if they make us angry? It's a good way to take out anger. We don't do it because we are afraid we will harm someone we care about, and have learned to control our anger. If we can control our impulses with such a strong emotion like anger, we can do it with anything. Even if we made punching people socially acceptable, you would still know it was wrong deep down. It's just the way we are.

Although people cheat for many reasons, I believe the main reason is a 'want' not beeing satisfied. You should be able to discuss this with your spouse, but if you are afraid to or don't want to, then I don't think you married the right person. Your spouse should be your best friend you can tell anything to. all of your secrets, deep emotions, and whatever problems you may have. If you really don't want to be with your spouse sexually, then talk to them about it. Maybe they feel the same way! There are many happy couples that brought 'sharing' and 'swinging' into their lifestyle, and while I don't agree with it, I respect them for having an open and honest marriage. They talked about their wants and desires and came to a conclusion than made them both happy.

If you cheat just to feel a high, then that is sad. You've fallen into a category where you care less about the people around you, and more about achieving a short 'high' for your own satisfaction, and yes, that is selfish. It's no different than an alcoholic. You do what you do to cover up problems in your life, even though there are so many more ways to do it. You've just taken the easy way out, which more often than not, can have negative effects down the road.

Shall all these people not get married????? Re to Eric - June Love - Mar 20th 2010

Eric, thank you for your response.

On one hand I agree with what you are saying, on the other when i see such figures on the web as: 50% of women and 60% of men cheat at some point in their marriage, my behaviour does not seem immature or selfish. it seems normal practice.

Shall all these people not get married????? 

maybe the reality has changed and marriages shall be different? I do not have a specific theory about that. Just a thought...

We feel bad after cheating only because it is forbidden and because the partner's reaction is negative and because we do not want our partner to do the same. Marriage is a social arrangement. Sex and love are physical (emotions).

I am not sure I would want to know that my husband has an affair with the 20yo as in your example. I would prefer that he hides it so well that no one knows, including me. 

I do want to believe that marriage without cheating is possible. In fact cheating is too much trouble - you lie, you need to remember your lies, you feel guilt etc. But for some reason the sex with your lover overweights all this discomfort. Why? 


Why not just eat, sleep, have children, live in one house and make love to one person?

why do people skydive, speed, do drugs or wine, climb the mountains, sail, and etc? 

why do they cheat......? feel HIGH??? 

Response to "today I came home" - Eric - Mar 19th 2010

That is very immature and quite selfish of you. It seems that you are affraid of commitment, and you probably shouldn't have gotten married. Marriage is about becoming one, sharing eachothers feelings, emotions, problems, etc. I believe your past relationships did contribute to your current mindset, but just because you picked out a couple bad apples doesn't mean the whole basket is rotten. You probably felt bad when you were cheated on, and you are doing the same thing to your husband. You are giving him the same pain that you felt instead of being a mature adult, resisiting temptation, and caring about someone elses feelings instead of your own.

The reason your cheating is erased from your memory is that you repress it. When people get a bad test grade, have a tragic occurence, or a bad event happen, they can repress that memory and burry it in their mind. That doesn't mean it's gone though. It could come up at any time, even in other ways such as compulsive behavior or anxiety.

You are already smashing your marriage with a hammer if you aren't going to tell your husband. Would you like to know if he was cheating on you with a 20yo girl at work? Would you rather he tell you and talk about the problem together, or have you walk in on him one day and see them together. People shouldn't get married if they aren't ready for it, or don't like commitment, and you are living proof of that. Sorry if that was harsh, but it's the truth.

Today I came home after cheating - June - Mar 17th 2010

hi. i am 28. My husband is 14 years older than me. i have been married for 2 years. Before the marriage my husband and i lived together for 3 years. 

I never cheated on him when we were just living together. But a month before the marriage i got cold feet and went on a short holiday where i cheated. I am not sure what I felt then. Whatever my feelings about cheating were, I remember thinking "It will pass. Life goes on." And it did.

We got married. I visited the man i cheated with 3 more times. Then I ended it.

For me now the past cheating does not exist. Almost erased from my memory. Like it has never happened. Or I hope it is like that. I never confessed and I am not going to.

I like my husband but i have never been passionate about him. I am always scared to fell in love. Before my husband I had 2 short relationships where men cheated on me. I felt vulnerable. I always try to control my feelings towards men and use my head when i deal with them, not my heart. My husband is the best husband. There were some misunderstandings in bed at first but we always talked about it and worked on it.

For a year I was faithful.

Currently sex life is good. Marriage itself is perfect. I miss my husband a lot when he travels for business. 


i met a guy my age recently who is not a particularly nice guy (rude and selfish) but very sexy and I started cheating again.

Today I came home after cheating and started praying (though not religious) "Dear God please protect my husband from me. I love him. He is the best thing that ever happened to me".

and after praying I asked myself - if i feel so bad after cheating, why I am not sure that I will never do that again?

that's when i decided to google "why do people cheat" and post a comment......

PS. and I am not telling my husband about my cheating ever. unless caught and in the corner

communication is key - Eric - Mar 16th 2010

It seems like most marriages that fall apart lack communication. If you find that your partner isn't satisfying you sexually, then tell them and figure out a way they can. If you are too afraid you'll hurt their feelings by saying "Your penis is too small" or "You aren't good at it", then why are you married? You shouldn't be afraid to tell your partner anything. If you really don't want to hurt their feelings, then you wouldn't cheat on them. What do you think would hurt them more, telling them "I think we need to spice up our sex life because I'm starting to think of other men/women" or just having them find out you cheated, you feeling guilt, them feeling pain, and a conjuring up a chaotic situation. Cheating is selfish, plain and simple.

infidelity - jan - Mar 12th 2010

If you feel that things are not right with your partner then speak up, dont go on to having an affair cos some one else makes you feel alive!!! the devastion it causes to the other person is off the scale..i know cause i am that person.Two years on aand dispite my husband saying if only he could turn the clock back he wouldnt of done it to me i am in limbo.Things arnt the same and whys that? I feel i cant totally trust cant love cos i dont want that pain again so trust ME it aint smart having a fling, 90% of them dont last they are as they say A FLING..and when you realise this youll of lost the best love of all that was in just in front of your nose but like a cold you wiped it away.

