We recently shared the news that fewer couples are divorcing due to infidelity, which seems like a great victory for the legions of faithful, til-death-do-us-part men and women of the world.
But unfortunately, though it’s not causing married couples to beeline it to divorce court, the fact of the matter is this: Cheating still exists. Sometimes the significant other finds out; sometimes the act of unfaithfulness remains a secret. But at the end of the day, any type of infidelity leads to one ultimate and universal question: Why?
Researchers in Canada sought to answer that very question in a recent study of a group of 1,000 men and women. The findings, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, offered some insight into what personality and relationship factors drive people to sexually stray from their significant others.
For starters, 23 percent of the guys and 19 percent of the ladies involved in the study had previously cheated on a partner. The study defined cheating as a sexual interaction “with someone other than your primary partner that could jeopardize, or hurt, your relationship.”
Furthermore, researchers found that women were most likely to cheat when they felt low relationship satisfaction. In fact, a gal who felt unhappy with her partner was 2.6 times more likely to stray. Throw in some sexual incompatibility (in terms of values and attitudes) and women were 2.9 times more likely to have an affair. Meanwhile, men who report high sexual inhibition due to performance anxiety were more likely to cheat.
Yikes! From the gist of that, it seems that normal relationship woes drive people to be unfaithful. It almost makes it seem hopeless to try.
The lead researcher, Robin Milhausen, provides a seemingly simple solution: Conversation. And yes, sometimes having an open discussion with your partner about your needs and expectations (both physically and emotionally) is easier said than done, but looking at the above causes for infidelity, it seems like taking the plunge and having that chat is an easy alternative to having your heart broken.