The 5 Types of Cheaters and Why They Choose Infidelity

Can you Spot a Cheater? Apparently, there are 5 types of cheaters and very specific reasons why they stray. But first, let’s dig into a recent celebrity cheating scandal.

A match made in Victoria’s Secret heaven?

It seemed like Behati tamed the rockstar Adam Levine, who had once joked “I’ll never get married” during an interview on The Tonight Show. 

On the outside, it seemed like a picture-perfect marriage. They had three children, Adam would gush about his love for her: “She makes me the best person I can be.”

Who would have guessed years later the Maroon5 star would be caught in a cheating scandal amuck with cringey leaked text messages? According to the 5 categories of cheaters in the book CheatingLand, Adam Levine is textbook “Peacock”. 

The author (who kept his identity anonymous to protect the families he interviewed), interviewed over 60 married individuals who cheated on their partners. He found that adulterers fall under 5 distinct groups.


Dead Bedroomers make up the largest group of cheaters: married people who feel that their love life has come to a halt. They feel lonely, unfulfilled, and disconnected from their partner. They long to return to the relationship that was once full of spark and passion. 

They tend to have one outside partner that helps them satisfy their craving from a break from the routine and normalcy of their marriage. While they are remorseful of their escapades, to them, cheating is an answer to a problem. As long as they don’t get caught, it avoids confrontation and conflict. It means taking their sexual frustration and desire for novelty and stimulation – into their own hands.


The sad wounded Dead Bedroomer contrasts greatly with the strutting, swaggering, suave Peacock. The second largest group of cheaters, peacocks are gluttonous – they need validation over and over again that they’re sexy, seductive, and special. 

To Peacocks, cheating feeds them energy and boosts their ego – cheating reaffirms their power and sexual prowess. The adrenaline rush of sneaking around, and the risk of getting caught are all a part of the exciting charge that makes Peacocks feel alive. In an unconscious way, being the center of the drama is all a part of the exhilaration. 

They tend to have a high opinion of themselves but are also deeply insecure. They need validation from others constantly. They like to feel powerful and the challenge of a hunt. When choosing who to cheat with, they want someone who’s a challenge – someone who’s too ‘easy’ doesn’t have the same edge.


Out of all the types of cheaters interviewed in the book, Completers talked about how much they loved their partners the most. But despite their love, they feel they need a second relationship to feel fulfilled and complete. They are looking for a yin to their partner’s yang.

They have feelings and needs that are too intense for a single partner to fill, so they seek a second relationship to feel whole. 

Typically, completers choose lovers who have the opposite personality to their current partner. They do not see their affair partner as a fling. Instead, they develop a strong bond to set the foundation of their relationship.


Revenge cheating is based on the quintessential idea of poetic justice. Give them a taste of their own medicine, they think.

They’re scorned, motivated by anger and resentment and vengeance is their idea of medicine. They cheat as a reaction to being cheated on. But sometimes they are taking revenge for some other relationship crime. To punish their partner, infidelity is weaponized. Sometimes they feel it’s the only way they can hurt their partner, and in a sense, gives them a sense of control.  

Revenge seekers are usually deep in pain, driven by rage and a need for payback. 


We tend to think of cheating primarily in terms of sexual encounters involving physical intimacy. BUT emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones. Emotional connectors have friendships that are sexually charged and extremely intimate. What may have started off as friendship crosses the line into something more.

While they’re not having sex, they’re engaging in other aspects of a romantic relationship. They’re sharing secrets, telling their affair partner things they wouldn’t tell their spouse, they’re keeping the true depth of the relationship hidden – because deep down, they know they’re crossing a line. 

Emotional affairs often happen without the two people realizing it. But after one seemingly innocent line is crossed, then another, and they find themselves entangled with their coworker, friend, neighbor…


The exact number is hard to know, but some large surveys report that about 20-25% of men have cheated on their spouses, and 15-20% of women have cheated on their spouses. According to some more recent studies, the number of women cheating is increasing if you include emotional affairs.

Do men and women have different motivations for cheating? Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll share the data in the next article. 

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