Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict if our lovers/spouses were likely to be unfaithful? Maybe we could track warning signs from the get-go and avoid the heartbreak most of us have experienced at some point or other in our lives.
Of course, it’s never that easy, but a new study identifies traits that make people more likely to cheat.
Are you one of them? Is your partner?
This study examined 918 men and women – (23% of the men and 19% of the women had cheated in their current relationship. Makes you wonder how many had ever cheated on a partner. Kinda scary, eh?) While prior studies focused on demographics (age, prior cheating episodes, socioeconomic status, job types), this study focused on personality factors and relationship issues.
So what personality characteristics might predict infidelity?
Predictors of Infidelity: The Dudes
Your guy is more likely to cheat if:
- He has sexual performance anxiety
- He’s a risk-taker
- He’s easily sexually aroused
Predictors of Infidelity: The Ladies
Your girl is more likely to cheat if:
- She’s unhappy or unsatisfied in her relationship with you
- She feels sexually incompatible with you
Fascinating, eh? So why is that?
My Guess At Why These Factors Might Make Guys More Likely To Cheat
Well, one can only guess that if a guy feels inhibited in the bedroom – and maybe has a hard time, you know, getting Mr. Friendly to stand at attention, he might seek out new, more stimulating sexual situations to prove to himself that his equipment still works. (After all, if you’re doing your secretary on the desk you just swept clean with the back of your hand, you might be more likely to get it up than if you’re home with your wife on the bed you’ve shared with her for 30 years.)
Or maybe the guy with performance anxiety just figures that if he can’t get it up with the waitress from Hooters, he probably never has to see her again – and can be spared the embarrassment he feels whenever he’s with his girlfriend and has issues.
It’s pretty obvious that risk takers might be more likely to cheat, but the easily sexually aroused predictor is interesting, eh? So, if he’s hot and horny, and he gets a boner every time a pretty girl walks by, maybe he’s more likely to just go for it. Who knows?
So What About Her?
Having encountered many cheating women in my practice as an OB/GYN (and yes, they often contract sexually transmitted diseases, which is why they wind up in my office), these predictive factors don’t surprise me at all. If a woman feels happy, sexually satisfied, and compatible in the bedroom with her partner, she’s unlikely to look elsewhere. Which is why we get so frustrated, disappointed, pissed off, and shocked when the same guy – the one who’s happy, sexually satisfied and compatible with us – winds up cheating. Turns out that what keeps us faithful just isn’t the same as what keeps the guys faithful.
But when a woman feels sexually restless, unsatisfied in bed, and emotionally disconnected from her partner, she’s at much greater risk of straying.
What Can We Do About It?
So what if your guy has performance anxiety, loves bungee jumping, and flirts with every creature with boobs? Or what if your woman isn’t having orgasms, has expressed dissatisfaction in the bedroom, and complains of feeling emotionally distant? What can you do to keep your partner faithful?
Tips For Keeping Your Partner Faithful
- Talk about it. Keep open lines of communication and try to avoid getting defensive if your partner admits to considering cheating.
- Accentuate the positive. If all you do is complain, your partner is more likely to go elsewhere to feel good.
- Have sex. Sexless – or nearly sexless relationships (usually defined as less than six sexual encounters per year) just don’t work. Period.
- Be compassionate if your partner experiences performance anxiety. You can be sure it’s even more stressful for him than it is for you.
- Date your long-term lover. Don’t let the romance die just because you’ve been together for awhile.
- Attend to her sexual needs. Ask her what she likes. Go out of your way to satisfy her.
- Spice it up. Communicate about what turns you both on. If sex feels racy at home, you’re less likely to seek it elsewhere.
- Laugh. Have fun. Be playful.
- Deal with anger and resentment. Don’t let it build up. Get thee to a counselor early if need be.
- Be loving. Cuddle. Use terms of endearment. Say “I love you.” It builds emotional connection.