Dating & Relationships, Videos

Why Do People In Happy Relationships Cheat?

February 7, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller


“Affairs are seen as a symptom of a problematic relationship—something has gone awry and that’s why this happened. But it’s not always so simple, and it’s not always black and white.” – Esther Perel

There’s a common tendency to assume that when someone in a relationship cheats, they’re doing it because the relationship is broken; however, this isn’t necessarily true. People who are perfectly happy with their partner and their relationship cheat sometimes, too. So why is that?

As sex and relationship therapist Esther Perel explains in the video below, it’s often because people are in search of themselves. In other words, someone who is happy might cheat because they’re in the process of discovering (or rediscovering) who they really are, perhaps because they feel as though they’ve lost a part of themselves. Watch the video below to learn more, and be sure to check out Perel’s new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. It’s a fascinating and worthwhile read for anyone interested in this subject.

Watch more videos on the science of sex here.

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (, Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit ( to receive updates.

Image Source: 123RF/stokkete

You Might Also Like:

Post Featured Image
Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

Read full bio >