Partners Who Cheat With Married Individuals: This tip will focus on understanding partners who are in committed relationships, but who cheat with married individuals. This comes in wake of the Ashley Madison email leak. Trying to understand why your partner may have chosen to seek out an affair may prove to be a difficult task to make sense of. Once the feelings of anger, confusion, betrayal, ect. have settled, moving beyond the blame placed on your partner to understand the situation from their perspective can be helpful. Infidelity, while an awful situation to grapple with, provides an opportunity to understand why a partner would cheat by stepping into your partner’s world to see how they view things. It also opens the door to work on parts of the relationship that might be lacking.

Here are the top 4 reasons to understand Why People Choose to Cheat with the Ashley Madison Website or at least pursue married people.

For a married person or person who’s in a committed relationship, it’s easier to go after another who is in the same boat. There’s a mutual understanding of each other’s situation and where the other person is. The idea of mutual understanding and empathy are key points in a relationship. Often couples will get lost in the external stresses of their lives and within themselves. Unconsciously, people will start to distance themselves without fully explaining why. This distance can be misinterpreted as the failing of a relationship, rather than the weakening of communication. However, for some individuals, they may want just sex. They may have a great relationship, but the sex is lacking. Love and sex are two separate things. Sex can be cold and calculated, while love is much more complicated. In working to reconnect couples after an affair, vulnerability, accountability, empathy, and trust are major points that will need to be worked on and rebuilt.

The second compelling reason for a committed person to go after another committed person is the reduced risk of feelings of guilt. When going after a committed person the knowledge that they are with someone else is more definitive than going after someone who is single and may speak out. For two committed people, both individuals have relationships so they are committed to secrecy. When the affair ends, they have their primary relationship for security. This leads to the second point to be worked on within couples that are dealing with an affair: learning to reveal yourself and lean on your partner. Often due to the way we relate to people, some individuals will be overly self-reliant or too afraid to rely on another (see: insecure partners). Part of a healthy relationship is learning to be able to rely on your partner for support and understanding that they will not reject you (i.e. empathy and communication).

The third motivator is the open honesty about what each person is looking for. With an affair people cut straight to the chase and communicate exactly what they want and need. Maybe they’re looking for a one-night stand or a non-committal sexual relationship. Individuals in this situation often feel there’s no judgment involved when expressing their wants since there’s no reliance on the other person. For some people they fear the judgment that may come from having to rely on their partner and communicate their need. Often with couples where one person has cheated, the lack of openness and honesty started way before the affair. To help you figure this out, ask yourself have you been clear to your partner about what you need? Figuring out your needs may be difficult and will take time. Here are a couple examples of some needs:

  • If your partner and yourself will be separated for a couple hours, you may need for them to check in every once in awhile. You might also need them to text you back right away.
     
  • If you’re upset, you may need your partner to provide empathy to you and talk things out, or you may need them to leave you alone for a bit while you process your feelings.
     
  • You might need your partner to provide you with space to be independent and do your own thing, or you may want to do a lot of things with them.

Sitting down and assessing what you need from the relationship and what your partner may need is often a good start to restarting the dialogue between two individuals. This dialogue looks like both individuals being honest and open about what each other needs. As one partner tells what they need, the other listens with empathy, understanding, and asks appropriate questions to see how they can meet what the other person needs.

Lastly, the quasi-committed relationship or connection that comes from an affair is sometimes enticing for individuals. These people are often dealing with internal conflicts that make it hard for them to receive pleasure from something that isn’t constantly shifting or are dealing with a difficulty attaching to another person (see: insecure partners). Sometimes they just need a person whom they can go and complain to. Or they just need a quick one-night stand because the sex in their primary relationship is lacking. Leading back to the other three points, open and empathetic communication with your partner about their needs and wants is one of the most important bases for any relationship.

If the conversation becomes stalled, or you’re continuing having trouble understanding why your partner would cheat with a married person, we encourage you to schedule an appointment in The Center for Growth/Sex Therapy in Philadelphia. Therapy can provide the tools for building a connection to your partner to communicate your needs, rebuild a sexual connection, while also understanding in more depth why they chose to cheat. Being able to establish this will often be a good buffer against the temptation to cheat.