Love is often split into three categories: romantic love, sexual and intimate love, and attachment love.
As much as we try in our relationships, these three forms of love are not always easy to balance.
It is all too common to begin a relationship with a strong sense of sexual and romantic love and then slowly end up with a strong sense of attachment from spending years of your life together.
Regardless, love and relationships are not easy. We know that. Sometimes, things get messy and confusing.
One of the most common issues in relationships is cheating; even though infidelity is often associated with relationships where people have no love for each other, many of us know that is not true.
It is possible to cheat on your partner even when you have incredibly strong feels of love towards them.
For some, cheating is a way to access the types of love they are not actively getting from their partner. For others, cheating is a personal issue and an outlet for their internal battles.
Ultimately, no relationship is perfect: they all have their battles.
So, have you ever cheated on your partner – or thought about it – and wondered how you can still love your partner?
It is possible; love is a complex thing.
This blog discusses the ten reasons why we might cheat on our partners, even if we love them:
Feeling boredom in a relationship is common, especially for those who have been together for a long time.
This is a tell-tale sign that you feel more of an attachment style of love and, potentially, ignoring your sexual and romantic connection.
Maybe you have started to feel like your relationship is too predictable, mundane, or no longer exciting.
Many people cheat on their partners to add some excitement to their lives.
You might still love your partner dearly, but you have come to feel as if you are life partners; the sexual spark you once shared feels as though it is fading.
2. Revenge, Anger, or Blame
Maybe you love your partner, but you chose to cheat on them because of unsolved issues in your relationship.
Did they hurt you, and you are trying to get back at them? Do you blame them for the things that are wrong with your relationship?
Sometimes this anger towards our partners, even if we do love them deep down, alters our decisions and choices.
Sometimes, that might be cheating to get back at them for something you feel they have done to you.
You can still love your partner while struggling with deep, unresolved issues that might lead you to hurt them.
3. Is the Grass Greener?
We all wonder if there is something different or better out there for us.
You might love your partner dearly, but still, be curious about who else is out there for you.
Curiosity is inside all of us, but sometimes we let it lead us into situations like cheating.
Maybe you have met someone you feel a strong connection to, and you are beginning to wonder what life might be like with someone different.
Ultimately, you might love your partner sincerely but wonder if there is a different, or better, love waiting for you elsewhere.
4. Social Status
We have all been in situations where we are interested in someone who has high status, money, fame, or can potentially offer us something exciting in life.
Maybe it is a person you work with who might be able to offer you a promotion.
Or, maybe you meet someone who promises to take you on expensive trips around the world.
Potentially this person is well-liked or well-known, and you believe it might help you gain popularity to be around this person.
You can love your partner intensely while still feeling tempted by the excitement and promise of improved wealth and status.
Sometimes we cheat to access things in life that we might not have otherwise.
5. Differences in Sex Drive
Sex drive differences are common in many relationships.
One person in the relationship might be more sexual or have a higher need for sex.
This leaves the person with a lower sex drive with guilt, as they feel unable to fulfill their partner’s needs.
On the other hand, the partner with the higher sex drive feels unsatisfied, while worrying about applying pressure on their partner.
Maybe this relationship still has romance and tenderness, but the sexual love is where the connection falters.
Those with higher sex drives might feel tempted to cheat to satisfy their needs without pressuring their partner, therefore working to keep the other parts of their love alive.
It is possible to feel a deep attachment and love for a long-term partner while feeling sexual attraction toward another person.
6. The Excitement of New Experiences and Exploration
Like number one, boredom, we can often crave new and exciting things in our lives, even if we love the person we have built a life with.
Sometimes, we want that “fix” – that feel-good high that comes with new connections, infatuation, lust, and the thrill of a new person.
It is often greater than our desires: the powerful chemicals released in the brain when we get a taste of these new experiences are overwhelming.
Once we get a taste, we can act just like an addict craving drugs: we need to get that high again.
The truth can be the same when cheating, even when we love our partners.
Sometimes we crave excitement more than we crave love.
7. Powerful History or Attachment to an Ex
We have all been in relationships where things did not work out, but, for some reason, we still have feelings for them.
It might be due to a lack of closure, attraction, or unrequited feelings.
Sometimes, even when we love our current partners, we can crave the intimacy we had with a previous person.
Along with that, sometimes the fond memories or intimate history we have with prior partners can allow us to have lingering feelings for other people, even when we are happily in love with our significant other.
When you run into an ex-partner, feelings can come rushing back, and the memories can make you want to crave being intimate with that person again.
Our unresolved feelings for our exes can make us do things we never thought we would do because we love our partners so intensely.
It is common for one person in a relationship to be the more selfish of the two. One person might need constant affection, attention, or admiration to feel loved. Along with that, the more selfish person might not always think about their partner before acting, even if they do love them deeply.
When people get into selfish “it’s all about me” mentalities, it is more common than they will cheat on their partner.
Maybe they are looking for something new, not receiving enough attention, or get caught up in the moment.
Regardless, sometimes our selfishness can get in the way of being loyal to our partners, even if deep down we love them dearly.
9. An Outlet for Personal Anger, Despair, Frustration
Sometimes, cheating is not the behavior of someone who is angry at their partner or being selfish, but the actions of a person who is feeling out-of-control or in despair.
Often, when we feel incredibly alone, frustrated, or depressed, we are more likely to make decisions that we might not have made if we were in a better mental place.
Additionally, sometimes people use cheating to distract themselves from these emotions or as an outlet for their feelings.
Whether or not it helps make things better is up for debate.
It is not always due to selfishness or disregard for our partners, but rather a demonstration of our struggling.
Regardless, when we don’t heal and deal with our trauma, we often accidentally take it out on those we love most.
10. Self Esteem Issues
Sometimes we cheat not because we are attracted to other people, desire new and exciting intimacy, or have feelings for someone else.
We might cheat because, deep down, we love our partners dearly, but we don’t always love ourselves.
Our self-esteem issues can surface in mysterious ways. Sometimes we need to feel attractive and desired by others to make ourselves feel better – especially if we struggle with our bodies.