​Why do people have affairs? Not because of sex!


Commitment is the rule of thumb for most relationships, and yet infidelity is the unspoken fact.

IllicitEncounters.com has discovered that most people have affairs because they are seeking companionship rather than sex.

Despite the recent hacking scandal of a similar dating site – people joining extra-marital dating sites are still on the rise.

With over 1,000,000 members and approximately 7% of the married population using IllicitEncounters.com – perhaps it’s time we began to tackle the reasons why more people are having affairs rather than condemning the affair itself.

The affairs site screened 400 of its members and found a re-occurrence of certain issues that lead people to have affairs. The top 5 scenarios were-


– A lack of emotional intimacy is the cause of straying for so many adulterers. Many members complain of feeling invisible to their partner – undervalued, unappreciated and taken for granted. Many people choose to have an affair to feel that emotional connection once again.


– Contrary to popular belief, many affair seekers choose to have an affair because they do not want to break up their family. Their relationship may have disintegrated, and although no longer a happy husband and wife – they may still make a good father and mother. Many adulterers choose to take on an affair because they do not want to abandon their children, having an affair allows them to fulfil needs without upsetting the balance.

Financial Reasons

– The people that fit into this bracket tend to be very unhappy in their marriage, but for financial reasons they cannot break it off. They may have invested their money into joint ventures such as buying a house or starting a business, they may be financially dependent on their other half or they may simply end up worse off if they were to abandon the marriage.


– A lot of people using extra-marital affairs sites have express permission from their spouse to do so, many belong to open relationships for example. There is also a high number of members on the site that belong to the ‘carer’ category where for medical reasons the partner who can no longer engage sexually with their spouse will give permission for them to seek out an extra-marital relationship.


– Sex plays a significant part in why people choose to cheat. However, it was also the least quoted reason out of the 400 people interviewed. Sex is an important factor in any relationship, and for many married couples their sex life can dwindle, some people have also said that they have stopped fancying their partner as the years have gone by. Missing the passion and excitement a new liaison can bring can tempt a spouse to seek out a lover to ignite that spark again.

Claire Page spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com said “Most people don’t take on an affair lightly; it is usually a last resort. Nobody gets married and immediately looks forward to cheating on their partner. However, it seems now in this modern day and age that an affair is a natural progression in a long-term relationship, and occurs due to a number of factors such as personal needs and external life influences.

Once a relationship becomes long term, many marriages end up becoming more like business partnerships – you have joint finances and a joint responsibility to bring up your children – however the companionship and sex may have become rather lacking.

Maybe the people who allow each other to have an affair have got it right – building on an already strong foundation of trust, the ultimate support would be to give your partner the green light to explore where an affair-journey may take them. The bottom line is people have a multitude of reasons to embark on an affair. People join married dating sites and cheat because they can – and maybe it’s time we let them.”


The UK’s Leading married dating website IllicitEncounters.com

IllicitEncounters.com is the UK’s largest and longest running dating site for married people. With over 1,000,000 members across the UK, you’re sure to find your perfect match.

Established in 2003, we have been providing a meeting place for like-minded married and attached people for nearly 10 years. Our members have one thing in common – they are all looking for a little romance outside their current relationship. Whether that’s the occasional bit of flirtatious chat, a regular coffee date, or a full-blown affair, that’s up to them.

For comments, case-studies or more information contact Claire Page:

Email: presspr@illicitencounters.co.uk

Office: 020 7729 6098

Twitter: @illicitclaire

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