Cheating and general infidelity often prompts a wronged partner to ask themselves (and Google) why their lover strayed, and the question is a painful one leaving many to ponder how they may have prevented a relationship breakdown in the first place.
And while sex is often believed to be the driving motivation for infidelity, particularly in men, it turns out that emotional dissatisfaction is just as likely to drive your lover into the arms of another.
Website YourTango.com surveyed a bunch of therapists who are intimately aware of the reasons partners stray from relationships, and revealed the observations about emotional distance in a relationship and how it impacts likelihood of infidelity.
Of those responding to the survey, a scant 8% indicated belief in the idea that males are hardwired to be promiscuous, while the balance credited interpersonal static for cheating. YourTango’s Lynn R. Zakeri explained:
“It may sound surprising, but many men are really looking for someone to connect with, to be their best friend and their intimate partner, and when they lose that connection in their marriage, they may look elsewhere.”
Dr. Susan Heitler commented:
“While there are many factors that can lead to an extramarital sexual encounter, emotional distance is one that couples can prevent. If there’s been distress, dissension or too much distance, take a marriage ed class to learn how to stay more comfortably connected.”
90% of the therapists polled were less blaming of technology when it comes to cheating — saying that while sites like Match.com allow for those who wish to cheat to find a willing or unwitting partner, that the infidelity was likely to occur regardless of method.
50% of the respondent therapists cited technology as a “catalyst for cheating,” but only 7% say Facebook has increased the number of affairs they’ve observed. YourTango CEO Andrea Miller explains:
“This data is consistent with our previous research that underscores the real problem for most couples is less about sex and more about feeling valued and communicating successfully… And while 50% of affairs play out sexually, emotional affairs constitute the betrayal a whopping 40% of the time. It’s the lack of closeness that overwhelmingly leads to cheating and discord.”
A whopping 57% of the therapists polled said that a partner who has strayed may not be best served by confessing to the infidelity if they wish to save the marriage.