The cheater knows what they’re doing is wrong
Cheaters are narcissistic and manipulative
Cheaters come in all shape, sizes, and personalities, which means they’re not always the relationship villains we portray them to be. “Some cheaters have a more deeply ingrained unconscious, self-sabotaging style,” says Anthony Tasso, PhD, ABPP, clinical psychologist in Whippany, New Jersey. “At the core, they don’t feel worthy of a healthy relationship so the affair becomes an avenue to undermine and possibly destroy their partnership.” (Here are 17 signs you're the toxic one in the relationship.)
Affairs only occur in unhappy relationships
Perfectly healthy, happy relationships are just as susceptible to infidelity as troubled ones. There are many motives for cheating, but affairs aren’t always a symptom of a relationship gone awry. Sometimes, people use affairs as a subconscious device to find their true identity or live a life they’ve never known. “A relationship can become familiar and mundane so someone may need challenges in life,” says Foojan Zeine, PsyD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Tarzana, California. “They need some kind of impulsivity to create aliveness.” (Here's why happy relationships are the key to a fulfilling life.)
It only counts as cheating if you have sex with someone else
Once a cheater, always a cheater
Philandering with other lovers outside of a relationship is just one of the many mistakes people can make. But not all hope is lost if your betrothed betrays you. Many cheaters do see the error of their ways. Experts say it is possible for cheaters to recommit themselves and never stray from the relationship again. “The presence of genuine remorse becomes a good indicator of whether or not a person is truly committed to addressing the reasons for having an affair and ultimately changing this behavior,” says Dr. Tasso. All it takes is open, honest communication, a show of genuine remorse, and an active desire to change for the better. (You might look like a stalker but this is the most effective way to find out if your partner is cheating on you.)
People who cheat are actively seeking it
The act of cheating can be quite a surprise to both the cheater and the person being cheated on. “Inadvertent cheating is when you innocently start chatting with someone like a friend or old acquaintance, perhaps via social media, for example,” says Dr. Tasso. “From there it can turn into something more than just casual, whether emotional or physical.” He describes the Internet as “fertile ground for infidelity.” In fact, 81 percent of divorce attorneys saw an increase in the number of cases citing Facebook as evidence for divorce, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In 2011, one-third of divorce cases in the United Kingdom mentioned the word “Facebook,” according to a survey designed by Divorce-Online, a UK-based legal services form. An inappropriate message to the opposite sex was the most common reason for why couples called it quits. (Have you been caught cheating? Here's are the best ways to own up to your infidelity.)
Cheaters are highly sexual in nature
Affairs always lead to break-ups
An affair isn’t always the end all, be all in a relationship. On the contrary, infidelity may make a couple’s bond stronger than ever before. (Never ever do these ten things after a partner cheats on you.) “The crisis of the awareness of infidelity can bring a lot of issues to the surface,” says Dr. Tasso. “This can force the range of relationship problems to be examined by each partner." With a little dedication, honesty, and devotion from both partners, the couple can re-create a positive space for a healthier, happier relationship.
Men cheat in relationships more often than women
For years, more men were cheating than women. But research from the past two decades shows that that gender gap may be closing. Researchers from the University of Washington found that infidelity rates between 1991 and 2006 jumped from 5 percent to 15 percent amongst older women compared to older men whose rates increased from 20 percent to 28 percent. A 2011 study bridged that gap even further when 19 percent of women and 23 percent of men confessed to cheating on their significant other. This significant rise in female adulterers may be because the stigma of being portrayed as a sexualized or scandalous woman isn’t as prevalent in today’s era as it once was. This is the actual day when your partner will most likely cheat.