Why Do We Cheat on Someone We Love?

The statistics on cheating are crazy! If you look at the numbers, it seems like LOTS of folks are doing it. But why do we cheat on someone we love?

First, let’s look at the numbers.

Cheating Statistics

It may come as no surprise, but men tend to cheat more than women. That said, the gap is closing. This isn’t about men respecting women more, it has to do with the fact that women are cheating more than men.

“We don’t know if more men or more women are caught cheating, on average. But it would make sense that women are better at hiding their affairs. Traditionally women have faced harsher punishment for cheating,” Tammy Nelson, a couples therapist and author of When You’re The One Who Cheats told Fatherly. “They have lost their financial support, risked the loss of their children, and in some countries even risked the loss of their lives.”

Statistics differ depending on who did the research and the pool of people interviewed. That said, according to the Pew Research Center:

  • More than 90% of Americans consider infidelity immoral.
  • Approximately 30% to 40% of Americans cheat on their partners.
  • Less than 3% of American adults believe it is not wrong to engage in extramarital sex.

If someone did cheat in a past relationship, would they tell their new partner?

In a survey from Health Testing Centers involving 441 Americans, this is what was revealed:

  • 22.1% of respondents claimed to have cheated and never admitted it to their partners.
  • 76% of respondents admitted their past infidelity to their new partners.

So while people do lie about past shenanigans, many say they would admit their past affairs to their new partners. (Perhaps because they don’t think they’d do it again? Who can say?)

Why Do We Cheat on Someone We Love?

The above stats are all well and good, but why do people actually cheat? Well, according to experts, there are a few reasons. Love, Factually’s host Anna Parsons (from Bustle) investigates, with the help of evolutionary biologist David Barash and biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher.


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