17 Extremely Bad Habits That Can Lead To Infidelity

By David Small •  Updated: 08/29/16 •  16 min read

Infidelity and a lot of other annoying and unhealthy habits can lead to relationship breakup or divorce. There are often several reasons relationships fail, but infidelity seems to be one of the most popular reasons.

17 Extremely Bad Habits That Can Lead To Infidelity

According to Thomas C. Corley, a relationship expert, Infidelity in marriage, not only undermines families, it can throw the entire family into poverty-Cheating on your spouse can put you and your family in the poor house and, consequently, it is most definitely a Poverty Habit, He says.

Opposite-sex friendships don’t always result in affairs and infidelities, however, there are some things you may want to look out for if you think your partner or loved one is susceptible to cheating.

These aren’t specifically related to an inappropriate relationship with someone that could lead to adultery, but these actions seem to create a mindset in your marriage where adultery is much more likely to happen. Most people do some things that will make them want to cheat on their partner without knowing it themselves.

Those actions that can lead to infidelity are explained below.

  1. Avoiding Conflict

Many couples try to avoid conflict thinking it will damage their relationship or even destroy it. They don’t realize that avoiding conflict doesn’t make it go away, it simply goes underground and finally leads to infidelity.

Romantic relationships and marriages in which conflict is avoided are often characterized by emotional distance or a superficial level of relating. Everything may seem awfully ‘nice’ but not very deep.

If two people have good skills for resolving conflict, the conflict can actually lead to greater closeness. But whether or not conflict leads to greater closeness or infidelity is completely dependent upon how the conflict is resolved and whether one or both make an effort to repair any injuries they may have caused the other.

In order for two people to be intensely caring and involved with one another, they have to get close enough to disagree! True intimacy is based not only on being able to share the good things but also on being able to face and work through the difficult things that come up.

  1. Lying

This is another bad health habit that isn’t obvious but can lead to infidelity and most definitely ruin your relationship. Lying about anything is simply a bad move in a relationship. Relationships thrive on honesty and trust, and if you’re caught lying, especially about something big or on several occasions, it isn’t going to last.

Beyond causing distrust, arguments, and potentially leading to infidelity, lying is stressful. It can really take a toll on you emotionally, adding a lot of stress on top of causing tension in your relationship. And if you’re lying about where you are because you’re being unfaithful, the stress can be extreme if you really have a conscience and don’t enjoy hurting people.

  1. Lack of Physical Intimacy

Okay, lack of sex isn’t a bad health habit and doesn’t hurt your health, but having sex can be very good for your health. According to Prevention magazine, sex can improve your self-esteem and even help your immune system. It can also help relieve stress and strengthen the bond with your partner.

If you and your spouse aren’t hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc., that’s a big warning sign. Frequent sexual intimacy is obviously important as well, but these smaller acts of everyday physical touch are so important to the physical and emotional connectedness that keeps a husband and wife bond.

In general, physical intimacy is an important part of a relationship. People have desires and physical needs, and when their needs aren’t met, tension and infidelity creep in. If left ignored, your relationship could suffer. Putting in some effort to maintain an active sex life could potentially improve your health and relationship – a win-win all around.

17 Extremely Bad Habits That Can Lead To Infidelity

Photo by Michael Easterling on Unsplash

  1. Holding on to Grudges

Hanging on to past hurts is a way of keeping distance and it leads to infidelity as fast as anything else. The partner who hangs on to old injuries may be afraid to get close for fear of being hurt again. Sometimes partners hang on to past hurts as a way of justifying angry acting-out behavior they’ve engaged in. For instance, if a partner has been unfaithful, they may hang on to and bring up old injuries the other has committed as a way of justifying their infidelity.

There are situations and behavior that may be too difficult to get past or get over. Sometimes people have mistreated each other so badly and the relationship has deteriorated to such an extent that there’s little good feeling left in the relationship.

Infidelity is easiest had when you have a laundry list of reasons why you begrudge your spouse. A long-enough list could make you think you actually deserve a good shag with a sexy co-worker.

  1. Gaining Excessive Weight

Gaining excessive weight can easily make one look unattractive and lures his/her partner to infidelity. It may sound vain to say you shouldn’t let yourself go when you’re in a relationship but there are serious health ramifications when you gain a significant amount of weight, and your partner is right to worry about the impact on your health.

It happens a lot – people get too comfortable together and often stop exercising. And while the person you spend your life with shouldn’t judge you or be with you based on your looks, being overweight or obese can ruin a relationship.

