If you’ve been cheated on and found out, maybe the question that overwhelmed you was a big “why?”. Why did your man, with whom you made a mutual promise of honesty, decide to “betray” you? Was the third person irresistibly attractive? Or was there a problem in your relationship that you hadn’t realized?

“Infidelity feels a bit like breaking a relationship ‘contract’, which is why it’s considered a form of betrayal”Clara Zelleroth, a psychologist specializing in couples therapy and co-founder of Ally, tells Metro.co.uk.

In any case, you look for an answer, a reason, which you hope will redeem you and give you an explanation.

According to Zelleroth, the most common “excuses” for infidelity are:

  • The opportunity: A common excuse is the fortuitous occurrence of an opportunity. Influenced by factors such as alcohol or stress, people may cheat when the opportunity presents itself, often describing it as something that “just happened.” This reason is mentioned by both men and women, usually in moments of perceived “weakness”. Concealing such incidents from the partner can worsen the situation.
  • Sexual dissatisfaction: Dissatisfaction stemming from the sexual aspect of the relationship is reported more often by men. It includes reasons such as a partner’s lack of interest in sex or a mismatched sex drive, leading individuals to look elsewhere for satisfaction. Couples in long-term relationships often face challenges in synchronizing their sexual desires. Compromise and conscious initiation of intimacy is vital in such cases.
  • Emotional dissatisfaction: This is a cause more often cited by women. A lack of emotional intimacy can lead to forming emotional bonds with others, possibly even without sexual intimacy. Feeling ignored or not prioritized in their partner’s life drives people to these hookups. “Micro-cheating” involves subtle acts of emotional infidelity and widens the divide even further as to what constitutes infidelity. Of course, everyone will have their own scale of what does and doesn’t count as infidelity. Even when no physical boundaries are crossed, these so-called small acts can make one feel betrayed.
  • The lack of commitment: Another important reason is a perceived lack of commitment in the primary relationship. Excuses such as that a couple is on the verge of a breakup or that they are not in a serious relationship are common, although the cheating partner may not share this view. This often results from miscommunication or unacknowledged assumptions about the nature of the relationship, resulting in one partner feeling that it is “legitimate” to engage in parallel hookups.