Infidelity, commonly known as cheating, or in the case of marriage, having an affair, is a one of the most difficult relationship issues to approach. It is apparent that once the unfaithful act has taken place, and becomes known by the partner that was being cheated on, it’s usually difficult to forgive and forget. Through the study of a number of disciplines, we may be able to reach some sort of conclusion as to why couples, mainly heterosexual, cheat in their relationships.
Biological, psychological, and sociocultural approaches all explore a ifferent take on this issue of infidelity that continues to plague relationships and lead to feelings of anger, resentment, and depression amongst couples. While the causes of infidelity are complex and varied, a biological study of this occurrence will better help us reach an explanation for the issue. According to a recent video posted by ASAPSCIENCE, this phenomenon could have something to do with the way our brains are wired.
Only about 3% of mammals are monogamous, meaning they stay with one partner in their lifetime, or at any one time. Humans are not considered monogamous by nature, meaning our atural instinct is not to be faithful; instead, we are monogamous by choice. The dopamine receptor, also know as the hormone that contributes to our happiness, is released after any pleasurable activity we engage in (eating, laughing, or orgasming), and 50% those who were shown to possess the long allele variant of this gene had cheated on their significant other compared to the 22% who possess the short allele.
Those with the long allele also proved more likely to be risk takers and have a stronger tendency to succumb to addictive behaviors like excessive drinking and drug use. A hormone known as asopressin also plays an important role as it affects empathy, social bonding, and trust. Lower levels of this hormone in humans are shown to have an influence on cheating. engaging in sex may be something we as humans commonly do for recreational purposes, the reason we have sex essentially comes down to an effort of spreading our genes to create other generations.
Having sex with more than one partner is meant to increase the chances of doing so, and while we may look down on practices like polygamy in some cultures, such may be a fundamental reason as to why carry on with these types of elationships: to ensure there will be successors to the family name. Furthermore, men are more likely to be the cheaters in a relationship as they are naturally more promiscuous creatures, with stronger sexual impulses than women.
Men possessing higher levels of testosterone are also more likely to be unfaithful, while women with higher estrogen levels fall into the same pool. In fact, studies have shown that the pitch of one’s voice (men with deeper voices; women wit higher pitch voices) could be a contributing factor to the likelihood of cheating. Studies have shown that men also produce more sperm when they are not in the presence of their significant other, which brings us back to the topic of biological adaptation and building stronger genetic variance, giving men the ability to impregnate as many women as possible.
Women, on the other hand, may be more inclined to cheat depending on their ovulation cycle, being more likely to cheat when they are more likely to get pregnant. For the same biological reason that men are looking While to distribute their sperm to as many women as possible, women re likewise attempting to obtain the best genes for their offspring. While our hormones may make it more difficult to resist temptation, most humans are born with an ability to make judgments regarding a situation, and act accordingly while knowing they will be held accountable for their choices.
Cheating is clearly based on biological and genetic factors for many of us despite the fact that we are a monogamous species. While there are many biological considerations in regards to infidelity in heterosexual couples, one ca psychology behind this issue. Arguably one of the most painful and agonizing experiences a person can go through, the consequences of cheating leave a victim vulnerable and betrayed by someone they have invested their whole self in.
A sense of emotional security is stripped away, and it may be difficult for the person that was cheated on, to come to terms with what has be done to them. The cheater, on the other also examine the hand, could attain feelings of guilt, humiliation, anger, or resentment. So what is it that goes on psychologically that may provide us with more insight as to why infidelity occurs? For any couples, a reduction in communication, passion, and attraction can all be reasons as to why people stray from each other.
Partners may become less emotionally connected to each other as the person committing the infidelity may describe having felt lonely and unappreciated, causing him or her to seek emotional comfort elsewhere. This relationship can start out as a simple friendship in which feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction are communicated, then eventually progress a full-fledged affair involving sexual intimacy and passion as the “friend” takes on the role of the partner. Lack of physical intimacy or satisfaction is also a primary reason for infidelity.
Sex may not be as fulfilling, as the person would like, or it once was for the couple. In other words, because couples tend to misconstrue the idea of the “honey-moon” phase in their relationship, and crave the sex they used to have when they were still a new couple, they may have trouble redefining how sex can continue to play an enjoyable part in their relationship. As a result, these partners look for sexual gratification elsewhere; and with a new partner that can make them feel the high of sex again.
This seeking of gratification could be compared to someone seeking satisfaction or comfort experienced through alcohol or drug consumption, a “quick fix” for the issue at hand, making the person feel anticipation or excitement over being caught doing something “bad. ” There could also be a difficultly in expressing sexual wants or needs between the pair. For example, it may be difficult for someone to have playful or “dirty” sex with a partner they share a deep and intimate connection with. Engaging in “hot” sex with someone they don’t know, or doesn’t know them, allows for a ertain degree of freedom or separation from real life.
Other factors that could even cause happy couples to stray from each other include, loss of sexual pleasure or frequency in engaging in sex. More specifically, these temptations are likely to occur out of sexual boredom, revenge for the other partner’s infidelity, or an elevated sex drive. Infidelity is the most common cause of couples seeking therapy, and can also mean different things to different people. Some may consider cheating involving sexual intercourse, while others may recognize a kiss, or a simply being motionally intimate with a person other than your partner, as cheating.
To most couples, infidelity, whether assumed, committed, or suspected implies crisis and involves overwhelming emotions. Amongst recent generations, there has been a shift in thinking with regards to how practical and beneficial monogamy is. For instance, more and more people are opening up to the idea of “open” relationships and even polyamorous ones. However, many members of these types of relationships make mistakes in their application, and breaking certain rules and boundaries could result in a sense of suffering nd deception.
A study of sociocultural factors could also help better explain why infidelity is so ingrained in our human nature. In many cultures, extramarital relations are common. For example some cultures have a double standard in which the man is expected to be a “player” and engage in extramarital sex, while the wives on the other hand, would be punished for such actions. To some degree, this issue could even be seen in our culture as a woman is looked at as a whore for engaging in sex with someone other than her husband, while the man’s actions are not as harshly condemned.