In the dead of winter, my mind often wonders to
Cheating has been around since human beings have been establishing monogamous relationships, and since cheating has existed people have been trying to figure out why. Recently, we’ve had an explosion of studies trying to pin down that exact question. These studies have given us some insight into the science of cheating.
1. Many people who cheat manage to do so with the same techniques we use for all kinds of cognitive dissonance. A January 2013 study found that when cheaters were pushed to feel bad about it, they saw it as a bad action, but if they were allowed to rationalize they could still see themselves as good people. Another study found that most cheaters actually feel good after cheating.
2. A surprising study found that 45 percent of people either would cheat or have cheated because their partner spends too much time on their phone. It leads to feelings of neglect and searching for attention elsewhere.
3. Another study found that people who are insecure, especially in regards to their partner leaving or cheating, tend to cheat more often themselves. Scientists hypothesized that the reason was because insecure individuals crave constant reassurance, and if they can’t find it in the relationship they’ll look elsewhere.
4. One of the more common reasons to cheat in both men and women is a fear of not performing well enough in bed. This might be related to feelings of insecurity.
5. Money can also lead to cheating. Christin Munsch, a sociology researcher at Cornell University, found that in heterosexual relationships the man is more likely to cheat if the woman is making more money.
6. Although you might not expect it, Wednesday is the most common day to cheat, and the afternoon is the most popular time of day.
7. There’s a common assumption that men cheat more often than women, but in reality the genders cheat at about the same rates. Women are more likely to cite fulfilling emotional needs while men attribute the behavior to physical needs.
8. Oddly enough, 56% of men and 34% of women who cheated say they were actually really happy with their life and their relationship.
9. Some men rationalize their behavior by saying that they cheat in order to save a marriage. The rationale is that they still love and care for their spouse, but have a sexual need that isn’t getting fulfilled.