Why people cheat at Christmas

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Infidelity at Christmas is hardly a new concept, from films such as Love Actually, to the classic office party fumble cliché. But, there’s a reason why partners being more likely to cheat over Christmas is a cliché – because there is some truth to it.  What with thoughts of presents, visiting family, office parties and financial woes, it’s hardly surprising that relationships sometimes take a back seat.

But ultimately, the question is why are people more likely to cheat on their partners at Christmas – a time when we’re meant to be enjoying more time with our loved ones? Here we’ve outlined four reasons why a partner may cheat. By understanding these, you should be able to gain a deeper understanding of your relationship and avoid this scenario altogether.

They’re being treated badly

When the person you come home to is argumentative, dismissive or patronising, meeting someone who is the opposite can seem like a breath of fresh air – and can lead to infidelity. Over Christmas, our busy lives get even busier, and it becomes easier to treat our partners like a minor annoyance rather than an important part of our lives. When it comes down to it, no turkey, presents or baubles are worth putting your relationship at risk for. Make a point of treating your partner how you would choose to be treated, engendering love and respect.

They’re being ignored and unappreciated

This is the reason that gives way to the old cliché, ‘my wife/husband doesn’t understand me’. At Christmas, when men and women get distracted by different activities, the other partner can feel ignored. Maybe it’s that the woman is obsessing over co-ordinating family presents, or the man is distracted by finishing up an end of year project at work (and yes, for equality’s sake, we know it can be the other way round too).

Whatever they’re distracted by, if their partner feels ignored they may seek comfort in the arms of someone else, rather than doing the sensible thing and talking to their other half about how they feel. For men, that will be because they feel asking for validation makes them weak; for women it will probably be because they don’t feel there’s any point in discussing the issue. The moral of the story is, keep communicating over the festive period so that if one of you does feel ignored, you feel more at ease talking about it.

Christmas reminds them of what they’re missing

This probably doesn’t apply to someone in a perfectly happy relationship. But, if someone is even slightly unhappy, Christmas is a time that heightens those feelings. Heading through December 25th and into the new year, most people take stock of their lives. If the preceding year has been difficult – be it emotionally, financially or physically – the festive season could stir up emotions.

And if the person experiencing this doesn’t think they can talk to their partner then they may seek comfort elsewhere. As before – and in fact, as with much of what we talk about here – communication is key. Make sure your partner feels comfortable talking to you about why they are unhappy with their lot. Spend time listening, rather than trying to come up with suggestions straight away. Most importantly, remember that unhappiness does not need to spell the end of a relationship.

They’re bored

Not everyone likes Christmas – in fact, some people actively dislike it, seeing it as enforced jollity and an excuse to burn money. In this case, it’s important not to lose sight of what the festive period is all about. Rather than focusing on things you consider to be long held traditions, or what you ‘should’ do at Christmas, try to simply do things that you both enjoy. If you’re both engaged in creating a happy Christmas then infidelity should be the last thing on your minds.

Sometimes, if someone is going to cheat, they’re going to do it no matter what you do – it’s an unfortunate fact of life. But by following some of this advice you should be able to strengthen your relationship with your partner, and help eliminate the lure of temptation. Also remember that the general points made here apply all year round – a relationship is for life, not just for Christmas.


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