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What Makes People Prone to Infidelity?

Posted By Judy Williams || 2-Feb-2015

If you've been cheated on, you know how painful the realization can be. But if you're the one doing the cheating, perhaps you've wondered about the why. Are some people just more inclined to fall into infidelity? Anyone in a relationship might find the recent article shared on the Wall Street Journal particularly interesting. Several researchers and psychologists discussed the science behind infidelity and the factors that make some individuals more prone to fall into this.

Who is cheating and what are the common factors?

After studying the data of a dating website dedicated solely to extramarital affairs, researchers discovered that infidelity most commonly occurs when people are on the cusp of significant life changes. The numbers showed that most men who cheated where ages 29, 39, 49, 59, or any other age ending in nine. To put it plainly, affairs tend to pop up every 10 years on average.

The exact definition of infidelity is where things get a little murky. There are those who consider only engaging in the act of sexual intercourse with someone who you aren't in a committed relationship with to be infidelity, while others deem even flirting and secret-sharing as foul play. Studies show that roughly one in five married people will confess to having partaken in a sexual affair. Unfortunately, thinking about cheating on your spouse is far more common, according to the experts.

So what makes people give in to infidelity? Psychologists have identified six key areas that increase the odds of cheating:

  • Gender: Men are more likely to cheat, thanks to testosterone. However, with the ease of the internet, women are quickly closing the gender gap.
  • Age: One psychology professor pointed out that the middle of life is much less conducive to affairs. The energy of kid-rearing and jobs makes those aged 35-50 less at risk for cheating.
  • Opportunity: The ability to actually cheat makes it much more common. A job, frequent travel, and even where you live can all impact your propensity to engage in affairs.
  • History: The reason behind why someone cheated says a lot about their decision to do it again. Additionally, experts say that personality traits also contribute to infidelity.
  • Relationship dissatisfaction: Sexual dissatisfaction often leads people down the cheating road. Similarly, when you're happy with your marriage, the chances of infidelity are slim.
  • Personality: Low characteristics of 'agreeableness' and 'conscientiousness' are common traits among those who cheat. Showing signs of narcissism and sensation-seeking may also be contributors.

You can read the entire article here. Whether you're facing a divorce because of infidelity or other equally damaging circumstances, get in contact with our Irvine divorce lawyer! We have over 20 years of experience helping people pursue a favorable ending to their marriage.

Categories: Divorce, Infidelity

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