10 Most Damaging Relationship Mistakes That Lead To Infidelity

Don't make these fatal mistakes.

Last updated on May 01, 2023

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It's probably fair to say that no one enters a marriage planning to commit infidelity and betray their spouse.

However, the 2015 Ashley Madison security scandal revealed that infidelity may be more common than we think — making married life sounds a little less appealing.

With a reported 37 million users — statistically, that’s scary! — it makes you wonder, why people cheat on their partners. What was the tipping point in their marriages?


Unfortunately, marriage isn't for everyone. Some people will always find a way to cheat if they want to.

But that doesn’t mean your situation has to end up like someone else’s. Knowing what works and what doesn’t for your relationship, you can ward off any Ashley Madison or any type of cheating temptation.

RELATED: 6 (Fixable!) Personality Traits That Men See As Red Flags

RELATED: A Sociologist Explains What Makes People Cheat (& 3 Major Things That Make Having An Affair Likely)


Here are 10 damaging relationship mistakes that lead to infidelity:

1. You treat each other like mind readers

When you think you know each other like the back of your hand, you tend to expect your spouse to know what you want from them. They won’t and can’t, so don’t expect it unless you clearly tell them what you want.

In relationships, it's important to communicate and ask for what you need.

2. You play the blame game

Your marriage isn’t a whodunit. If something goes wrong, you need to take 100 percent accountability for your part in the situation.

It’s up to you to fix it. You can’t rely on someone else.

RELATED: 'Why I Cheated' — 5 Brave People Reveal The Real Reason They Strayed


3. You got married or planning to marry at an older age

Maybe it’s the unwillingness to change or compromise your habits by the time you reach a certain age.

4. You don't listen

If you’re not listening to each other, chances are you’re running into miscommunication big time. In order to master communication with each other, you have to learn to listen for meaning as well as what they’re telling you.

I tell people to listen as if their life depends on it ... because your relationship does.

RELATED: 7 Unexpected Reasons People Cheat

5. You limit each other in terms of growth and support

Marriage isn’t the end of your life — it's a new beginning. When your spouse starts a new project, be there for them in a supportive way anyway.


Embrace their growth because you would want and ask for the same.

6. You're not being honest

When you start hiding things from each other, you're walking down a deadly path. If you do something that you wouldn’t tell your spouse about it, you may not want to do it.

The mystery is sexy, but secrets are deadly.

RELATED: The 3 Types Of Couples Who Experience Affairs (& The Ones Most Likely To Stay Together)

7. You’re emotionally withdrawing yourself

You should never shut out your spouse/partner from your feelings.

If you’re emotionally going through a trying time, reconnect with your spouse instead of looking for someone else.

8. You don’t date each other

You don't stop dating after you get married. Dating was the fun part of your relationship when you put your best foot forward.


Set a date night each week (ideally) or at minimum monthly to keep the novelty and spark alive. (And prevent eyes and hearts from wandering.)

RELATED: 6 Different Types Of Affairs You Might Be Having Without Knowing It

9. You assume you know everything

Being married doesn’t mean you know everything about your spouse. People change over the years. Keep asking each other all those important questions:

  • What do you want?
  • Where do you see us in [x] years?
  • What can I do for you?
  • What is working great/what would you like to adapt or change?

10. You give up too easily

A failed marriage sometimes is due to a lack of determination to make things work when things get tough.


Show that your marriage or partnership can withstand the strongest of storms. It makes your bond stronger.

For some relationships, marriage is all about being legally bound to each other. Yet, for others, it’s purely a state of mind.

No matter how you consider it, it's about making yourself happy while also making each other happy.

If you can accomplish that, you shouldn’t have to worry about you or your spouse becoming one of the 37 million people on a hacked cheating spouse's website.

RELATED: 3 Huge Lessons From Having An Affair (And Why I'd Never Do It Again)

Fiona Fine is a relationship and communications expert who specializes in men-women interactions.