What about LACK of intimacy?? - - Mar 8th 2010

My husband has ZERO sex drive; mine is off the charts. He is also not very attentive or affectionate so I basically feel like I live with a roommate who occasionally gives me a peck on the lips or a super quick romp in the sack. (Like 10 minutes.) I think he does it just to shut me up... Since I'm not getting any at home I'm so frustrated I feel like I'm going to explode and the 'usual' stuff isn't working any more. Recently I've been receiving attention from a much younger man. The affection, the sexual stimulation and the attention have only made me even more aware of what I have been missing. My husband is a very sweet man and I know I'm going to break his heart - but I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I cannot go on in this marriage.

complicated - - Feb 21st 2010


Emotional infidelity? - Jules - Feb 17th 2010

Everyone here is talking more about physical infidelity, what about emotional? My husband just told me that he doesn't feel close to me, wants to be alone, and always has a tendancy to push away when he feels 'too close' or 'smothered'. I have backed away a lot of my romantic feelings towards him because of this for quite a few years. A few months ago he met up with a woman he used to date on Facebook, and wanted to be friends with her again. They went out to lunch a few times, and then he ended being in a class with her at school. He kept me in the loop about everything, and I told him I was uncomfortable. My husband is flirtatous by nature, which I am okay with as long as it doesn't get out of hand. The woman 'misinterpreted his signals' (from what he said)and started sending him texts like 'you complete me.' Now she's 'a crazy b****" and he's got other people in his class against her, but I'm starting to believe that he was pursuing an emotional relationship with her. Why else would she get so angry?

BTW, my husband fits the definition of 'avoidant attachment disorder', almost to a T. It's amazing how similar it is. He has always said that if he was unhappy, and felt inclined to cheat, that he would just end it rather than physically cheat and I believe that. I want to work through this with him, but I don't want to live a lie and have him stay with me only for fear of hurting me, but not really love me anymore.

I cheated - - Feb 9th 2010

Personally, I cheated in my ex. I saw it as an escape out of the relationship as I was unhappy and didn't love him, I didn't really want to be with him, but i'd been with him from being 15 until I was 20. I felt trapped, so I'd go behind his back and seek adventure elsewhere. It never felt guilty, and i'd leave hints, it's like I wanted him to find out so he would end things with me and I could get out of the relationship, because every time I tried to split up with him, he'd beg me to take him back, and would relentlessly ring and text me, or harass myself or friends or relatives over the phone or internet. Even when he found out i'd cheated, he still took me back, so I was still stuck with him.


Ever since that relationship, i've been in short relationships but got out of them quickly as soon as things appeared to be getting more serious as I have been scared of committing. I've had sexual encounters but have been distant, and refused to kiss them, as it's less intimate. So I would agree that fear of commitment or intimacy could be a legitimate reason for some people cheating.

What provokes them - Sean - Feb 7th 2010

I think, for some people, it's that they are addicted to that feeling of new love and all the attention they get.  After a length of time, which is different for everyone, they start to long for this feeling again and start looking for it.  It may not always end up in an affair and it may happen a few times with a few different people other than the spouse over the course of their marraige.  And somewhere along the way it goes too far and they end up in another relationship.  

I've heard it explained that the cheater is that way because of the way they were treated in their childhood.


Stuck-I feel the same!! - smothered - Jan 31st 2010

I don't like sleeping with my husband, let alone having sex with him. We have been married 6 1/2 years and I know he loves me! At first it was nice to know he would always be there, now it just makes me feel like I can't breath!!

my father always force me to sleep with other men or their sons - KP. - Jan 30th 2010

i am 17years old girl, i have some problem with my father. i am from a wealthy family but my father always force me to sleep with other men or their sons. and everytime i refuse to do what he wants and we always fight. because i believed that this is wrong and i want to stay virgin until i meet the one i am searching for. more over, my values and beliefs avoid me from listening to him.recently, one of his friends tried to rap me and thank god he couldnt do anything with me. but after this time i started to act wired and i dont trust anyone anymore. whenever a boy ask me to date him, i try to convience him that i love him and leave him. and it feels so good inside me when i see him in pain. i feel when i do so that i am punishing my father, and the man that wanted to rape me. and everytime when i doing so i remember what happened to me.recently, i found the one i am searching for. i love him so much and he provided me with everything love, affection and secruity that i didnt feel it with my family. and i stopped doing what i was doing with the boys. but i did the same thing from two monthes with a boy and i didnt feel anything more than i want to get him hurt. and after i've done it i felt so bad that i cheated on my boyfriend and that i came back to these stuff. i dont know what to do. i need help please.

depressed cheater - Corey - Jan 21st 2010

i cheated on my gf of 4.5 years just recently when I went off to college. there are so many things running through my head as to why I did it and I still am unable to come to a valid conclusion. 2 years ago she cheated on me and I took her back. Since then I have not been the same. I became very pessimistic and paranoid. every new guy was an automatic threat. we went off to college and i got even more paranoid especially because she made a lot of guy friends. I cheated on her with 3 different girls. I feel like a complete scumbag and since then I've been extremely depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts. i have no desire to eat, be social, sleep, or focus on my schoolwork. it's extremely difficult. i honestly can say i love this girl but i really need to get over this pathetic feeling that i have. i am sorry for cheating especially because it's something i hated. and considering she did it to me, i never thought i was capable of doing the same thing. i really don't know what to do in this situation. i need help. and i don't blame anyone for not wanting to.

to (I CHEATED ON MY BOYFREIND) - - Jan 20th 2010


"I have never cheated on anyone ever couldnt and wouldnt but i have been cheated on my advice to you is you are hurting him more by cheating on him then braking up with him her proberly already knows and if he dont it wont take long do the right thing stop cheating or end it!"


