The Lowdown on Cheating

Why we do it -- and how to recover.
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Why Men and Women Cheat

Infidelity is one of the most wrenching experiences a couple can endure. It can destroy families, crush spirits, and break quite a few plates. It causes pain not just to the betrayed, but usually to the cheater as well.

So why do people do it? Experts say that the reasons fall into two main categories. The first has to do with the relationship -- there's either an emotional disconnect or the couple's sex life isn't satisfying to one partner. The second reason has nothing to do with the couple. Rather, one partner simply wants the excitement of an affair, needs an ego boost, or just feels entitled to have more than one sexual partner. "Sometimes, you find someone who has a good sexual relationship with his or her partner and yet has an affair because sex is so important to them that they look for it wherever they can," says Mira Kirshenbaum, PhD, author of Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay (Plume, 1997) and The Emotional Energy Factor (Delacorte, 2003).

 
Continued on page 2:  How Men and Women Differ

 

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