Infidelity always occurs in a relationship when either spouse starts seeing the other partner as being unattractive. This is always the choice of the spouse and you can only offer support and words of encouragement if he or she decides to let their looks go. However, don’t think that you aren’t going to be tempted to cheat if you find your spouse is one cheeseburger away from physically repulsive.

The good news is, relationships can strengthen from working out together and staying active. Signing up for a class, marathon, or simply being active together is a good alternative to letting yourself go and avoiding any form of infidelity.

  1. Working Long Hours

Workaholics – they’re everywhere. Over the years, people have begun working a lot more than your standard 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday, and relationships are ruined all the time because of it. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for people to be checking and responding to emails in the evenings and on weekends, and even putting in a few extra hours once they get home from work. This is one of the most common reasons for infidelity.

Being plugged into work when work hours are supposed to be over is not healthy. Working too much can lead to an increased risk of depression, back problems, heart disease, stress, and vision problems. So leave work on time, unplug, and keep give your partner your time if you really want to avoid infidelity.


  1. Blame Game

Assigning blame is tempting but pointless and it can easily lead to infidelity. Blame closes off communication and creates a false view of “the truth” – I’m right and you’re wrong!

The blame game usually starts when one person says something like, “You always… ” or “You never… ” or “you made me” or “because of you….” People who rely on blaming as one of their primary fighting tactics like to feel “right” or superior to the other person. They don’t want to make themselves vulnerable by communicating their feelings of hurt directly. Instead, they resort to blaming which keeps them protected but distant. Underneath, the blamer’s self-esteem isn’t all that secure – otherwise, they would be willing to risk hearing the other person’s opinion, a point of view, feelings or experience.

  1. Laziness

Infidelity does not just occur in a relationship without a cause. In a way, being lazy could be part of letting yourself go, but there’s a difference because your actions or in this case, lack of effort is unhealthy on several levels. Laziness can lead to physical inactivity, increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and several forms of cancer. On top of that, laziness can also impact your diet and make you add a lot of weight.

When you or your partner lounges around on the couch all day or every evening after work, you’ll likely end up eating unhealthy foods. Not to mention that if you’re lazy about living a healthy lifestyle, you’re likely lazy about putting in the effort required to keep your relationship strong. All these unhealthy lifestyles can lead you or your partner to infidelity if not taken care of.

  1. Secrecy and Criticism

According to Dave Willis, a relationship expert, and great article writer,  secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. “The moment you start deleting text messages, hiding things or doing anything you hope your spouse doesn’t find out about, you’re already way out of line! If you want your marriage to thrive and be protected from infidelity, make the “Secret-Free Guarantee.” Never keep secrets and never tell lies to your spouse. Full and transparent honesty is the only way a marriage can work, he says.

Criticism, nagging, or constantly “correcting” your spouse can also make both you and your spouse more vulnerable to infidelity. When you look at your spouse with a critical eye, you’re more likely to have your eyes open to someone else and your spouse is more likely to be drawn in by someone who will compliment them instead of criticizing. If there’s a climate of criticism in your marriage, take immediate action to change it.

  1. Workplace Relationships

An overwhelming amount of people are developing friendships with people they meet at the office, including people of the opposite sex. Although it goes without saying that, for the most part, workplace affairs are highly volatile and dangerous, especially if they don’t last, the fact of the matter is that many people have succumbed to an office affair.

To an extent, this makes a little bit of sense. On average, you spend your whole day, and most of your waking hours with the people you work with. A home away from home, building intimate relationships with the people you work with can make you feel higher levels of job satisfaction and increase your confidence in the workplace. But, when it interferes with your personal time, and relationships at home, there is an increased vulnerability to indulge in infidelity, especially if you develop an emotional bond with someone who seems to be there even when your lover isn’t.

17 Extremely Bad Habits That Can Lead To Infidelity

  1. Hiding your Emotions

This might not sound like an obvious habit that can lead to infidelity, but internalizing your feelings and holding back during vital times of communication can be quite damaging to your emotional health and relationship. Think back to your moody teenage years and you’ll likely remember having some pretty dramatic and intense fights with your parents or friends after letting things build in your head.

Keeping your emotions bottled doesn’t do either partner in the relationship a favor. You’ll either end up letting it all out at once, saying hurtful things that seem to tumble out of your mouth, or you’ll let it build in your head until you decide to indulge in infidelity believing the relationship just isn’t worth it without even trying to fix what’s wrong.

  1. Excessive Drinking

When your partner is drinking excessively, it’s bound to cause serious problems in your relationship and can lead to infidelity. They may not be considered an alcoholic by medical standards but they don’t have to be for you to worry about their health. Of course, the potential of it to develop into alcoholism is a definite fear.