STUCK! - Sunshine - Jan 15th 2010

I have turned to the web for help because I am in a place that I have never been before.  My situation is very simular to Hanna's.  I have been married for 7 years now, and my sexual and emotion disatisfaction has caught up with me.  I can't even bring myself to want to have sex with my husband.  As a matter of fact, when we do have sex (maybe 10 times per year), I am angry with him after because I just dont feel "IT", that thing I should feel with your husband.  The marriage has been disappointing on many levels, communication, living out the plans we discussed prior to marriage.   He loves me so much and I know that he is a good person.  But how long can I love him more than me?  All that said, I am 30 years old and cheating on my husband.  I started with emotional cheating, but now I'm physically cheating.  I have not had intercousre yet, but I know that if I don't get help soon, it's not too far down the pipeline.  What do I do?

I cheated on my boyfriend - - Jan 10th 2010

I have cheated on my boyfriend. He is actually an incredible man and treats me with the most respect in the world. I truely dont believe i deserve him because of how forgiving he was when he found out. He said" well im disappointed but I love you and I know that you are better than this. But if you f**k up again ill never speak to you again" Sadly enough though, I still to this day continue to cheat on him. But i dont know why. We have sex and wed have sex more often if i was more willing.. yet the guilt of the problem has not set in and ive been cheating for months. Its not that I want to be this person either.. but its something that i do uncontrollably. I was previously in a long term relationship with someone else for 2 years and never considered cheating on him.. not once. But this relationship of one year is completely different. I feel terrible about myself. I know i should break up with him but its a hard thing to do. He has been my best friend since i was in 5th grade and i am not 20. We have been together for 1 year and I really do not want to be the girl who ruins his faith in women because i feel that i need something more. But what can i do? How do you tell someone that you love that your not in love with them. He is head over heals in love with me and i have a huge fear of hurting him... So no. its not only men who cheat on women, in fact in my experience women are more likely to cheat on men then vise versa. 

Cheating Husbands and Wives - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jan 9th 2010

I want to thank all of the people who have responded to this blog on cheating, thus far. We need to continue this discussion but I feel compelled to point out something important to all of you.

Many, if not most of you, are either wives or girl friends complaining about their man cheating or are men admitting to having cheated and the reasons why.

Please remember that men hold no monopoly on unfaithfullness in their marriages or intimate relationships. After thirty years of psychotherap practice I can report with full confidence that wives and girl friends cheat. In fact, all the recent statistics show that women are closing the gap with men in terms of the rate of cheating.

So, the question is "Why do people cheat, both men and women?

Let's continue the discussion with this in mind.

Dr. Schwartz

Past - - Jan 8th 2010

I think people cheat to get over thier uphappy self. They do so in search of closure or to discover a new frontier.I cheated onmy ex and she broke up with me. Although she has moved on and happy, i do receive her unannounced in my dreams. In those dreams, we are always together, but these occurances have become so often that i am well aware that i am asleep and i have conversations with her- telling her that "this is all a dream- its been 2 years since we broke up, but you  are always here in my head--- even though i dont even think of you anymore"

In an effort to get over this constant invasion of privacy, i have tried dating women that look like her and 2 nights ago when i was asleep with some one who resembled her, i dreamt of her again. This is when i knew that this is either some metaphysical activity that i have no control over or just a chemical reaction in my brain triggering memory to reflect my current state of unhappiness.

Either way...its messed up...aint it Dr. Shwartz? Cheating feels good in the short run..its like taking few more candies than you can handle.....but it takes time to shed all the sugar you though you wanted.

Only if people stuck to the needs, life in general would be easier. But it takes a life time to learn lessons.. but every one wants to eat the apple for themselves. It is afterall....a prerogative.

for Liza.... - ione - Jan 8th 2010

I could relate to most of all the women's comments. But yours reminded me the most of how men use charm, and flattery to serve their own interests. My husband did/does the same, and even after reading what other wives say their husband say, I still like to think that mine is different, not like yours.  I'm not one to fall down with gratitude when my husband cries, tells me he can't live without me, loves my laugh, tells me I'm beautiful, sexy, but...I do like to hear it. And I do hold those words close to my heart. It's what helps me to believe that we will be OK. Women are cursed with deeper feelings than a man could ever have. In my next life I would like to be born a man, to know what it's like not to have a conscious.  I'm still with him even after years of suspicions, suspicions with ultimately became a mind blowing discovery 18 months ago. I could never have imagined this man that I knew so well (we are each other's best friend) behaving in this fashion. Oh I could and did believe he cheated occasionally (although I preferred to think it was just my imagination, insecurity that made me feel that way), but it was the desperation, style of his addition that was so pathetic and scary. I moved out for a year. It was only after I filled for divorce that he realized what he would be losing financially and emotionally that made him make the required changes. He's not acting out right now. I'm doing very well considering the events. 75% of the time I'm in a love bubble, but the other 25% is a very dark place when I'm there. But complete trust is gone.  I will always have to be a watchdog, sniffing the air for bombs to go off. It takes a lot of mental, emotional, and spiritually energy away from me, my life, who I really am. I will have to sacrifice a part of my soul for 'us'. He is a man, and lives in the present emotionally. Unaware most of the time of how I have to juggle my feelings privately and still put on a good face. In other words, HE DOESN'T GET IT. That I have forever been changed. Men just want it to be over and done with, to move on.  And it can and does depress me, especially when he's out of town on assignment. I have to say, though, that the heart is a complex organ. I never stopped loving him, even when I didn't like him. It's only love and blind hope that keeps me going. I know that I will have to suffer the hard work ahead because of it. I no longer take our future for granted. I can't leave my guard down anymore. One thing I learned is to trust your instincts. I never did. I always said I would never throw away a good married on suspicions. I would need to 'see' hard evidence. Which we eventually all do. If I knew what I suspected 28 years ago I would have left and sort counseling or ended the relationship, even though I loved him and would be losing a lot of good stuff. But I/ we never had good communication and just let life continue. No one can give any one advise. I would love to go to a wise man on some mountain top and ask him to tell me what to do. To assure me that whatever I did, even if the journey was hard, would fill me with light in the end. Please, not asking for spiritual of religious help! I do not need nor do I expect to have wonderful, perfect live, but we all deserve to have authentic one.  In short there is no one shoe that will fit everyone. We all have to go it alone and find the one that fits for us. Good luck.  

