Infidelity is one of the issues that are currently on the table of Western families, every day there are more cases of couples or marriages that are affected and separated by this condition, likewise the consultations of psychologists and therapists are in the Today full of couples who experience this problem of the unfaithful person.


In a study from the University of Florida, it was determined that an unfaithful person has a tendency to develop a form of attachment called “insecure attachment”, which is more often associated with infidelity within the couple.


This theory says that the primary relationships established with parents and caregivers during childhood and the first years of life influence the relationships that are established in adult life. Apparently all its manifestations are related to the profile of the unfaithful person .

Mothers and fathers who provide deficient patterns of attention, or double-meaning messages, ambivalent attentions, or confused emotional messages, can cause alterations in the formation of attachment, homes where emotional patterns are not clear, where there is family violence, even violence sexual, drug and alcohol use and abuse; They also generate important personality alterations, causing the development of problems to establish permanent and lasting relationships, such as the unfaithful person.

Profile of the unfaithful person

According to the attachment theory of John Bowlby (1907-1990), people who have developed insecure attachment usually present in adulthood the following characteristics, according to the type of affection and primary relationships under which they have developed their attachment:

  • Anxious : Adults who exhibit this type of attachment are more sensitive to rejection and anxiety, they present deficiencies to control their impulses and constant dissatisfaction, they also fear being rejected by the partner or by the loving counterpart, that is why they enter into relationships constantly and impulsively, seeking approval.
  • Avoidant : this type of individuals has learned to give less importance to their emotional expressions, the less they show the greater insecurity, they will have the tendency to stay more distanced so their relationships will be less deep, or less emotional relevance will be conferred on them. Being unfaithful will not have the same emotional weight as for ordinary people . They constantly present avoidance behaviors, high levels of hostility and aggressiveness. High rate of negative interactions with partners.
  • Disorganized : The characteristics of this type of personality in terms of their relationship with their partners will be noticeable and of little continuity, their responses are generally less predictable, and disorganized , they do not enter into a relationship with enough security and if they do, they will not they are understanding and it will be difficult for them to be understood by their counterpart.

What other factors influence an individual’s willingness to be unfaithful?

There is a profile of the unfaithful person that is linked more to a root that we already explained above. That is a trend, but there are also factors, which are not exactly a root reason why the person usually commits infidelity, but which contribute in a certain way to make it so.


All things being equal, a person’s attractiveness influences the likelihood that he or she will be unfaithful. Attraction comes in many different forms, it is influenced by physical appearance, social skills, and tangible resources (like money). The more you are in demand, the more likely you are to be unfaithful. People who have higher incomes, more education, and successful careers are more likely to cheat than people who are less successful. Physical attractiveness also plays a role.


Again, all things are equal, the more individual free time people have, the more likely they are to be unfaithful. Couples who have separate social lives, friends, careers, travel plans, and so on are much more likely to cheat than couples who spend most of their time together. The more people that have the opportunity to cheat, the greater the chances that cheating will occur.

Taking risks

Those who like to take risks or have a sense of adventure are more likely to be unfaithful than people who are more fearful or shy by nature. It is very likely that there is a genetic component involved in risky behaviors, some people may be predisposed to take risks.

Personality differences

Individual personality traits also play a role in infidelity. People who have psychopathic or Machiavellian personality traits are much more likely to be unfaithful.


People in a position of power are more likely to be unfaithful. Power increases one’s confidence, leading powerful individuals to act more assertively and outgoing. Powerful people are more likely to make direct eye contact, stand in confident poses, and the focus of potential lovers. Power influences the probability of being unfaithful to both men and women.

Sexual desire

Sex drive varies from person to person. Some people have a very high interest in sex while other people are much less concerned or interested in it. People with a high sex drive are more likely to cheat. Again, sexual desire seems to be influenced by genetic factors. Some people are inherently easier to be aroused and driven by their desire for sex than other people. People who have multiple affairs are often addicted to the novelty and excitement that infidelity can provide. Men, more than women, also tend to have a higher sex drive and are more likely to cheat.

Love is a game

Some people see love and romance as a sacred bond between two individuals. Other people see love as a game, where the goal is to manipulate another person and gain emotional power over a partner. People who see love as a game are much more likely to have multiple love interests ; cheating is just another way to gain control over your spouse. Also, people with a disdainful attachment style (above) are more likely to be unfaithful.

Relationship problems

As problems arise in a relationship, people are more likely to be unfaithful. Infidelity is more common in relationships where people feel misunderstood, belittled, and where fighting and disputes are common. When you are not having a connection with your partner, they seek to fill that need with someone else. Many of those times it is not sex that they are looking for, but a connection on an emotional level that makes them feel lost understanding.

Sense of right

Some people, due to their position in society, their beliefs about gender roles, or their cultural background, believe that it is their right to cheat on their partner. In other words, some people believe that cheating is a privilege to which they are entitled. These people, known as courtiers, often engage in infidelity with little guilt or remorse.


The solution can be approached based on the individual with the profile of unfaithful who cannot have a stable relationship and wants it; and it can also be approached based on the partner if the central problem is more bordered by external factors that influence one or the other to be unfaithful, such as those just mentioned.

When the problem is focused more than anything on a reality of two, there must be a willingness of both to solve such a situation if they see this as an impediment for the relationship to continue growing.

Seek the help of a counselor. Dealing with these types of problems on your own is difficult. If it is too difficult for you and your partner to work through this process on your own, seek the help of a licensed counselor who specializes in marriage matters. A marriage counselor can help you deal with your emotions and have more constructive conversations.

Keep in mind that couples therapy will not offer an instant solution. Restoring trust in your relationship is going to take time.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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