What makes a person in a marriage or committed relationship cheat on their spouse or significant other? Surprisingly, the answer depends on whether you’re talking about a cheating woman or a cheating man. The reasons why men cheat are different from the reasons why women cheat. Numerous infidelity studies, surveys and polls have found that men and women who are cheating on their spouses have different motivations for getting involved in extramarital affairs.

The Top Reasons Men and Women Cheat

For most men, sex is the primary motivating factor for cheating on their mate. The majority of the reasons cheating men give for their infidelity were directly or indirectly related to sex.

On the other hand, women who were cheating on their spouses or significant others had different motivations for their affairs. The primary motivating factors for cheating wives are linked to unmet emotional needs or dissatisfaction with their marriage, or their mate.

Below are the 10 most common reasons cheating husbands and cheating wives use to justify their extramarital affairs:

Top 10 Reasons Why Men Cheat

• more sex (the desire for a more active sex life)
• sexual variety (the desire for different type of sex or particular sex act)
• opportunistic sex ( presented with an opportunity to have sex without getting caught)
• to satisfy sexual curiosity (about having sex with a particular person)
• to reaffirm his sexuality
• a feeling of entitlement (the belief that it’s a man’s prerogative to cheat)
• the “thrill of the chase”
• the desire to feel important or special ( an ego boost)
• peer pressure
• sexual addiction

Top 10 Reasons Why Women Cheat

• lack of emotional intimacy (a desire for a close emotional bond)
• dissatisfaction with her mate
• marital or relationship unhappiness
• a desire for male attention
• to reaffirm her desirability (To feel validated as a woman)
• to re-experience feelings of romance
• a desire to feel “special”
• boredom
• sexual excitement

The Bottom Line on Why Men and Women Cheat

In a nutshell, men tend to cheat largely for sexual reasons, while women cheat for emotional reasons. There are several studies on infidelity that bear that out. One study, in particular, found that 75% to 80% of the men who admitted to having extramarital affairs said that sex was their primary motivation. Only 20% of the women who were having extramarital affairs said they did so for purely sexual reasons.

Of course, the reasons listed above aren’t the only reasons cheating men and cheating women are unfaithful to their mates. There are many other reasons as well. But these were the reasons most frequently given by cheating husbands and cheating wives who were willing to discuss why they were having an extramarital affair.

Most Cheaters Get Away With Cheating on their Mates

Studies further indicate that most infidelity goes undetected. The majority of cheating spouses get away with cheating on their mates. In one study, 70% of married women and 54% of married men had no idea their spouse was having an extramarital affair. Another study found that 60% of the cheating spouses said their partner did not know about their affair.

Why Most Cheaters Don’t Get Caught

There’s a reason why so many cheating spouses get away with cheating on their mates. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because the innocent partner is in denial. Most people are woefully uninformed or misinformed about signs of infidelity. They may realize that something is somehow wrong with their marriage or relationship – that something is lacking, that the relationship is not all that it could be. But because of their unfamiliarity with the signs of infidelity., --particularly the subtle signs -- they don't realize the underlying problem is undetected infidelity.

If more people knew how to recognize the warning signs of infidelity, more marriages could be saved. After all, the first step to solving a problem is knowing that the problem exists. The best way to protect a marriage or relationship is to familiarize yourself with the signs of infidelity. For a FREE copy of the report entitled 21 Ways to Tell That You Have a Cheating Mate, which describes the 21 major categories of infidelity signs, e-mail InfidelityInfo@gmail.com with 21 ways-sg in the subject line.

For more information about signs of infidelity, cheating spouses or extramarital affairs, visit www.InfidelityAdvice.com

Author's Bio: 

Infidelity expert Ruth Houston is the founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs which documents practically every known sign of infidelity, including the subtle signs people usually overlook.

Frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news, Ruth has been quoted in USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, Chatelaine, Newsday, msnbc.com. FoxNews.com, ABCNews.com, iVillage, MSN Lifestyle and numerous other print and online media worldwide.

Ruth has also been a guest on The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, NBC News, 1010WINS, Court TV Radio, BBC, CBC and over 360 other radio and TV shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

For more information about signs of infidelity, cheating spouses or extramarital affairs, visit www.InfidelityAdvice.com or Ruth Houston’s infidelity blog at infidelitynewsandviews.blogspot.com

To interview infidelity expert Ruth Houston call 718 592-6039 or e-mail InfidelityExpert@gmail.com