Confused on why - - Jan 8th 2010

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half and he is wonderful, best thing ever happened to me. Recently, I got a call from an ex boyfriend, my first love and first lover. He has been dating someone for about a year as well. The girl he is still dating, i was dating him at the same time a year ago without knowing. when I found out I stopped all contact with him. Now, having been a year and a half in with my current boyfriend, that's when i got the call fom my ex. After talking on the phone he invited me over to have some drinks and catch up. He said there was another bed i could sleep in aslo. I gave in. I went there drank, had a really good time, and i cheated. The next morning i felt terrible. I left in the morning and then saw my boyfriend later that day. I couldnt even look at him i felt so horrible. Now, I am wondering why I did it. I am so confused and I dont know what to do. I dont get why I decided to do it...please help

Can cheaters change? - Julie - Jan 6th 2010

Do cheaters ever reform their ways?  Does it take a particular kind of woman.. in the man's case?  I thought I'd met the man of my dreams and we were head over heals in love... both in our 40s.. then found out he cheated on me with his ex. and asked him to committ to be faithful to me and he couldn't so I ended it. He cheated on his first wife with his second wife and then on his second wife with his first wife who got pregnant and had an illigitimate child with him.  Second wife divorcing him and he still has feelings for the first wife he now has this child with... she is married and has a husband and three kids.  He decided to reform his ways before he met me and wanted to start over.  I thought he had and then the mistriess (second wife with his new child) found out about me and said he was "hers" and that I was a blip in his life and then suspected he was seeing her again whenever they had visitation exchanges.  What's wrong with this guy. He is deeply sensitive and very emotional and romantic and attracts women like wondering if this is a character issue or personality disorder.  I ended it and wonder now if I'll ever meet someone I was so passionate about like him.  We connected on so many levels and truly enjoyed eachother's company.  He just couldn't end it with his ex.  I stood my ground and said that it was me or her and he would have to stop all contact with her in person.. and he couldn't do it.  Are these guys weak? I don't understand it.  This woman is extremely controlling and a psycho according to his family.. and he comes to pieces around her.  I don't even compare.. looks.. educaiton.. etc.. have 10x more going for me but I truly loved him.  Please comment.

agree no excuse - - Jan 1st 2010

There's no excuse to cheat but there's a possibility that today's scoiety is so so different that cheating is becoming the norm but what i don't agree on is taking back a cheater in a relationship or marriage. I experienced this and when i took him back for a whole year i was miserable, always thinking where is he, is he cheating still, constantly check his messages, called other women etc. mentally it is not healthy. A year later i've decided to call it quits after 12years. It's hard to mend.      

My Life is Hell - Hurt & Betrayed - - Dec 31st 2009

It doesn't matter whether you are male or female.  It doesn't matter what your reasons are infidelity is ALWAYS wrong.  If your relationship isn't working then try to communicate with your spouse and fix it.  Go to counseling.  If the relationship cannot be fixed then get out but DO NOT HAVE AN AFFAIR.  If your relationship is abusive then get out but DO NOT HAVE AN AFFAIR! You two women make me sick.  You have no concept of what your infidelity does to your betrayed spouse.  It is the worst pain they can ever feel.  You have taken EVERYTHING away from them.  You are horrible and despicable and I just wish you could experience the aftereffects of infidelity that I have.  You are terrible winy sluts with poor excuses and no backbone.  Do yourselves and your significant others a favor and confess to them.  Then decide if you want to reconcile and stay in the relationship and get help or decide to separate.  Stop the lying and deceit.  Go to and get a clue!   

24YrFemale - OntarioGirl - Dec 23rd 2009

I would have to say that I don't think the reasons for cheating can be summed up so easily or that maybe this explanation sounds like male reasoning. I am the one who has cheated in my relationship yet I am always the one more generous and giving and eager to please the other. I would say in the end my fiance has the final say in things, sometimes I've wanted to break up or try to work on the relationship but he seems to hold the inevitable control so I resent this and find my own control or feel in control of myself and my destiny when I have cheated. I never cheated for the physical aspect inless it was because of the excitement missed at the beginning of a relationship although I understand and appeciate the comfort later on. I would also say my husband was controling and abusive at times and untrusting which made it all the more enticing to cheat because I sometimes felt guilt tripped by the other man trying to persuade me that he had real feelings for me and wouldn't treat me how he knew my boyfriend had. I also felt like I had to do it because otherwise I felt more hurt by his abuse and like I was accepting it or what it said about me and had to prove my worth. I also know i tried time and time again to always tell my fiance what I felt I was lacking in our relationship and needed from him as my boyfriend and that he refused to do these things and or act in a way which I had seen him act before and knew he was capable of acting more caring,  he refused to do these things and when I said I was unhappy and didn't want to continue our relationship under the circumstances and he just seemed to refuse it ending then I felt I had the right to make my own choices since he was disregarding mine. I want to make note that when I refer to telling him what I wanted and needed in a relationship it was nothing he wasn't requesting of me or expecting or anything extravagant, if anything I always put my needs second to his but I did request regular sex and putting effort and creativeness to it and I did request he try to talk to me sometimes but he never made time, and I requested good quality time but that never happened either. So I know it takes two to tango but I deffinitely know I tried my best. Sometimes he still calls me a slut although I'm not and never have been, I can count the number of guys I've been with on one hand and have always been honest with him and have only had two serious relationships and the other 2 guys were one night stands and friends I had become close to. Anyhow, there are more complex reasons to cheat and there are always two sides to a story.

Don't kill me... - Kay - Dec 22nd 2009

Well... I know all of you women have been hurt, but I am the cheater in my relationship. Relating to the article, I think it is so true, I honestly hate intimacy, so why then do I cheat with other men? I don't know.. I like it to be quick and get it over with, I don't like being in the light and having my husband see all of me. I have had about 3 different "flings" outside of my husbands relationship in the past 6 years. I know this is dispicable. I can't explain why I do this. I don't want to leave him, I love him dearly. I caught him once about 5 years ago with another woman but I said I forgave him, I guess I really didn't. Maybe this is some kind of "revenge" in my mind? Maybe this is a toxic relationship and I should leave... I just don't know.

