If you ask people in relationships the worst thing their partner could do to them, most would probably say cheating.
The betrayal of trust as a result of finding out your spouse has been having an affair or being unfaithful is devastating, can result in the breakdown of a relationship or marriage and lead to serious long-term self-esteem issues for the person cheated on.
But most of us would know someone who has taken part in infidelity, and if it happened to be someone in your inner circle or family, I’m sure you can vouch for the fact that they’re not a terrible person. In most cases, they are just a person who made a mistake.
What most people struggle to understand is what actually leads people within relationships to make these mistakes, and if you’re in a relationship where your partner has cheated, how to overcome the betrayal of trust should you choose to stay together.
A study conducted by Relationships Australia earlier this year found that in many relationships, cheating is a result of emotional disconnection. In fact, 52% of male respondents and 60% of female respondents labelled this as the main cause of infidelity.
In the same study, the majority of women involved said the reason they cheated was for ’emotional satisfaction’, rather than physical.
Consultant psychologist and relationship therapist, Sian Khuman, said the reasons women sought emotional or physical satisfaction outside their relationship was down to a number of factors.
"In many couples, one party seeking something secret outside a relationship, whether it's emotional or physical, damages the bond between two people who have made a bond together, and causes a feeling of betrayal," Khuman said.
"The general factors within the relationship are that the couple has turned away from each other, or there is conflict, so one partner goes outside for comfort and support around them."
"It could also be that they have certain types of sexual desires they want out of a relationship and they feel ashamed about to ask, or one person in the relationship doesn't want to be in it anymore, or it could be that they've started to build a relationship with a new person and they start to focus on the external person more, which leads to the relationship breaking down more."