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A person's motivations for cheating predict the type of affair they will have, Odelia Carmon finds

A study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy sheds light on how a person’s motivations for cheating affect the outcome of the affair. They found that people who said they cheated out of a lack of love or anger toward their partners tended to engage in affairs that were longer and more likely to result in the end of their primary relationship. Those who cheated due to situational factors such as stress or intoxication engaged in affairs that were shorter and less sexually satisfying.

While many studies have explored infidelity, most have focused on cheating as a consequence of a poor quality relationship. Odelia Carmon reports that people’s experiences with infidelity are more nuanced than that, noting that affairs can also be driven by personal motivations like a desire to boost one’s self-esteem or seek out a variety of sexual partners.

Carmon reports that different motivations for cheating are associated with specific emotions, behaviours, and outcomes during and after an affair.

Carmon discusses eight motivations for cheating. Four were directly related to aspects of the primary relationship — anger towards one’s primary partner, a lack of love for one’s primary partner, low commitment toward one’s partner, and perceived neglect from one’s partner. Another four were not directly related to the relationship — a desire to boost one’s self-esteem, a desire for more sexual partners, a desire for more sex, and situational factors such as blurred judgment due to intoxication or stress.

There has been an explosion in cases of infidelity during the Pandemic. Odelia Carmon reports that FY21 saw the largest number of new clients seeking counselling for infidelity related issues. To get in touch with Odelia Carmon, visit

Odelia Carmon
Odelia Carmon
0407 223 626

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