According to a survey from the British extramarital dating website, Illicit Encounters, November 18 is “Unfaithful Friday,” the day where most users admit to indulging in their extra-marital relationships. According to the report, the site has 30 percent more activity in the week leading up to today than any other week in November or December. While the timing may be surprising, the infidelity isn’t, which leads to the question: why do people have affairs, and is there any way to repair the damage they cause?

There is no single reason why individuals choose to have relationships outside of their marriage, said Ann Hartlage, PhD, a psychologist at Rush University Medical Center and the director of Rush's Marital and Sex Therapy Program, in a recent article for Medical Xpress.

“The answer is different for every situation. But most affairs aren't really about sex ... or, rather, they don't have anything to do with a sexual problem between a couple,” explained Hartlage, according to Medical Xpress. “Much more often, they happen when the couple has difficulty resolving conflict.”

In an article for Psychology Today, psychologist Jay Kent-Ferraro explained that most affairs could be summed into four groups:

  • Fantasy & Flight
  • Pathology & Deviant Affairs
  • Poor Strategies & Bad Intent Affairs
  • Benevolent Neglect Affairs

Every affair begins for different reasons, but it's usually the length of the illicit relationship that matters the most. For example, the longer the affair lasts, the more difficult it may to be heal from, as opposed to a one-night-stand.

There is hope though; statistics show that most relationships are able to heal from infidelity, and often therapy can make the process easier.

“A therapist will help the couple try to figure out what happened and why. The more both parties come to an understanding of the situation, the more it helps,” wrote Hartage.

According to Kent-Ferraro, some affairs are easier to heal from than others. For example, “deviant affairs” that are due to the cheater’s need to constantly view his own desires as a top priority have nothing to with their partner, and are often more difficult to mend.

Read More:

Can A Cheater Be Faithful? Four Different Types Of Affairs, According To A Psychologist: Read Here

Who Is Most Likely To Cheat? The Top 9 Jobs That Unfaithful People Have, According To A Survey: Read Here