Different things cause different marriages to fall apart. Some divorces occur because of financial strains. Others happen simply because the couple grew apart, or one spouse or the other realizes he or she is no longer in love.

A cheating spouse is often cited as the reason for filing for divorce. However, infidelity is often the result of a marital problem, instead of being the direct cause of the conflict. Without supporting the idea of cheating on your husband or wife, learning why people commit infidelity may help us understand the warning signs in our own relationships.

A psychologist at Florida State believes that spouses who feel that their husband or wife is slipping away are more likely to cheat. The psychologist published the findings of his long-term study in the Journal of Family Psychology earlier this year.

He followed more than 200 newly-married couples for three-and-a-half to four years, tracking their personalities and the strength of their relationship over that time. He found that some of the spouses developed “anxious attachment,” or a fear that their spouse is abandoning them. People with anxious attachment tend to become clingy. The researcher said that they also tend to cheat.

This may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, it does not make sense that someone trying to keep their husband or wife from leaving them would do something to drive him or her away. The psychologist explains the purpose of the infidelity is to get the worried spouse’s need for intimacy met. In addition, spouses with anxious attachment tend to get cheated on as well.

Hopefully, none of this will happen to any of our readers. But if it does, it may be necessary to divorce. This in turn will require the spouses to divide their property. Depending on the size and complexity of the marital assets, this can be difficult to do. A skilled family law attorney can help reach a fair settlement.

Source: Huffington Post, “Insecure Spouses Are More Likely To Cheat, Says Marriage Study,” Nov. 12, 2013