Common Causes of Infidelity in a Marriage

Is infidelity the chicken or the egg? Is it caused by a loveless wedding or rather by a wedding partner is unwilling to commit and run through problems? The following are some of my thoughts on the causes of infidelity in a marriage:

1. The Internet

The Internet is a major facilitator of infidelity. It is a lot of easier to search out enticement on-line than face to face. There are so many websites where people can meet with no questions asked. Think of the tag line of Ashley Madison – “Life is Short. Have an Affair®.”

2. Running Away from Problems

Running away from problems is a major contributor toward infidelity. Making excuses rather than facing the music with your spouse opens the door to infidelity, especially emotional affairs. I have heard many examples where a spouse would tell me that he or she has found a coworker with a shoulder to lean on. It should be no surprise that sympathetic coworkers regularly become participants in illicit affairs.

3. Pornography

Pornography is rampant on the Internet – but does this lead to affairs? Does it lead to emotional affairs and the death of love and trust? Absolutely! Internet and “porn addiction” are significant factors causing the breakdown of marriages today. And you might be surprised to know that this problem is not discriminatory toward men. More and more women suffer with Internet and porn addiction today just as much as men.

4. Escort Services

Escort services and the like, including “online massages,” etc., are much more attainable in our age of social media then it ever was before. Scrutinizing credit card charges is but one of the contributing factors as to why divorces are expensive.

5. Facebook

Facebook is now a contributing factor to about a third of all divorces. A couple of years past, that number was 25%. You can meet anyone online. I have had cases where someone reconnected with a high school sweetheart and ran off during the divorce even though the sweetheart lived over 3,000 miles away. Online fantasy that the “grass is greener on the other side” is a significant cause in the breakdown of marriages today.

6. Boredom

Boredom can lead to an affair. Many people represent routines, including tired routines in the bedroom. What does one do to stay your wedding fresh? Many divorces could be possibly avoided if people took the time and commitment to communicate verbally and physically and keep things exciting. Some people look for excitement to escape boredom. It can be by experimenting with other relationships, trying drugs, fast cars, or hanging out with different people. I once had a case where a husband wanted a ménage à trois for his milestone birthday. His wife agreed to the gift. Overtime, the couple experimented with wife-swapping and ultimately his wife ran off with someone else.

7. Growing Apart with Your Partner

People grow apart. Do you and your spouse have the same goals anymore? Do you want to ride off into the sunset together after the children are grown? Is your spouse your best friend?

8. Addiction

Alcohol and drugs often go hand in hand with affairs. I have seen many cases where a spouse will trade one addiction for another. A person’s addiction to drugs or alcohol is chemically no different than an addiction to the Internet, porn, food, or any other unhealthy excess.

9. Not Married for the Right Reasons

Did you marry for the right reason? Or better yet, did you become the “right” person for your spouse? Do you both have enough in common? If not, you will often look for that commonality in the arms of someone else.

10. Lack of Respect at Home

Does your spouse treat you well? Do you treat your spouse well in return? Over the years I have seen many doctors, for example, running off with their nurse or other medical support staff. It’s really not surprising that doctors in general are often worshipped by their staff at work, but in contrast at home, they are treated with a lack of respect. Does ego stroking lead to affairs? Absolutely. Everyone enjoys a compliment; it would go a long way if spouses found ways to compliment each other regularly.

11. Feeling Unappreciated

Some people fall into having an affair simply because they feel that they are not appreciated at home or that they are “doing all of the work” in keeping a marriage and home together. Again, questions to ask are these: Am I appreciative of my spouse? Am I being the “right person” for my spouse? If more people harbored a “servant’s” mindset for their spouse, more and more affairs and divorces could be avoided.

12. Issues Involving Body Image and Aging

Issues involving body image and weight gain as well as aging can, unfortunately, lead to an affair and or divorce. Some people will “trade in” an aging spouse for a “younger” model. Of course, the point of this paragraph has nothing to do with unavoidable medical issues. But let’s face it. During the “romance” period, both spouses typically try to present themselves in the best possible light to “win” the affections and marriage commitment of the other. Once the prize (marriage) is won, many people think that “the chase is over.” Not so. Marriage is only the beginning. If people continued to consciously keep “chasing” their spouse, affairs and divorces could be avoided.

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6 Steps In Making Ready For Divorce: Telling Family And Friends

As we continue to explore the process of becoming divorced, it is important to practice thoughtful “announcements” of this new phase of your life. While your affairs is simply that – personal – this divorce can have an effect on plenty of individuals. Family and friends will be concerned for your well-being, as well as have questions on how this might change their relationship with you and your spouse.

The way you approach this conversation will be the guide for how your family and friends will view this change, and view you. Think first, speak carefully, and communicate from the heart. Your friends and family will look to you to give them a guide on how they should feel about your news. Whether more like relief or devastation, do your best to let them know this is your hurdle, and while you need their support, you are not asking them to pass judgement or share the burden.

Keep private those things that are truly no-one else’s business. Focus these conversations on what is important to the relationships with your friends and family moving forward.


When it comes to your children, the best tactic is to tell them together. Rehearse (together) exactly what you will say. Role play with each other on what questions will likely come up so that not only are you prepared to answer, but the two of your responses need to say the same thing. Children over toddler age will quickly understand what this separation means – they will want to know, to see that the two of you are still bonded as their parents.

Extended Family

When telling the extended family – depending on the relationship that has been forged through the years – you could tell them together, or apart. Likely there will be some protectiveness that comes to the table, and perhaps even some angst. So telling each family on your own might be the wiser choice for their comfort.


As for friends, go your separate ways. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where yet another argument might spark in front of your closest friends. No one needs to witness that situation.

When I got divorced, I had to realize that some of my friends were really my spouse’s friends. Staying close with them might actually have caused other issues – issues that I was well advised to avoid. For friends who were truly bonded to both of us, it was time to talk to them about not feeling like they have to take sides – or even offer their opinion. What I needed most from them was for them to simply remain a friend.


When it came to my family, it was important for me to accept that while I still may be able to maintain a friendship with my spouse’s relatives, blood truly is thicker than water. You will want to understand that your sister-in-law may no longer feel comfortable going on your annual weekend outing anymore. While your in-laws’ relationship with your children will continue, likely that will be without you. Remember that your children will hear and remember pretty much anything you say within earshot – and often repeat it word for word. Keep to yourself any misgivings you might have about how relationships have changed with your spouse’s family; let your children carry on as normally as possible with all family members. And bear in mind, whereas you’ll notice that some friends do so estrange, it won’t be long the least bit before you’re meeting new folks, having new adventures, and making new bonds.