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3 Reasons Why People In Happy Relationships Have Affairs

Heartbreak, Love

Here's what you need to know.

When someone has an affair in a relationship, we tend to assume there's something wrong, either with the guilty party or with their relationship.

He must not really love his partner. She must be a horrible person, desperate for sex. Their marriage was broken but they were too blind to see it.

And yes, sometimes that's exactly what happened.

But don't let that lead you into a false sense of security: cheating can happen in ANY relationship.

Yes, even the happiest and most fulfilling of marriages can have a spouse who cheats.

Which seems to go against logic.

After all, if you're in a committed relationship with someone that means you love them.

How can you cheat on someone you love?

Good question.

Senior VP of YourTango Experts, Melanie Gorman, asked a group of relationship Experts exactly that: why do happy couples in happy relationships cheat?

Our Experts — including Moshe Ratson, Helen Fisher, Samantha Burns, and Rita DeMaria — offer a few different reasons a partner might stray and the one thing you can do about it. You can hear all of their insights and wisdom in the video above. 

 

Here are 3 Expert reasons why your partner (or you) might cheat, even if they are completely happy and in love with you.

1. They are trying to reconnect with something.

Pinterest

It's not that they are trying to pull away and disconnect from you.

They just want to find something they have lost in themselves. It could be freedom, it could be passion, or something else entirely.

And while it might hurt that they went searching for it outside of your relationship, it does not mean they are unhappy with you.

They just might be a little embarrassed to admit what it is they need.

 

2. It's in our biology.

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Cheating happens in every culture. Every. Culture. Even the ones where having an affair to leads to a stoning or worse.

So there has to be some sort of reason for it, because otherwise why would people be willing to risk their lives?

The answer is our biology. We have what is called a dual human reproductive strategy which, simply put, means we have this evolutionary need to form a loving and lasting bond.

But it also creates a drive for adultery, because there is something to be gained from it.

For men, having another woman meant having more children — thereby having more chances to pass on their DNA to the future.

For women, an affair with another man was insurance, in case her husband died or deserted her and she needed another man to protect her.

And while this may not be the case in our society today, it is still there in our DNA.

 

3. Sometimes it just happens.

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Everyone is vulnerable when it comes to love. And everyone, at some point, finds themselves tempted.

The cute cashier flirts with you at the checkout. Your hot co-worker genuinely cares about what you're saying.

It's ok — normal even — to be flattered by the attention and attraction you feel from the opposite sex.

And if you're having a really bad day, under the right circumstances (or perhaps wrong circumstances), you or your partner can make a mistake in an attempt to capture that fleeting feeling.

 

None of these are excuses. At the end of the day, cheating is a choice that we make — albeit sometimes in the heat of the moment when we're not thinking clearly.

But, it IS important to understand that it can happen to ANYONE.

Because if you sit there and think, "It'll never happen to me," the next thing you know it WILL be you since you'll have missed the signs.

The key to stopping those fleeting moments from turning into a full affair? Vigilance and communication.

If you notice that you felt a pull of attraction when the sexy UPS guy said you looked hot or that you had a rather naughty fantasy about your co-worker, say something to your partner.

Talk it out with your spouse and explain why you felt it. Maybe your mind is trying to tell you that you're not being satisfied enough physically or that you don't feel appreciated.

If you talk it out, you and your partner can work towards fixing it.

Otherwise, it will only be buried further and further, covered up with lies and a lack of trust that will inevitably lead to the shattering of your relationship.

We all get tempted sometimes.

It's what we do about it that determines if our relationships survive.

 

If you or your partner is having an affair, or are struggling with any other relationship problems, please visit the websites of  Moshe, Helen, Samantha, and Rita directly. They’re here to help.

 

 

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