Why Do I Want To Cheat On My Partner? What Your Desire Really Means

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You're not alone if you've wondered, "why do I want to cheat?" A recent study in Social Science Research found that 13 percent of women and 10 percent of men have cheated on their current partners, and many more have probably thought about it. Having these thoughts doesn't always mean you want to end your relationship. There could be a lot of possible motives at play.

Though "I want to cheat" is that last thing anyone wants to hear from their partner, sharing this desire could decrease the chances of it actually happening, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Christene Lozano tells Bustle. If there are any improvements to your relationship that could curb your desire to cheat, talk to your partner about it.

You may even consider seeing a couples' therapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Meredith Silversmith tells Bustle. Otherwise, you'll either just let these underlying problems fester or deal with them by cheating — neither of which will solve them. People who get cheated on often wonder what was going through their partners' minds, but the truth is, our own motives aren't always even clear to us. If you've been experiencing the desire to cheat and aren't sure why, here are some things it might mean.

1You Want To End The Relationship

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Sometimes, people cheat because they don't know how to break up and infidelity gives them a good excuse. You may be tempted to sabotage your relationship because you're subconsciously scared of commitment, says Lozano. If you think this might describe you, figure out if you actually want to end your relationship, and if so, be honest about why, or you'll just make the breakup worse for your partner.

2Your Needs Aren't Being Met

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If you're looking for someone else to emotionally or sexually satisfy you, it's possible your partner's not taking care of those needs, says Lozano. In that case, you should tell them what you're missing so that they can try to fix it. It may be scary to ask for something when you don't know if your partner can provide it, but that's better than having to break up because they never even got the chance to please you.

3You Have A Connection With Someone Else

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Even someone who's highly satisfied with their relationship might feel the desire to cheat if someone very attractive or compatible with them comes along. In this happens, you need to weigh your connection with that person against your relationship with your partner, relationship and wellness coach Shula Melamed, MA, MPH tells Bustle. She suggests asking yourself the following questions: "Is it really necessary to cross the line from fantasy to reality? Are you willing to deal with the consequences should your partner find out? Could you live with the potential guilt you would feel?"

4You've Lost Yourself

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Sometimes, people cheat to find themselves. If your identity has become so wrapped up in your relationship that you've forgotten who you are without your partner, cheating can be a way to recover your former self. "Some people feel the only way to truly individuate is to use their body like a single person: have a sexual experience that is just for them," says Melamed. To avoid this situation, make sure you're still devoting time to things other than your relationship. You might even scratch this itch by going on a solo adventure.

5Monogamy's Not For You

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Maybe you don't want to be in a monogamous relationship in the first place. If you find yourself constantly wanting to date or sleep with other people, open relationships may be more your style, says Melamed. If you think this might be the case, research consensual non-monogamy and bring it up with your partner if it sounds like something you want to try.

6You're Bored

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Cheating can be a way to add excitement to our lives or relationships, says Silversmith. If that's what you're looking for, there are plenty of other places to find it. Go on a new and unusual date, or take a trip together or alone to make things fun again.

Working through these issues together can be harder than just cheating, which is probably why so many people do it. But addressing them will bring you closer, while cheating will probably bring you farther apart.