The reason someone cheats isn’t usually as straightforward as not being able to control your hormones. It’s messy, convoluted, confusing, and so much deeper than an immature, spur of the moment decision.
According to psychotherapy counselor Claire McRitchie, the reasons someone cheats can be incredibly complex. “When we hear about people cheating we often look at the external factors of their life and question, ‘why’or ‘how could they’,” McRitchie said. “The uncomfortable truth is, the answer lies behind the carefully manufactured exterior – in fact the exterior can often be the clue as to why.”
The root cause of infidelity might not always be apparent, but McRitchie said cheaters often have a common link to one and other: Cheating acts as a temporary cure to “alleviate a symptom.”
It is for this reason the McRitchie suggests the “symptom” is what causes someone to cheat and figuring out the “root cause” of this symptom can help better understand someone’s choice to be unfaithful to their partner. While there are many reasons why people choose to be faithless, McRitchie reiterates that infidelity acts as a mask for pre-existing problems in a relationship. And, one of the biggest problems in a relationship is a lack of communication.