Sunday 20 January 2019

The real reason people cheat on their partners, according to new study

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

New research has revealed the myriad reasons why people cheat on their partners - and the main reason is probably not what you expect.

While you might assume that falling out of love is the cause of infidelity, a new study conducted by The Journal of Sex Research, suggests it is actually down to feeling a "lack of love".

According to Bustle, the people who cited this reason said they "had fallen out of love with my primary partner".

Speaking to Bustle, relationship expert and founder of Breakupward, Chelsea Leight Trescott, explained, "While the guttural reaction to being cheated on is often that the person cheating has fallen out of love, the more accurate reasoning is that the person cheating no longer feels loved by his or her partner."

The research saw 495 young adults, who had all cheated on their partners at some point, filling out an online questionnaire about their infidelity.

'Lack of love' was the reason given by 77 per cent of those people. 

Next on the list, with 74 per cent of respondents, was simply a desire for sexual partners.  70 per cent felt neglected by their partner, 70 per cent were also drunk or not thinking.

Infidelity was an attempt to boost the self-esteem of 57 per cent of those surveyed while 43 per cent cheated out of anger, 41 per cent did it because they felt unattached, and a third simply wanted to have sex.

The main reasons for cheating also differed for men and women.  For men it was more likely to be about having a variety of partners or just down to situational reasons while women tended to cheat because they felt ignored or not loved by their partners.

However, a person's personality and beliefs also had an impact on their reasons for cheating.

"Our results also show personality correlates with infidelity motivations," state the study authors Dylan Selterman, Justin R Garcia and Irene Tsapelas.

"Consistent with predictions, attachment insecurity was associated with motivations of anger, lack of love, neglect, low commitment, and esteem, while unrestricted sociosexual orientation was associated with sexual variety.

"Implicit beliefs (e.g growth, destiny, romanticism) were differentially associated with sexual desire, low commitment, lack of love, and neglect."

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