My life is hell - Hurt and Betrayed - Dec 17th 2009

I have been married almost 30 years with 2 beautiful adult children.  About 5 months ago I found out that my husband has been cheating on me for the last 10 years with a girl who is 30 years younger then him!  A couple months later I found out he had been seeing a prosititue for the last 2 years.  I am devestated.  He has broken off both relationships but I am totally destroyed and will NEVER be the same.  He is ashambed and feels terrible that he has hurt me so badly.  He is entirely responsible for his immoral and unethical behavior and I hate what he has done to me and us.  I feel hollow inside and have lost all respect for a man who would break vows so easily.  It wasn't for sex or love but because of ego, need for approval, mid-life crisis and just because he could.  How despicable. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think of him with those whores.  Believe me, prostitution is not a victimless crime.  The victims are the wives, girlfriends and families of these irresponsible men.  Besides inflicting STD's on their "loved" one (oh yes, he also gave me herpes) the emotional damage is heartbreaking.  I feel very sorry for him - besides his many issues he has to live with what he has done.  We are trying to heal but it will be a long and difficult road.  Believe me, cheating will change both partners and your marriage forever - we are living in hell every day.

I would like to add.... - Tammy - Dec 14th 2009

I think there is one missing from your list of reasons.  I have discovered that there are many people who are fully commited to their partner but like the excitement of multiple sex partners because they are insatiable.  You may know them by the name "swingers".  I have found that by being completly honest with your partner about this behavior some of the worst after effects infidelity has on a relationship simply don't exist.

Lisa-So Sorry - - Dec 14th 2009


I feel for you. I, unlike you, do not know for sure. I hear the things like I love you, you are so pretty and things a husband should say. I recently found a number on my husbands phone and found out it was to that chat line called Live Links. I had just gotten done decorating my house for the holidays. I was devasted to say the least. I haven't confronted because I don't know what to do or say and don't want to ruin the family holiday. It kind of confirms a feeling I had back in August. I was away on business and talked to my husband on the phone. When the call ended his phone didn't hang up and I heard talking. I heard a woman, and I heard him call her baby. I freaked to say the least, and he covered it up, but I never believed his story. I was just starting to think it was all in my head till the other night and finding that number.

It is hard to know, and hearing all the I love you's and crap make it worse. Chin up. I totally feel for you and I too do not know how people can cheat and throw away everything. Ours is 13 years. I am still in the shocked stage, and the "need to confront and don't know how" stage. I wish us both the best.

Was cheated on - Lisa - Dec 14th 2009

My husband and I were together for 9 years, married for 7 of those.  About 3 years ago I found many pics of naked women on the computer and pictures of himself naked, only to find out that he had been having on-line realationships with these women for quite some time.  He begged me crying to work things out, he went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with severe OCD and was taking meds.  Things were good and we had a baby 10 months ago, shortly after the baby was born he stopped going to the drs and taking his meds, things started to change.  5 months ago I started to finds pictures again, and emails where he is begging a co-worker for naked pictures, she sent them to him.  The last week of October I went to my parents with the baby, when I got home I could sense that something wasn't right, I went on the computer and found videos of him having sex with some woman in our bed!  I was devastated!  How could he do this?  Now he is trying to blame it on me, that I pushed him away.  He met this woman 2 years ago and has been having a relationship with her since.  He says he was trying to work things out with us, how can you be doing so when you are continuing an on-line relationship and then you invite the woman into our home?  What kind of woman would come into a home, with baby things in every room and have sex with a man in a bed with a wedding picture beside it, and a cradle beside the bed?  I am having a really hard time getting over this, I didn't see this coming, we were supposed to start trying for baby #2 this month, he continues to tell me that I am a beautiful woman, a great wife and that he misses me so much.  He says that he is no longer in contact with this woman.  I don't know what to believe anymore.  I know that I will never get back with him, there is no way I will ever be able to trust him.  How could he throw away 9 years, a loving wife and a beautiful baby so easily?  The week that I know he had the woman here he was sending me messages every day telling me that he loves me and misses us, how could you say these things and then turn around and so the most hurtful thing that you could ever do to a person?

To Tanya - - Oct 16th 2009

Tanya, Your Mossi man should have know that by marrying a woman in the USA, he would have to live to her expectations of fidelity. The way he is behaving he can often get away with where he is from. It seems unlikely that that could be changed easily. In Mossi culture, men often have multiple simultaneous mistresses and/or multiple wives and the wives can't do much about it. Did his dad have multiple wives and/or mistresses ? Doesn't mean he doesn't care about you but really, you shouldn't have to put up with that. Wasn't in the contract. I lived there for a few years and my wife is African. Though I much appreciated people there, That male behaviour is not acceptable unless it was agreed to before the mariage.


For the green card, well I wouldn't assume directly. He may have loved you and may still but the attraction of multiple women may be stronger than anything. 

Good luck. P.

well ralatioships are Really Hard - Kareem - Sep 27th 2009

well relatioships are Hard..i am 19yrs old an have been trying to find a Female that i can atleast stay bonded to over a year period. Marriage is impossible in my vocubulary where i am from, i see too much crazy things happen from both wives and husbands.there is one couple who gave me courage, they have been together since 14 & 17, they are now 26 & 29 yrs old.Hope i find the Right One In This Life time.!!

so hurt and betrayed and lonely - - Sep 4th 2009

Hi, I have been with a guy for several years and we now are married and have been for almost four years.  We dont get along as well anymore.  He always say some cruel or lowdown to me and he is selfish to me at times especially when I may ask him to buy me something.  I be mean to him at times to, but I am lonely when he there and when he gone.  He shows me no affection and no love.  Someone asked me did he love me and my response was I don't know. Someone also asked me do I know if my husband wants me or still loves me and my response was I don't know.  Honestly I don't know.  There have been some infidelity.  What should I do???? I am lost, lonely, depressed and hurting so bad inside with alot of regrets and one of them is marrying....

t is hurtin - so ashamed - Aug 24th 2009


i am with the same man for 10 years AND WE ARE NOT MARRIED. We broke up for about 5 months and apparently he cheated with a girl and got her pregnant.He did not know it was his because @ first she blamed this on another guy. (that alone should have made me break up with him because ok. she is doin everyone and you done her.) But since his child has been born it's all about her and he is always at her house to see his daughter. And im not saying that's wrong because i would not want any man any real one anyway not to take care of his child.But i don't feel that to be a good father he has to be there all the time when we have a home together why not bring her to our house. This makes me wonder if he is still sleeping with his childs mother.