The drinking issue in itself could ruin your relationship, but alcohol can also make people mean, emotional or abusive, or a combination of these things. A drunk can easily have sex with someone that’s not his/her partner without even realizing it until the next day. The strain of this can ruin the relationship even faster. Excessive drinking can lead to a range of health problems, causing damage to your liver, heart, pancreas, brain, and immune system. It also increases infidelity in any relationship.

  1. Getting Even

While it’s natural to want to hurt someone who’s hurt you, getting even just continues the cycle of mutual injury. What may have started as a small upset snowball into something larger?

Soon you and your partner aren’t even fighting about the problem that started the whole conflict.  Getting even is about winning – having the last word – being “right.”

It’s a defensive cycle that pushes you and your partner further apart, and finally into infidelity. Each of you begins to treat the other person is if they are ‘the enemy’ rather than someone you love. If partners become angry enough, they sometimes express their anger through acting out behavior.

Infidelity is a common form of getting even and expressing anger towards a partner. Getting even is a no-win proposition. If the two of you use this tactic often enough you will permanently destroy trust.


  1. Blowing up

People tend to blow up or explode when they’ve allowed their anger or unhappiness to fester too long. At its worst, explosions result in physical confrontation, destruction of property, violence and of course, INFIDELITY.

People who explode often have low frustration tolerance or difficulty with anger management. In addition, they have poor problem-solving skills. Oddly, individuals who explode are often extremely uncomfortable or fearful of conflict. They avoid it until they lose control.

Frequent explosions can turn a relationship into a war zone in which the fabric of the relationship is repeatedly torn. In these relationships, there’s often a cycle of conflict and infidelity followed by a honeymoon phase in which the angry partner tries to woo the one they hurt and to make up for their out-of-control behavior. They want to return the relationship to a more stable equilibrium.

Unfortunately, unless this person gets help with their anger, they will continue to tear the relationship apart and this could lead to constant infidelity. The cycle of anger and make up resembles the cycles of conflict in physically abusive relationships. Eventually, fear and anger may be the only things keeping the partners together.

  1. Parenting Methods

We all have certain ideas about how our children should be disciplined and cared for. When a married couple has enough difference in their own ideas about parenting, it could lead to infidelity and other marital problems. For instance, if one partner believes in firm punishments for children who misbehave while the other partner believes strongly in the power of positive reinforcement, problems could arise. Because our children are so important to us, we certainly want to be sure that we are doing all we can in the way of raising them.

When we completely disagree with our spouse’s parenting methods, problems can develop quickly. Knowing the common incompatibility issues which can lead to infidelity divorce will help you prevent problems from happening to you. The two of you can work together to create a great compromise that the both of you will be happy about. Anticipating the problem is enough to help you keep your marriage strong and healthy.

Did you know that money and financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in America? Well, maybe not financial problems, per se, the psychological and emotional connections dealing with money that can serve to hurt your marriage. Many marriages end in divorce because bad financial habits undermine the trust build between partners – and can lead to lies, betrayals, and infidelity somewhere down the line.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D. shares how financial infidelity ruins marriages: “Secret credit cards, binge shopping, revenge spending, financial power plays, and hidden bank accounts are just a few examples of how money can be used to harm a relationship.”

Underneath each of these financial infidelity behaviors is control and emotional dishonesty which erodes the emotional connection between spouses. Oftentimes financial secretiveness and infidelity go hand in hand. Secret expenses on hotel rooms, flowers, gifts, and dinners for the other party in the extramarital affair.

  1. Friendships Involving the Opposite Sex

If your partner becomes more secretive about the type of conversations or interactions they have with their opposite-sex friend or becomes more withdrawn, this can be a sign that they’re developing an unhealthy emotional attachment with the other person. You should also pay attention to whether or not there seems to be a growing void in the intimacy between you two when this other person seems to spend time with your spouse.

Regular texting, calls, e-mails or IMs conversation with a friend of the opposite sex can build a strong emotional bond which can lead to emotional infidelity. This kind of emotion starts out innocently and increases over a period of time. The more you talk to someone, the more you get to like them.


To prevent infidelity in marriage, both have to work at ensuring an environment that encourages fidelity and happiness. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind. Together you both should work on embracing these virtues and make them part of the fibers that hold your marriage together. It is never too late to start though.

Talking in open conversation and being truthful to yourself and your spouse is a great start. Talking gets things out in the open where both can examine issues one has about the other. It is also a great way to find out what is going on in each of your lives outside the marriage. A good place for this would be alone in bed having pillow talks. It can be both romantic and habit forming. Learning together, how to work out your problems a good way to build a strong bond that will prevent infidelity in marriage.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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