Why Married Men And Women Stray: Top 3 Reasons For Each

No gender has a monopoly on infidelity.

Last updated on May 06, 2023

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It has been reported that approximately 30-60 percent of all married people have cheated and that women are just as likely to cheat as men.

This is very different than a generation ago when men were much more likely to have affairs outside of marriage.

Of course, all the data is rather subjective since it is typically done by people willing to complete surveys. There is almost no reliable data on how often people outside of long-term relationships cheat on their partner, but the experts consider that up to 60 percent may not be too far off the mark.


In a 2011 study from Indiana University, it was found that about 19 percent of the women surveyed and about 23 percent of men reported some type of infidelity during their current relationship. More recently, the Institute for Family Studies found that 20 percent of men surveyed and 13 percent of women admitted to having sex with someone who wasn't their partner while married.

While no gender has a monopoly on infidelity, the top three reasons given for cheating differ between the sexes.

RELATED: The Science Behind Why People Cheat

RELATED: The Simple Reason Why Men And Women Cheat


Here are the top three reasons why married men and women stray:

1. There was no sense of emotional connection or commitment from their current partner

This may be an established relationship or a new marriage where the partners are physically or emotionally distant.

2. The partner did not hold the same sexual beliefs and interests

This may include women having to appear more submissive or less adventurous than they would like to be to satisfy their partner.

3. The passion was gone

It's long gone, and having passionate sex with another is one way to keep the current relationship bearable.

RELATED: The 3 Real Reasons Why People In Happy Relationships Have Affairs


Here are the top three reasons men give for cheating in marriage:

1. They just felt like it

Men are more visually aroused and more likely to respond to an exciting female without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Simply put, blame it on testosterone.

2. They were no longer physically attracted to the women they married

This is often given as the excuse if the wife has put on weight, stopped dressing up, or simply aged. This is really a double standard but remember men respond to visual images more than women, so looks do count.

3. They were bored

The humdrum nature of typical daily life, the pressure of bills and finances and the need to always have something to do for the family can also create a desire for the guy to be "wild and crazy again." A quick fling is often seen as a diversion from their real life.

Regardless of why people cheat it is devastating to many relationships. Communicating, staying interested in each other's happiness and pleasure as well as finding time to just have fun together are simple ways to help prevent cheating from becoming an issue in your relationship.


RELATED: Why Do People Cheat On People They Love?

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach who helps people cope with codependency, love addiction, toxic relationships, and mental health issues. She is also the author of Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency To Find Everlasting Love.