I told him i did't have a problem with the situation but now she is pregnant again. And she did have a boyfriend but I have heard she doesn't know who her child is by again. My boyfriend says he has absolutley nothing to do

with it but deep in my heart i just can't believe him. And something inside me can't leave i feel so stupid and so ashamed that i let it get to this. I almost feel like if i let him go i would be losing something but i don't know what. He says i am the first woman he has ever loved bbut 4 some reason i can't see that.

Thoughts - Jen - Aug 23rd 2009

I'm almost 19, and I've been with my current boyfriend for 5 months. We were best friends for 2 years before we got together. I've cheated in the past, more times then I want to say. But I havn't cheated on my current boyfriend yet. Lately I've had so many thoughts about cheating on him and getting a new man and all that stuff. But I don't want them! My boyfriend is the nicest guy I've ever met and I don't want to do that to him!  I think part of the reason I've been having the thoughts so much lately is because of his mental state. He has a lot of mental illesses. I don't even know how to spell half of them. He's a great guy, but his problems are becoming to much for me to handle. Since I've been with him I've developed depression. I find myself feeling like utter crap and crying at least every other day, and sometimes it comes out of no where. He's just too much for me to handle anymore, and when I try to talk to him about it, I can't, because it'll make his problems worse and then it's another 5-6 hour talk with him. Help me, what should I do?

Am I broken? - - Aug 18th 2009

I have been in and out of relationships since high school.  Not once have I gone a year without being with another person outside of my relationship.  Wheather I break up with the girl to pursue another or if I just cheat I cant seem to stop.  I am 28 years old and have wanted a family my whole life but I know under these circumstances that will never happen.  I dont know if I need help or what the deal is but I cant seem to gain any will power over this.  What is my problem why cant I settle down?  Will finding the right one settle me down or do I need professional help? 

why does this happen.? - julie doe - Aug 18th 2009

honestly... i was in a relationship for 4 years! this  girl broke my heart and she was the only woman i was faithful to in my life... and i have been with many! Now im dating my girlfriend for 1 year and im scared.. i cheated on her twice already and i try n try to not think about it or do it.. but it still happens ! i loove my girlfriend and i just want to stop and be faithful to her help me pls pls??

I keep cheating and I don't want to. - Dave - Aug 15th 2009

Hey Doc. don't know why I do, but I can't stop looking and then going over and doing something about it. I'm not the hottest looking guy in the world by any means. My girlfriend/domestic partner just ended our relationship of six years and I love her, and I would & have done anything for her. But I've been unfaithfull and lied to her several times during our relationship. I am so sorry that I've lost the most carring and beautiful woman I have ever known. I know that I will meet someone again, BUT I've got to stop this destructive habit. Please is there something, anything you can suggest to read or go get some help. I truly do not want to hurt someone and myself again. Thanks

Cheating Husband - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Aug 6th 2009

Tanya, it seems that you are in a truly terrible situation. The very fact that your husband curses at you and tells you that "he is the boss" when you confront him with his cheating, means that no one can blame you for wanting to end the marriage.

My suggestion is that you seek the advice of an attorney. You need to learn about your rights under the law and those laws vary from one state to the next. Therefore, I do not know if he must get out of the house because it was yours before the marriage or if the house is now joint property due to the marriage. I am not a lawyer and do not want to venture a worthless opinion.

This all sounds very abusive and I agree that you must take action. Just be sure to protect your rights before going into action.

Perhaps you might consider joining our Online Support Community to get emotional support. It is free and the link is above this box.

Dr. Schwartz

broken hearted - tanya kabore - Aug 5th 2009

when i first met my husband he was everyhing, now im every hurting, disrespectful curse word in the book in his eyes, i know he has cheated i found a number in his phone from a women and they talk mostly when im not home. both of them speak french so i cant tell what he  is saying cause most of the time he speaks french on the phone. when i confronted him about it he called me all kinds of fat who$res and other names as usual. he is african and he says hes the boss and i should stay in my place. im an american, does he have a mentle problem?  i will if i stay, how can i make him leave it is my house and my car,  i love him to death but hes not going to change and i need some one to respect me and give me the love and affection i deserve, i dont want to cheat on him, i just want to end our relationship peacefully with all i had before we were married, i am starting to think he married me to get his green card, suprised im not, but broken hearted.

I was with my husband for 27 years before I - Karen - Aug 1st 2009

I was with my husband for 27 years. I have been with my new husband for 6 years. the reason I strayed was totally emotional. I just fell in love with him and love for me is wholly engaging and complete. I had to be with him. The fact is that i think we can all fall in love with just about anyone given the right situation. and love is the most powerful thing in the world. but eventually lust and longing dies off. and although i still love my husband i know he will never fufill my needs in a life partner, and still love my ex husband. Given my time again i wish i could have controlled my desires and kept to my old relationship  but i knew at the time that i couldnt. its not good making do with second best. but hey i had to have him and had to live. if i had stayed with my 1st husband i might have hated him forever so who can say? but when the sex has ebbed you need someone who you can talk to  - and thinks the same as would have made my life now better but i chose with my heart at the time so am determined to make the best of a bad job

Infidelity - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jul 18th 2009

Hi Phillip,

I do not blame you for feeling angry at this woman. To add insult to injury, she blames her infidelity on you? Do not buy into it. Each person is responsible for their own behavior. If she was unhappy with her sexual life with you then she should have discussed it with you. From my perspective, (she does this hurtful thing, having sex with another man, then blames it on you) I would have great difficulty trusting her again. Not so much because of the infidelity but for the excuses she makes.

