- One in five men and one in eight women admit to having been sexually unfaithful PREDICTORS:
- Gender: men are more likely to cheat, and that the gender gap widens with age.
- Relationship Quality: infidelity is more common among those less satisfied with their current relationships. Infidelity is preceded by a gradual decline in relationship quality.
- Physical Attractiveness: Attractive women are less likely to have an affair. Men (but not women) are “more likely to be unfaithful when their partners were less attractive.”
- Sexual History: A 2018 study by James McNulty and colleagues at Florida State University found that Men who reported having more short-term sexual partners prior to marriage were more likely to have an affair, while the opposite was true for women.
- Family of Origin: Those who grew up in intact families are less likely to cheat, as are those who attend religious services regularly, and those who identify as Republicans.
- Attachment Style: spouses were more likely to perpetrate infidelity when either they or their partner was high (vs. low) in attachment anxiety.
- Power: Dutch psychologist Joris Lammers and colleagues found that “elevated power is positively associated with infidelity because power increases confidence in the ability to attract partners.”
Surprisingly: Cheaters feel worse after an affair. One study found that the well-being of initiators of infidelity decreased more than that of their betrayed partners. “Perpetrators of infidelity experienced a baseline shift in well-being: During the time after (relative to before) the event, perpetrators reported lower self-esteem, lower relationship satisfaction and intimacy, and more relationship conflicts.
For more information check Psychology Today.