Reasons for Sexual Infidelity

With experts estimating that up to 75% of all marriages encounter infidelity in the U.S., it is safe to say that the problem has reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, it is also an experience that leaves disaster in its wake. [See related article.] Because it has become such a prevalent issue in our culture that has produced countless victims, social researchers have sought to discover reasons why sexual infidelity occurs.

The following list includes the most common reasons why people become sexually unfaithful to their spouse. The list is not presented in order to excuse of justify bad behavior and decisions. Rather, those who are committed to their marriage can use this information as a tool for self-examination. By becoming aware of the social, cognitive and emotional issues that can lead to infidelity one can be better prepared to deal with potential latent symptoms in one’s own life.  By so doing, you can find a way to work through personal issues while remaining faithful to your mate.

Reasons for Sexual Infidelity
  1. sexual attraction
  2. gratification of unmet sexual needs
  3. gratification of unmet psychological needs (i.e. intellectual sharing, nurturing, understanding, companionship, respect)
  4. gratification of unmet social needs (i.e. mating with someone of a higher social status)
  5. as a bridge to escape an unsatisfactory marriage
  6. to fulfill a need to conquer or to dominate the opposite sex
  7. for power or control issues
  8. to fulfill a need for love or to culminate an already supposed loving relationship
  9. to fulfill extraordinary sexual drive or sexual compulsion
  10. for purposes of revenge
  11. as a result of alcohol, drug related or other impulse control problems or disorders
  12. as a result of liberal sexual values
  13. as a result of opportunity (e.g., job-related travel, physical separation from a spouse, frequent contact with potential partners)
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