- Dean Smith
Cheaters Fall into These 6 Risk Categories
According to Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal, there are 6 risk categories that you could fall into to make you more capable of committing infidelity.Note: Unfaithful individuals typically fall into more than one category.1. Gender Just being a male makes you more likely to cheat (even though the gender gap has gotten much smaller. Dr. Kelly Campbell, psychologist and associate professor of psychology and human development at California State University, says that “testosterone is a risk factor.” It’s just more common in men because of their genetic make up.2. Age Bernstein cites a recent study that worked with Ashley Madison to determine that people may be more likely to engage in infidelity in the year before a milestone birthday. For example, men that were 29, 39, 49, or 59 years of age were looking for extramarital affairs. This group was dubbed “9-enders.” However, not only “9-enders” are at heightened risk of cheating on their significant others. According to Dr. Campbell, “People in middle age are at lower risk because they have less time and spare energy. Between about age 35 and age 50, people tend to be focused on careers and child-rearing. You have a greater chance of cheating when you’re younger or older.”3. Opportunity The amount of opportunity, or the environment you put yourself in, could make you more likely to cheat. Are you around other attractive people that would make suitable, alternative partners, living in a city, work long hours and closely with others, and travel frequently? All of these factors could put you at risk for an affair.4. History Experts say that the popular phrase, “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is not always necessarily true. We must take into consideration the reasons why someone cheated in the first place. According to Dr. Campbell, “If the reasons for cheating are more about the individual than the relationship, the person is at risk for cheating again. If the relationship was more to blame, the risk of repeating isn’t as great.”5. Relationship Dissatisfaction If you are dissatisfied in your relationship, this is a major risk factor for cheating. Bernstein says, “Infidelity and relationship dissatisfaction work both ways: You may cheat because you are unhappy in the relationship, but cheating will make you unhappier.” Some good news, though! People who are satisfied in their marriage are unlikely to cheat! We also must take into consideration sexual satisfaction when factoring relationship satisfaction. In a survey of 60,000 people, researchers asked them to rate how closely they agreed with this sentence: “I am satisfied with my relationship with my partner.” About 40% of those who strongly disagreed had engaged in infidelity, compared with just 10% of those who strongly agreed. Researchers got similar results when asking participants how strongly they agreed with this statement: “I am satisfied with my sexual life with my partner.”6. Personality Bernstein says, “Two of the so-called Big Five personality traits show consistent links to cheating, research shows.” Purdue’s Dr. Lehmiller says that people who score low on “agreeableness” (being kind and caring about other people’s feelings) and “conscientiousness” (being dependable and having self-discipline) are more likely to cheat. Other traits linked to a greater infidelity risk include narcissism (having an overly inflated opinion of oneself), sensation-seeking (a tendency to look for thrilling and risky activities), and commitment-phobes.
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