There are only two reasons for cheating, says relationship expert

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Ask a bunch of people what they define as cheating and you’re likely to get a whole mixed bag of answers.

For some, if there partner had repeated thoughts about someone else – even if they don’t act on it – it would qualify as cheating. For others, they maybe okay with their spouse fancying others (‘it’s natural’) and would only feel cheated on if their significant other was to fully act out their desires with a kiss or sex. Really it seems that, depending on individual couples and their situation, qualifying the act of cheating can vary massively.

However, according to Tammy Nelson, a relationship expert at Ashley Madison, a website for married peoples seeking affairs, reasons for cheating fall neatly into just two categories.

Speaking to Business Insider, Nelson revealed the idea of a ‘can-opener’ affair, whereby one partner cheats as a way of ending a relationship as opposed to having to confront issues directly.

She says this is more common in women than men.

Speaking to the Independent, dating coach, James Preece explains why: ‘They know that if they get caught doing so then it’s going to bring about a quick end to the relationship.’

The second reason for cheating, more common in men, is because they need ‘a way of filling that one part of their life that their marriage doesn’t,’ says Nelson.

This is when someone within a relationship or a marriage isn’t having their needs completely fulfilled – either physically or emotionally – so they look to get this ‘fix’ elsewhere. They may not actually want to end their marriage, but they feel the urge to find fulfillment for this need that their spouse may not be able to give to them.

These findings link into research conducted by Ashley Madison which revealed that most people sign up to their site because they feel their marriage has ‘lost its spark.’

What do you make of all this?