What to do depends a lot on what you want. No one can tell you the right thing to do because there is no such thing. You seem to be angry and I think that is right. Maybe you want to end the relationship or maybe you want to try more. If you both want to try more, I would suggest couples therapy.

Good luck to you,

Dr. Schwartz

Struggling to live - Phillip - Jul 18th 2009

let me start by saying thank you to all you wonderul people that posted comments about infidelity.

I am a victim because my girl who i intended to marry and dated for 4years has just humiliated me.A woman i took care of all her entire needs as she is an orphan but i never knew she was dating a younger man at the same time.I am 37 and she is 23.Atimes she would say she has to go to school but she'll go to this fella's house and sleep with have sex with him and still return to my house to enjoy the comfort i provided for her.I always suspected but she would deny and cry uncontrolably until i calm her down.

Just 3 weeks ago i accompanied her to my family doctor for a minor surgery on her foot and she slept with the doctor in the theater room!I recently came to canada and threatened that i wll leave her and she admitted having an arrangment with the doctor prior to that day.hey then had sex before he treated her.

After her so called confessions,this lady probabaly felt she had made a mistake and called again to say she never slept with the doctor or anyone else.Since i knew this lady,she's never been truthful and stole my money on numerous occasson.But i loved her too much to walk away as i was hoping she'd change.

What is pissing me off now is that she said the reason she had an affair with this booy was because i dont make love to her often.A lady i pleaded with that we  curtail how often we have sex as i dont want to get tired of her until i wed her.How could she have done this to me after all i did for her.Is a relationship about having sex everyday especially when you are not yet married?Can somebody please tell me what to make of this lady?

Cheating - Michael M. - Jun 21st 2009

Let me start off by saying im not married, but I was with my girlfriend for a year, and I had suspicions that she was cheating or at least talking to other guys in ways that I would not like.  She may have not physical cheated but cheating is still cheating in my book. I mean how many guys could honestly say that they would still be with a girl, when they see their cell phone one day out of the blue you see it lit up, so you pick it up and read it and it says something like I love you I can't live without you blah blah blah. Only to see that message say I love you, and something about well your not here babe. Then she freaking lies about it and says oh I do but as a friend. Bull. So I had a friend of mine made a fake myspace account and started talking to her and she was like yeah I can't wait to get rid of my asshole boyfriend and I wish he would leave. Then she goes on to say I think it would be funny as hell to see my b/f catch us making out or walk in on us having doggy style sex. Next when I ask her about this she's like what are you talking about. Then says I was only kidding. I guess it shows you think you know someone, and this stuff happens. I agree with a lot of you. If you can't communicate and tell that person somethings not right in the relationship, then it's already over. I asked myself countless times, why did this happen to me. Was it something I did. I told her several times, how beautiful she was, did things with her. Let her live in my house, and use my car for work. This is how she repays me. So sad.

Still staying with him - Miky - May 27th 2009

Well, my boyfriend of now a year cheated on me about three months ago. May I mention about four days before our 1 year anniversery. Well, he told me the next day because he is an honest person. It was probably the worst day of my life. I love him and I know he is sorry for what he did.

He went over there at 2am and they had sex. He said he wasnt there long.

He dropped all contact with her. He let me got through everything and I decied who he can talk too now.

I want to kill the stupid slut. Im so pissed, even still. I wish I could find her and make her beg.

I forgave my lover easy, I think maybe to easy. But, I could tell he was sorry. We still talk about why he did it sometimes and we made a promise to open up and talk about our feelings more.

I don't understand why he would do this to his family - Angela - May 23rd 2009

Thank you Barrett for being so understanding, I who was cheated on for four years in my nine year marriage have struggled with this for about six months its very difficult for me to understand him he can't give me a straight answer as to why it happened. We've been together for 15 years he was the love of my life and I find it so difficult to move on without him because we have 2 beautiful little girls, we have become distant and I wonder what would be worse staying together for the girls or getting a divorce and risking the negative affect it would have on the girls.

Cheaters make me sick - Barrett - Apr 23rd 2009

Without a doubt, cheating is probably one of the worst ills that humans enact. You call yourself an adult, yet you behave like someone who is in their first relationship. I've read all of these comments and I side with the people who are hurt. I cannot fathom why you would be so -selfish- to worry about how you feel rather than seeking guidance or support. If you are not happy in your marriage, wait, see if you can resolve issues, and divorce if needed. When you cheat, you're only hurting your personal ethics. I guess we as a society have forgotten that in the name of excitement. You people who cheat make me sick. I hope I never run into one of your type. Grow up, and lose the hubris.

Why stay in a unhappy marriage? - Philippa - Feb 15th 2009

I'm also more curious to  know why people (men especially) stay in loveless marriages, even when they're so unhappy they get depressed and all.

I know for my cousin is dealing with an unhappy marriage, his wife has been rejecting him for years and years. He'd had an affair, but yet decided to stay married because of... well, he could't tell me either.

I got stuck in a loveless marriage myself, (lack of intimacy was the biggest issue) but eventually left my husband and moved on... This wasn't easy and it took me quite some time to come to that. But still, I didn't want to live out my days without no love at all.

Why she doesn't divorce - - Feb 7th 2009

Simple answer. Entitlement. Women in our society have been taught that they are entitled to be happy, even if it means someone else will get hurt in the pursuit of that happiness. If happiness means using a husband for $$$ and having a lover on the side, then that's okay as long as it makes them happy. Thumb through their magazines, watch their television programs, go see a "chick flick." You'll see what I mean.

Cheating - Allan N Schwartz - Feb 6th 2009

Hi Gin,

I agree that you should not have to go through the rest of your life without sex. So, that is why I do not understand why you do not separate and divorce. You say you "love him," but why and why should you because, after all, you are in a loveless marriage. What is stopping you from leaving?

