Affair and Cheating

6 reasons people give for having affairs

What are the most common reasons people give for why they had an affair?
young man texting lover while wife is asleep

As a therapist who extensively helps people deal with the aftermath of extramarital affairs, I have pretty much come across every reason possible that people give for why they had the affair. Here’s a list of the top reasons I’ve heard in my therapy chambers!

  • I got carried away – People use this reason and say that they were with the affair partner, talking or drinking and one thing led to another and before they could stop it, things happened.
  • You weren’t here and I missed you – This usually especially happens in long distance relationships. People find someone they connect with near them and even though what they’re really craving is the actual partner’s intimacy, the person near them seems to fulfil it.
  • It was just a moment thing, didn’t mean anything – Sometimes people get attracted and think just one kiss or a make-out session won’t make much difference.
  • I felt bad for her/him – This comes up in case of people who hook up with close friends/colleagues. Usually it’s someone who confides in them often, mostly about their own problems and sour relationship, and then this leads to emotional intimacy and sometimes physical too.
  • I was lonely – This is similar to “I missed you” but can also apply to relationships that may not be long distance, but which start losing the emotional connect over a period of time. So the intimacy goes down and partners feel alone despite technically being in a relationship and seek comfort in someone else.
  • It was just physical attraction – This is just what it says. Sometimes the physical attraction is just too strong and there’s no intention for a long-term ‘relationship’ but just a hot, torrid affair.


On the other hand, we at Team Bonobology think the reasons men give when they want a woman to have an affair with them might have a different interpretation…

Published in Affair and Cheating
Prachi S Vaish

Prachi S Vaish is a licenced Clinical Psychologist and marital therapist, specialising in couples issues and recovery from trauma. She holds an M Phil in Clinical Psychology, heads India's first online psychological services portal and regularly contributes articles as an expert consultant to many publications.

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