Can Mental Illness Cause Infidelity

Can Mental Illness Cause Infidelity

Poor mental health can affect our behavior and decision-making adversely. But what about cheating on your partner? 

When you dig deep, you’ll find many people drawing parallels between mental illness and infidelity. 

And saying mental illness can be the causative agent behind it. 

But that statement isn’t totally correct. 

Whether you cheated or got cheated on and wondered, can mental illness cause infidelity? This article will answer it all. 

Learn if mental illness can cause infidelity, and if yes, then which conditions can cause that. 

Can Mental Illness Lead To Affairs?

Can Mental Illness Lead To Affairs?

While there are studies that connect infidelity with mental illness, none of them conclude it totally – that mental illness can cause infidelity. It is complicated to say that it is a one-way route. 

Most experts say infidelity is a symptom of mental breakdowns or a list of mental illnesses.

According to studies, anger, loneliness, unmet needs, or revenge are some fundamental reasons behind infidelity. But, some relationships also go cold in the long run, tempting one to cheat. 

So, a person with a completely healthy mental state can also cheat due to these reasons. 

While there are some deeper psychological reasons, like 

  • low self-esteem, 
  • commitment issues, 
  • attention seeking, 
  • fear of intimacy, 

Or being emotionally unavailable, which can influence one to cheat. 

So, it is difficult to conclude if mental illness is the only reason behind one’s affairs or not. But it can definitely be a catalyst in situations like these.  

What Mental Illness Causes One To Cheat? 

What Mental Illness Causes One To Cheat? 

Sometimes, even in a healthy relationship, one may feel something is missing. h

For example, someone who struggles with insecure attachments from childhood trauma is highly likely to have infidelity issues. People who have an insecure attachment style tend to avoid others.

This behavior is a result of their troubled childhood experiences. This can lead to many misunderstandings and unnecessary arguments, ultimately leading to infidelity. 

Here are some other mental illnesses that are associated with affairs. 

  • Borderline personality disorder- There is no direct relation between BPD and infidelity. But people with BPD are infamous for their impulsive nature. This impulsive behavior can sometimes manifest as casual sexual relationships or promiscuity. 
  • ADHD– A Study in 2023 shows that People with ADHD are more likely to report infidelity. The reasons can vary. But the most common ones were looking for new experiences or feeling misunderstood. 
  • Depression- Depression often stops one from addressing and resolving issues with one’s partner. Which can magnify their difference and lead to infidelity. 
  • Self-esteem issues– People with self-esteem issues need constant external validation. And they might often feel insecure in their relationship. So much so that they might cheat to reject rather than get rejected 
  • Hypersexuality or sexual addiction- It is a condition characterized by compulsive sexual behavior. This impulsiveness can manifest as sexual arousal through computer communication. This impulsiveness can also manifest as having many sexual partners. Some possible causes of this include imbalanced brain chemistry, dementia, and substance abuse. If someone is diagnosed with hypersexuality, they are highly prone to be polyamorous

Severe brain injury or disorders can also impair self-control ability. So, they might cheat on their partner, even when they know it is wrong.

Situations like these are rare and are easy to spot. So, if this is the reason behind someone’s infidelity, you would have already seen that coming. 

Could You Forgive Infidelity Caused Due To Mental Illness?

Could You Forgive Infidelity Caused Due To Mental Illness?

Forgiveness is not easy, especially when it comes to infidelity. Understanding the connection between mental illness and infidelity is important.

But forgiving your partner may still be difficult. But if you are here, you are looking for some answers or a way out of this situation.

If your partner seems honestly guilty about cheating and comes clean, there’s still hope. 

If someone has a mental illness, try to understand their situation. Try to understand where their behavior is coming from.

You don’t have to justify their actions but try to find the root cause if you are willing to give them another chance. 

Opt for couple’s therapy to start the healing process. And assist your partner with their mental health. 

When Should You Draw The Line?

Everyone deserves a second chance. Yet, with infidelity, you need to be more careful before forgiving. 

Despite the mental illness, there are some red flags you should be aware of. If you see these, then giving them another chance might not be worth it. 

They’ll likely repeat their actions if they don’t seem genuine in their apology. 

If someone cheats on you many times or ignores your feelings, there is no reason to forgive them.

Such individuals need professional help. Your understanding of their mental situation will be useless.  

Our Verdict

indicator of mental illness

Infidelity can be an indicator of mental illness, but in the end, it is a human choice. There are very few cases when one would cheat on their partner only because of mental illness.

Understand the situation in which your relationship is.

Try to get in their shoes. See if they are guilty for their actions. And then only decide whether you will forgive them or not.

Final Thoughts

But again, poor mental health can lead to a lack of self-control, which can lead to infidelity. And there are mental illnesses that can cloud people’s judgment.

So, to decide whether someone is cheating due to their mental condition or not depends on a lot of factors.

While not all cheaters are necessarily mentally ill, it is also possible that their infidelity is a sign of mental illness. Both are possible. Hence, you must judge your situation and take action based on that.