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Nine Things You Need to Know About Infidelity

by eHarmony Staff

Why do men or women cheat? What is the primary reason? Get some clarity on this sensitive subject…

Emotional Disconnect

The biggest reason for cheating on a mate is a lack of emotional connection or feeling appreciated by their partner. According to relationship therapist Bree Maresca-Kramer, trouble starts when a couple stops meeting each other's needs, stops talking about things that matter and get distracted by daily schedules, work or business. "They stop trying. It almost becomes a business relationship."

The Best Defense is a Great Offense

Making your relationship a consistent priority, valuing your partner, communicating and staying connected are the absolute best ways to give yourselves the best chance against infidelity. According to Maresca-Kramer, compatibility is another bonus. “You want to have a high level of compatibility, which means you like the same things and your life goals and your dreams are on the same page. It is not impossible for people who do not have a high level of compatibility to have a good marriage; it just means they have to work a lot harder than a couple who has a high level of compatibility.”

These Personality Types Are More Likely to Stray

Statistically, the following types are more likely to cheat; those who crave excitement, have a history of divorce, those who were sexually abused, or those who have psychological problems like depression or bipolar disorder.

It's Not About Looks

In couple's therapist Gary Neuman's new book "The Truth About Cheating," 88% of men surveyed said the women they had affairs with were not better looking or in better shape than their partners.

Biggest Signs of Cheating

Neuman found that there are several common signs there could be something going on, or about to, including: spending more time away from home, having less sex, not answering the cell phone, more criticizing than usual and avoiding physical contact.

What about Sexting, Texting or Online Flirting?

With all of the new ways to communicate, how does one know where to draw the line between harmless flirting and betrayal? A good benchmark, our fave TV doc Dr. Drew Pinsky says, is to imagine your partner watching or reading what you are doing. Would they be upset or feel wronged? If the answer is yes, then you are engaging in some level of betrayal.

It Happened to Me

The most important thing to remember if your partner strays is that they made a really bad decision – and you didn’t. Instead of blaming yourself for their betrayal, appreciate your worth, know you are enough just as you are, and recognize the infidelity or other betrayal had nothing to do with you and everything to do with their poor choice. Trouble in the relationship? They could have come to you instead of turning to someone else.

When Opportunity Strikes…

Maybe Chris Rock was onto something when he said, “A man is basically as faithful as his options.” Various research reveals that aside from emotional disconnect, the biggest reason for infidelity are the various opportunities that present themselves, plain and simple.

Once a Cheater...?

How do you know if they'll cheat again? How remorseful the guilty party is will give you a big clue about the future. If the person expresses real remorse and takes full responsibility for their actions, studies say they are less likely to embark on this destructive behavior again. One should be worried about the cheater who makes excuses for their behavior, or isn’t apologetic.

View Next Slideshow : Virtual Valentines from eHarmony – Artwork provided by Hugh MacLeod

This St. Valentine’s Day eHarmony is proud to be working with Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod to bring you a collection of funny and touching cards that you can personalize and share online, via Facebook.  

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