Scientists look into the psychology behind cheating…
Infidelity in relationships is a baffling and confusing thing. It can be terribly hurtful, difficult to deal with and a huge blow to your self-esteem. There are so many factors that must come into play to cause a person to be disloyal to a loved one and scientists have been looking into the psychology behind it all.
We’ve gathered the results of scientific experiments that look into factors that increase the risk of infidelity.
1. If your relationship has a lack of oxytocin
Oxytocin, also known as the ‘hug hormone’, is a powerful hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. The hormone rises when we hug and kiss, and plays an important part in keeping a relationship intimate. Therefore, scientists believe that if your relationship is lacking this hormone, it could become a trigger for cheating and increase its risk of happening.
In one particular experiment we heard about from Huffington Post, several married men were injected with oxytocin and got acquainted with an attractive woman. They were told to get as close as they wanted. Participators that had been given a hormone dose insisted on a bigger distance between them and the woman than those who got a placebo!
2. If you or your partner has to work away or go on regular business trips
This Huffington Post poll tells us that more than one-third of cheating men are businessmen who used to cheat on whilst away on business trips and 13% of women have had an affair at work. The statistics also show that the possibility of cheating at work rises during years 6-9 of marriage: these years are the most fragile and generally demand a lot of effort.
3. If you or your partner has an excessive interest in social media
Yes, if you or your partner spend an unfavourable amount of time on your phone, this could be increasing the risk of cheating. Scientists have said that in relationships where one person devotes much more time to social media outlets, the risk of infidelity rises.
Social media can give the opportunity for viral communication with others, which can potentially lead to adultery. If you’re a social media addict, it also means a lot less time is being spent on quality time with your loved one, which can decrease your intimacy levels.
4. If you or your partner are sexually bored
It’s important to continue to spice it up in your relationship. If you or your partner are sexually unsatisfied or bored, it increases the risk of infidelity by quite a lot.
In a poll taken, boredom was the reason 71% of unfaithful men and 49% of the women gave for cheating on a loved one. Regardless of how perfect your relationship is in other aspects, sexual intimacy is crucial to making a bond stay.
5. If you’ve been influenced by experience and society
If you’ve had an experience with a cheating ex, or you’ve been unfaithful in the past yourself, this means there is a huge probability that infidelity will occur again.
And who you associate with and socialise with can actually have a shocking effect in increasing the likelihood of adultery! In one anonymous poll, more than 75% of men who were unfaithful said that their friends also cheat on their wives.
6. People who feel they can’t handle monogamy
The people that say ‘I just couldn’t help myself!’ and say they struggle with monogamy are setting themselves up for failure. By saying they don’t have the willpower, they are increasing the risk of not having the willpower and can often end up just going ahead with an act of infidelity.
Some of these people will do it for the adrenaline buzz and because they’re too selfish to care, but others will have deep emotional reasons that we’ll never get to the bottom of. Perhaps it’s a defence mechanism for some; they think they’re avoiding getting hurt themselves by cheating. We’ll never know!
7. If there is a lack of emotional connection in your relationship
Being intimately connected to your partner is very important in decreasing the chance of adultery. If you struggle to have heart-to-hearts with your other half, you may be putting yourself at high risk.
In his book The Truth about Cheating, marriage counsellor Gary Neuman says that 47% of his male clients who cheated talked about the absence of emotional intimacy. So that’s nearly half of his male clients who indicate that not having emotional connection has been a factor that has to lead them to cheat. A lot of men struggle to discuss such topics, so be sure to look out for signs that suggest you aren’t emotionally connecting.