If you experienced childhood trauma, or find yourself constantly trying to be a people pleaser, it turns out you might be more likely to have an affair in middle age.

That is according to UK-based marital counsellor, Andrew G Marshall, who has revealed the deeper psychological reasons a married person might cheat.

Speaking to online dating site, datingroo, Marshall explained that affairs could begin as a result of three main issues which tend to suddenly rear their heads in later life.

Marshall, who has written a whopping 19 books on marriage, also told datingroo: "People pleasers hope that other people will know what they really want, so they go along with what everybody else wants.

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"Then suddenly they will switch to the completely opposite direction to become the most selfish person possible."

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Past issues such as the death of a sibling or other childhood trauma may also be the cause of extra-marital affairs. Marshall explains that instead of dealing with the root of unhappiness, some people look to an affair to make them feel better.

He adds: "There is something about being middle-aged. It brings back those unresolved child issues.

"They are thinking, I am going to have sex and that will make me happy. That is how they cover up this pain."

Addiction can also lead to cheating: a drunk, or under the influence encounter can be the start of a full-blown affair.

Unresolved issues can often lead to one spouse deciding to have an affair. Photo / 123rf
Unresolved issues can often lead to one spouse deciding to have an affair. Photo / 123rf

Marshall says: "I have often seen people who are gambling addicts who will often have an affair because addiction is going to cross over."

Marshall also added that middle-aged couples often begin reflecting on their life choices in their 50s and begin to feel unhappy with where they're at. This realisation can often lead to an affair, he says.

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When it comes to saving a marriage after a partner cheats, Marshall advises that full honesty, a genuine apology and an explanation of exactly what you are sorry for is the beginning of fixing the problem.