7 Surprising Situations When Cheating Is More Likely To Happen, According To Experts
It's easy to worry about your partner potentially cheating when they have a history of cheating or they're always flirting with other people. But the reality is, anyone can be a cheater given the right circumstances. According to experts, some everyday situations can lead to cheating, depending on the circumstances.
"There are many situations that facilitate cheating," Dr. Marianne Dainton, relationship expert and professor of communication at La Salle University, tells Bustle. "In essence, infidelity can only happen if you spend time with potential romantic partners. So, the more opportunity, the more likely infidelity will occur."
More often than not, cheating doesn't just happen out of nowhere. As Katie Ziskind, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle, "What does happen is overtime a couple drifts apart. Then, one person is presented with a situation where they feel supported and emotionally safe, which can lead them to cheat."
As Ziskind believes, cheating is usually a sign of deeper unresolved issues within the relationship. Sometimes it's rooted in issues with communication, and other times it's based on needs that aren't being met. Because cheating doesn't typically just happen spontaneously, here are some everyday situations that can lead someone to cheat.
1. Situations That Take You Out Of Your Normal Routine
"Any situation that takes you out of your normal routine and opens you up to new experiences can lead to a potential cheating situation," Laurie Berzack, MSW, matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. For instance, conferences or traveling for work are classic examples of situations where people are pulled out of their "normal" routine. While it's not guaranteed, Berzack says, they may be more prone to making wrong decisions.
2. Any Situation Involving Alcohol
There's a reason why being under the influence of alcohol is a common excuse used for cheating. "Inhibitions are down, judgment is impaired, and the rest is history," Berzack says. "Any situation where people are drinking alcohol can lead to infidelity." Once again, it's not a definite that cheating will happen, but it may create the right environment for it.
3. Spending Time On Social Media As Part Of Your Nightly Routine
Social media is an everyday situation where people might be tempted to lay the groundwork for cheating, Berzack says. For instance, it's super easy to send a quick hello to an ex and then realize you've been secretly talking for months. Besides that, Marlena Cole, professional relationship expert and life coach, tells Bustle, spending a couple of hours scrolling through your phone is time you're not spending with your partner. "After a while, you may lose the closeness of the relationship," she says.
4. When You Have The Opportunity To Spend Alone Time With Someone You're Attracted To
Being in a relationship doesn't mean you can't be attracted to anyone but your partner. But it does mean that you need to be more mindful about your decisions. "Whether you're choosing to spend a lot of time together, or you're forced to work overtime on the same team, this is a common situation where people need to exercise caution to protect their relationships," Berzack says.
5. Situations That Cause You To Come Home Late
One surprising everyday thing that can lead to cheating could be as simple as someone always being late. According to psychotherapist and relationship expert, Laura Dabney, M.D., this could cause one partner to think that the other is untrustworthy. "The more untrustworthy the person seems to be, the more the loyal partner will think they're in a bad relationship and may consider cheating," she says. "Small habits that hurt you can lead to large mistrust in relationships."
6. Putting Sex Off For Later
"When you're in a long-term relationship and working to build a life together, sex can sometimes be the last thing on the list to get done," Cole says. "It's not that you don't want to have sex, it's just other little things get in the way of you having it." Physical intimacy is just as important as emotional intimacy. It's a way to connect and show your partner that you still desire them. When a couple doesn't make this a priority, Cole says it may lead to cheating.
7. Being Too Tired Or Busy To Talk To Your Partner About Their Day
"Our human physiology is meant for physical and emotional connection and we need that from someone," licensed marriage and family therapist, Sabrina Bowen, LCMFT, tells Bustle. Therefore, she says the biggest situation that can contribute to cheating is when you're feeling disconnected from your partner. Everyone gets tired or busy. But staying connected is as easy as spending a few minutes each night before bed talking. If you value your relationship, you will take a moment to really talk and listen.
It's important to remember that anyone can cheat given the right circumstances. But the small things you do every day for your relationship can help you and your partner stay connected so you won't have to worry about cheating.