Dr. Schwartz

I slept with someone else, too - gin - Feb 6th 2009

Okey, dokey.  I admit it, I cheated on my husband.  After 7 years (yes 7!) of no sex and refusal to discuss the problems we have and refusal to remedy the situation, I had a one night (okay 2 night) stand.  It was great!  To feel desirable again, to have that excitement.  It was wonderful in the moment.  Course now I feel like crap.   It's not that I don't love my husband, I do.  I'm just stuck and can't seem to find a way out.  I can't go through the rest of my life without sex.  And seven years of masturbation only has not been all that fulfilling.  (pardon the pun)  Got any suggestions?  We've been through couples therapy.  Oh, and he has some dental issues that he refuses to deal with as well--ewwwww.  

for Hannah ... - Andy L - Jan 16th 2009

I would like to help "Hannah".

I would like to talk about her story..

Hannah, if you want to, pls send me an email with something in the title as could found that is you, ok?

All the best

i cheated on my husband - Hannah - Jan 12th 2009

I am ashamed to say i cheated on my husband. As i have a strong religeous background it has haunted me ever since. However I feel I did have my reasons and I feel I have some justification and I would now hesitate to judge anyone from straying which i admit i would have done in the past. My reasons stemmed from poor sexual satisfaction within my marriage. I always found my partner attractive but his penis was small and although he was an attentive lover, the lack of sensation took its toll over the years. My affair lasted 18 months and gave me the kind of sensations I barely thought possible. I think the guilt I felt made things more exciting in a weird way but when my lover finished with me (after I refused to leave my husband) I was releived to dispense with the guilt. That was a year ago and the guilt of what i did has returned. I can barely look at my husband and we are hardly ever intimate (which is a releif to me) but I love him and would hate to hurt him. I also feel guilty that his body isnt compatible with mine- I know its not his fault and he tries so hard. He is likely to lose his job any day now due to the recession so all I see is a black hole ahead of me. I could never leave him, I broke my marriage vows, I cannot see us being intimate together and his job is his life. I am 30 in April and I have never felt more miserable or hopeless..... Help!

why do i do it - - Jan 11th 2009

   ..hello. i know there are many sorts of people out there who cheat. i happen to be one...but in my 16. I have cheated on 3 sepreate people with the same guy. This last one happened about a week ago. I lied and told my boyfriend that i didnt..but today i came see last night i went to a christian concert and they told me to open my heart to god.i am giving this a try..i believe one main reason i cheat, is because i live like my true father...some studies show that daughters live as their fathers do. my true father was afraid of commitment..and he cheated on my mother..and that is not the first time he has cheated..i believe very much that this is a very big reason why i have commited such an act...

- - Dec 15th 2008
my partner had an unemotional affair for 3 weeks due to wanting to do something reckess and not caring about anything......everything in his life was so hopeless (in his head), he wanted to end it so he did it through sex.  i'm never quite sure if mental illness is an acceptable reason for doing something so hurtful but that's what he did. i became ill and lost 2 stone (why is there always weight loss involved?) and have an anxiety disorder so am currently off work. it hurts. when he realised what had happened and what he had done....the pain was unbearable for him as well. he gave up his children and his wife for nothing. he did not even like this person....what a waste of time and pain. i still may leave...i wanted something better than this. i hope i find it.

Don't Do It - - Dec 10th 2008

As it goes, you can make choices, but you can't choose the consequences.  This summer, while I was away with my four children visiting family, my husband of 19 years decided to look up an old girlfriend and then engaged in a full-blown emotional affair with her for 3 weeks till I found out.  You think that was nothing?  You think because I found out before they had intercourse it was nothing?  (Physical difficulties at that time, thank goodness, prevented this).  It has turned my life upside-down and I am still so devastated and in pain.  He gave her 3 weeks of intimate emotions, money and physical pleasures.  I have depression, lost a lot of weight (which I didn't need to lose), have a hard time coping day to day.  If you see a girl crying in her car, that's me.  If you walk by me in the store and I look like the world has just crumbled at my feet, it has.  The immaturity and selfishness of two people have made my life a living hell.  I can only hope and pray one day I will find peace and happiness again.

infidelity-lack of respect,loyalty and honesty. - peggy - Nov 26th 2008

I think people that cheat has no respect for him-/herself or for the other person in the marriage or relationship. If both persons are loyal and honest to each another, in everything they do or say, there will be no place for infidelity.  If the cheater is not honest to the other person he/she can not be honest to him-/herself. How can a person that cheats expect the other partner to respect him/her?  Respect has got to be earned! A lack of trust leads to a lack of respect. If you LOVE someone, how can you not treat the other partner with respect and not be loyal and honest towards one another.  People should think before saying "I LOVE YOU!"Be sure to know what LOVE really is about.   

people do not want to grow up - - Oct 21st 2008

I think people cheat because people do not want to grow up in the marraige.  People think that marraige is not all it be, but it is.  Some people have chidren in the marraige and some do not.  People who cant get along should get divorce rather than cheat on them becasue it show there maturity level.  At some point in people lives, the person has to let go if the marrige is not working rather than cheating.  Do you every think that you will hurting yourself, spouse and your children.  Get real people, people that cheat do not want the responsibilty of being married, so just get a divorce, please

yikes - Glenn - Oct 14th 2008
If you need an affair to add excitement then you also lack communication problems.  There are plenty of ways to add spice to a relationship that doesn't involve cheating behind someone's back.  If you can't tell your partner that things are getting dull and boring for you and that you need to work on things, then your relationship is already over.

response to excitement - - Sep 30th 2008

I am giving everyone who thinks infidelity is exciting something to ponder. Excitement is fleeting, it does not last and it causes deep pain to your partner that you committed yourself to in marriage. Why did you get married? What does marriage mean to you and to people like you who cheat? NOTHING! Marriage, love, friendship, family, and committment are not games but they ARE the core of what healthy individuals aspire too. Get excited over your specialness to yourself and your marriage.

Don't forget excitment! - - Sep 20th 2008

I want to add to the list of reasons one that seems to be left off. Excitement! I have been married for over 8 years and found my marriage lacking in excitement and passion. Our lives have gotten so hum drum, so repetative, so habitual.  Then one day a man came along that reminded me I was still beautiful, fun, and exciting. All the things I had thought I no longer was. Our freindship turned into a love affair and brought back everything that was missing in my life. Some can call this an avoidance of intimacy but I call it living again.

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