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8 MAIN REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHEAT AND THE IMPACT OF ADULTERY ON DIVORCE

After the Ashley Madison dating site was hacked in 2015, Ottawa was exposed as the world capital for cheating. While the data showed that 1 in every 5 people in the area had a membership to the service, those numbers are questionable and can be attributed in part to the same people having multiple accounts, automated bots, and fake accounts.

However even when taking the potential for errors into consideration, the numbers remain very high and show that an important portion of the population was interested in extramarital activities (and paid for the service) or at least explored the idea of an affair at one point (and had a free account).

In 2019 Ashley Madison released another list of top cities based on the number of signups to its service between June and September 2018. While Ottawa was no longer at the top; Guelph, Oshawa, Barrie, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo were the 5 Ontario based locations that ranked in the top 6 Canadian cities for infidelity (according to Global News).

What motivates individuals to cheat on their spouses?

According to a 2019 Psychology Today article, scientists investigated the reasons why people cheat on their spouses and uncovered the following motivators for infidelity:

  1. Falling out of love.
  2. For variety. 
  3. Feeling neglected.
  4. Situational forces
  5. To boost self-esteem.
  6. Out of anger.
  7. Not feeling committed.
  8. Because of sexual desire. 

According to the study: “These eight motives for infidelity cover aspects of the self, the existing relationship, and the context. They reveal great variety in the reasons as to why people cheat. While certainly, one primary reason could drive a person to be unfaithful, it’s likely that a combination of factors is at the root of many extradyadic affairs(full article can be found at PsychologyToday.com)

Why such a high interest in cheating in small cities?

A highly-educated population with disposable income is much more open to experimenting and engage in riskier behaviors. Additionally, when combined with the “boring” lifestyle of a small city, some people may be tempted to take extra steps to have fun, excitement, and adventure in their otherwise stable and uneventful lives.

As Ashley Madison’s motto states: “Life is short. Have an affair.” And many people do.

Of course, adultery is prominent in big cities as well and the potential for finding someone to cheat with is even greater in those areas. There is more temptation, more opportunities, and more hiding spots where one could go and be relatively sure that they will not run into someone they know while being out with someone other than their spouse.  

Bigger cities provide better opportunities to engage in and conceal extramarital activities. As such, the need for a paid service to help someone with their affairs is in lesser demand than in smaller areas with fewer opportunities and greater risks of being caught.

While catching a cheating spouse is challenging in cities of any size, it is even more difficult in large metropolitan areas where discreet hidings spots are in abundance, where it’s easier to disappear in the sea of people, and where physically following someone in a vehicle is difficult due to traffic density and limited parking opportunities.

Nevertheless, when someone suspects that their spouse is cheating, they usually want to know for sure and desire to obtain evidence of an affair so they could eliminate any doubts and have closure, as well as have solid grounds to initiate the divorce process.

Why cheating is an important element for initiating a divorce?

Regardless of the motivation behind the act, when infidelity occurs one party may decide to end the relationship and file for divorce.

Canada has no-fault divorce, meaning that the legal system will not examine the reasons for the separation and those reasons will have no impact on determining the parties’ rights or obligations. However, the only grounds for a divorce in the Divorce Act is marriage breakdown which occurs only if any one of the following criteria is met:

  1. Your spouse has been physically or mentally cruel to you.
  2. Your spouse has committed adultery.
  3. You have been living apart for one year or more.

For most people, it is cheaper and more efficient to simply choose to live separate lives for a period of one year. Having to provide evidence of abuse or adultery can be a costly ordeal; however, under certain circumstances, waiting for that long is not a desirable or feasible option.

In instances such as this, a Private Investigator may be called upon to conduct an investigation and gather the required evidence to support allegations of abuse or infidelity. Through research, witness interviews, and surveillance, irrefutable evidence can be collected that will not only provide solid grounds for divorce but will also provide closure and will speed up the separation process.

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