There are various underlying issues in marriages that can lead to affairs. Each relationship is unique, but some common factors that contribute to infidelity include:

Marriage Counseling, Relationships Therapy, Couples

  1. Lack of emotional connection: When one or both partners feel emotionally disconnected or unsatisfied in the marriage, they may seek emotional support or intimacy outside of the relationship.
  2. Communication problems: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, unresolved conflicts, and feelings of neglect, making one or both partners vulnerable to seeking validation elsewhere.
  3. Unmet needs: If partners feel that their emotional, physical, or psychological needs are not being met within the marriage, they may be tempted to look for fulfillment elsewhere.
  4. Lack of intimacy: A decline in physical intimacy or a lack of sexual satisfaction within the marriage can lead individuals to seek it outside the relationship.
  5. Midlife crisis or major life changes: Significant life events or transitions, such as midlife crises or major career changes, can cause individuals to reassess their lives and make impulsive decisions, including engaging in affairs.
  6. Unresolved past issues: Emotional baggage or unresolved traumas from the past can affect one’s ability to maintain a healthy, committed relationship and may lead to seeking solace or excitement elsewhere.
  7. Low self-esteem: Individuals with low self-esteem may seek validation and affirmation from others, leading them to engage in affairs as a way to feel wanted or desired.
  8. Revenge or retaliation: In some cases, an affair may be a response to perceived betrayal or hurt within the marriage.
  9. Opportunity and temptation: Sometimes, individuals may succumb to affairs due to being in close proximity with someone who shows interest, especially if they are experiencing a vulnerable moment in their marriage.
  10. Escapism: Difficulties in the marriage, such as financial stress, parenting challenges, or extended periods of dissatisfaction, may lead individuals to seek an escape through an affair.

It’s important to note that while these factors can contribute to affairs, infidelity is not justified by them. In a healthy marriage, open communication, mutual respect, and willingness to work on the relationship are crucial for preventing and addressing issues that may lead to affairs. Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor can also be beneficial in navigating challenges within a marriage.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: