10 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Infidelity

Why do cheaters cheat? New research has uncovered some truths about infidelity that could surprise you. Did your partner cheat on you because her mother was a cheater? Is there really a most popular day to cheat? Read on to find the answers:

  1. You can be genetically predisposed to infidelity


If you’re the cheating kind, you may have your genes to blame: Researchers from Binghamton University found that about half of all people with the DRD4 gene — also known as the “thrill-seeking” gene — were more prone to promiscuity and unfaithfulness.

  1. Women think men with deep voices are more likely to cheat.

Bad news for men who sound anything like Barry White. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences showed that women perceive men with deep voices as being more likely to cheat. Researchers asked women to listen to men’s voices and determine which guys were prone to cheating. Researchers then asked which men women were most attracted to for long- and short-term flings. The verdict? Men with deep voices were seen as being more suitable for a fling and more likely to stray.

  1. Democrats are more tolerant of cheating than Republicans.

The way you react to being cheated on might be a result of your political beliefs. In a YouGov poll commissioned by The Huffington Post, 14 percent of Democrats versus 10 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would definitely give their partner a second chance if they discovered an affair.

  1. An affair may increase the risk of a broken penis.


Affairs don’t just break hearts, they might also break penises. Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, studied 16 cases of penile fracture between 2007 and 2011 that required surgery. Half of those men admitted to fracturing their member during an extramarital affair. “I think the time you don’t see a lot of men fracturing their penises is in the bedroom with his wife that he’s been married to for a number of years,”Kramer explained to the Huffington Post

  1. Cheaters find their spouses more attractive than their affair partners.

When it comes to cheating, it’s not all about looks. Extra-marital dating site Victoria Milan polled over 4,000 of their members and found that most cheaters considered their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners.

  1. Men who cheat are more likely to have heart attacks than non-cheaters.

And in another blow to cheating men everywhere, a study out of the University of Florence suggested that “sudden coital death” is more common when a man is getting it on with his mistress in an unfamiliar setting than when he’s having sex with his spouse at home.

  1. Women are more likely to cheat if their mothers were cheaters.


A survey by Illicit Encounters — an extra-marital dating site based in Britain — polled 2,000 members and found that 73 percent of women who admitted to having an affair had mothers who cheated as well. Apparently, the unfaithful apple doesn’t fall far from the unfaithful tree.

  1. Cheaters love taking their dates to Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Chain restaurants and steak houses came out on top when extramarital dating site Ashley Madison asked roughly 43,000 of their users where they take their dates to dinner. Morton’s The Steakhouse was the most popular choice. The Cheesecake Factory and Ruth’s Chris made the list, too.

  1. Most millennials consider flirting online to be a form of infidelity.

Be careful with those heart-eye and winky face emojis if you’re in a relationship. The website Fusion recently asked 1,000 18- to 34-year-olds if they thought “online flirtations or relationships” counted as cheating, and 82 percent said yes.

  1. Wednesday is the most popular day for people to cheat.

Abstract of an Analogue Alarm Clock Ringing its Bells Early in the Morning

They don’t call it “hump day” for nothing: Wednesday, between 5 and 7 p.m, is the most popular day and time for people to cheat, according to dating site Ashley Madison.

Are You Emotionally Cheating? Find Out.

The chemistry was obvious, but nothing ever “happened.” Or did it?

Like many women, René (who asked that only her middle name be used), a writer from northern New Jersey, had two husbands: a regular spouse and a “work husband,” a man — interesting, smart, funny — with whom she spent 9 hours a day. The chemistry was obvious, but nothing ever “happened.” Or did it?

They made a beeline for each other every morning, and their chats became more and more personal. “I definitely talked to him about things I didn’t talk to my husband about, including my husband, because my marriage was so unhappy,” René says. He sat a little too close at meetings. She admits she fantasized about a relationship.

Was she cheating? Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell School of Medicine, says “probably.”

“Many of these emotional affairs do move into a sexual affair,” Saltz says. “If they don’t, it’s easy enough to say to yourself that you’re not doing anything wrong.”

The problem, she says, is the attachment to this other person impacts the marriage. “Ultimately it ends painfully one way or another: Your marriage ends, or you’ve got to give this person up.” René’s marriage eventually ended in divorce, but this doesn’t have to happen to you.

Often, people who become involved in emotional affairs feel something is lacking at home. “It makes them feel good to feel understood, to feel desired. It’s like candy. You go home and have your vegetables, and you go to work and you have candy.”

For some spouses — more often women, Saltz says — learning of an emotional affair can be worse than discovering sexual infidelity. “Everybody understands a sexual act need not necessarily contain affection or intimacy. It could be literally about a sexual act. Whereas the emotional affair feels like it’s much more about being connected, about loving or liking.”

Signs You’ve Crossed the Line

According to Saltz, these seven red flags suggest you may have entered into an emotional affair:

  1. You spend a lot of emotional energy on the person. “You end up sharing stuff that you don’t even share with your partner — hopes and dreams, things that would actually connect you to your partner.”
  2. You dress up for that person.
  3. You make a point to find ways to spend time together, and that time becomes very important to you.
  4. You’d feel guilty if your partner saw you together; you are doing things and saying things that you would never do or say in front of your spouse.
  5. You share your feelings of marital dissatisfaction.
  6. You’re keeping secret the amount of time you’re spending with the person (including emailing, calling, texting).
  7. You start to feel dependent on the emotional high that comes with the relationship.

Quitting the Affair

These affairs can be hard to stop, Saltz says. But to give your marriage a chance, “you just have to end it. I don’t think there’s a halfway. It’s too slippery a slope.” If it’s someone you can’t avoid, have a direct conversation. Tell them, “I need to not do this,” Saltz says.

Your next step: Figure out what led you to make the connection with this other person, says psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD, author of After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful.

“One of the critical tasks necessary for the couple to survive emotional infidelity is for both partners to explore its roots — why did it happen? What does it say about me, you, and us as a couple?” She adds, “It’s better to speak up and bring the conflict into the open than confide secretly in someone else.”

Instead of playing the blame game, identify contributing factors on both sides.

If you want to save your marriage, the earlier you deal with problems, the better, Saltz says. “And the earlier you cut off something that leads in the direction of betrayal, the better.”

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Defining Cheating. What Is It to You?

I found myself getting anxious about a certain app that my partner uses, and spent weeks torturing myself.

Before cell phones, cheating was a series of deliberate actions: secretly flirting (in person), arranging times and places to meet (also in person), and then physically ‘doing the deed’ – definitely in person. But now, in the age of smartphones, is there such a thing as “modern monogamy?”

Back in the day, catching your spouse cheating was a dramatic and devastating event, because it all happened IRL. There were physical and emotional risks involved with cheating, which is why it was – and is – a serious heartbreaker.

Cheating used to have a relatively standard definition, for the majority of traditionally monogamous couples. It’s not so simple, nowadays. Now that Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and various texting apps have become so ingrained in our social lives…what is cheating, really? And what do we do if our partner defines it differently than we do?

At its most basic, cheating involves stepping outside the boundaries of your relationship. For many of us, sexual contact with another person is a definite no-no. But what about sending/receiving sexy photos on Snapchat? Or a romantically emotional affair with a close friend, via text messages? If your boyfriend is following a bunch of flirty, bikini-clad girls on Instagram, could that be considered cheating?

It depends. What is okay for one couple may not be okay for another. Relationships are a ‘choose your own adventure’ story – just don’t wait until the line is crossed to tell your partner where it is.

Because you are reading this article, perhaps you’ve been questioning whether you’ve cheated or been cheated on. The past cannot be changed, but taking a few simple steps can save you a lot of worry in the future. There are a million articles about cheating – how to catch it, how to do it, how to avoid it. Before you go into the ‘how-to,’ it’s probably best to establish the ‘what is.’

Problem: You’re uncomfortable and unsure about the boundaries of your relationship.

Solution: Ask your partner what cheating means for them. It’s that simple.

It can be hard to establish boundaries, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Most of us don’t want to come off as too serious, until we have to. But why wait until something goes wrong? It might not be sexy to talk about boundaries, but it can protect you from a lot of seriously un-sexy situations down the road.

If we find ourselves worried about our partner’s fidelity, it’s tempting to stifle our feelings because we don’t want to appear ‘needy’ or ‘paranoid.’ Unfortunately, suppressing our feelings can result in them manifesting down the line – jealousy, resentment, and insecurity will inevitably hurt you more than your partner. Trust goes both ways, but so does fear. You probably know when your partner is upset about something, even when they’re holding it in. Wouldn’t you rather know what’s the matter, before it gets out of hand?

In order to avoid breaking your partner’s trust (or vice versa), it’s important to establish boundaries early on. And it’s not just about your partner – ask yourself, what does cheating mean, for you? Define it for yourself, and then sit down with your loved one and ask them what they think. Remember – it’s a discussion, not an interrogation. Their definition may be different than yours, and the more you talk about it, the easier it will be to meet in the middle.

This conversation is not meant to “trap” them or force them to adopt your point of view. Talking about your worries (and allowing your loved one to voice theirs) is about loving. The goal is to reinforce mutual trust. Using “I” statements and reminding your partner how much you trust them can make all the difference.

Without trust, there is no love. And that can be difficult when there is no communication. Maybe your partner is just as worried as you are. Talking about boundaries can actually be a very freeing experience for both of you.

I recently had this conversation with my partner, and I am so glad I did. I found myself getting anxious about a certain app that my partner uses, and spent weeks torturing myself with negative self-talk and paranoid imaginings. I didn’t want to come off as jealous, so I did nothing. As a result, I caused my partner a lot of undue worry because I was acting so strangely. When I finally sat down with him to talk about the app, I was overwhelmed by how validating it was.

For me, cheating means purposely breaking a partner’s trust. Now that my spouse and I have consciously established what this means for us, I am even more confident that I don’t have to worry about it.

Being honest about your feelings is infinitely safer than acting on assumptions. Your partner most likely has their own set of rules based on their background. It may be completely different than yours, and that doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

So what is “cheating,” for you? How have cell phones and social media changed the way you view monogamy? Share your thoughts in the comments, below. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we learn about each other.

Here is Why Some Couples Never Cheat

Wondering how and why some couples never tend to cheat on each other? Here is the answer.

Perceptual downgrading of attractive persons who can turn out to be potential threats may help in sustaining relationships from temptation and keep couples from cheating on one another, finds a new study.

The findings showed that to keep up a steady relationship, couples are likely to use an unconscious ‘turn-off’ mechanism where either partner perceptually downgrades individuals who can act as possible threats to their relationships, as less attractive than they really are.

Couples who are highly satisfied with their current partners are more likely to use this mechanism.

“Committed individuals see other potential partners as less attractive than other people see them, especially if they see the attractive person as a threat to their relationship and even more so if they’re happy with their partner”, said lead author Shana Cole, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the US.

Both men and women indulge in this protective bias called ‘perceptual downgrading’ and which helps couples’ maintain their commitment to their current partners.

“When people encounter an enticing temptation, one way to reduce its motivational pull is to devalue the temptation”, Cole added in the paper published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“This study suggests that there are processes that may occur outside of conscious awareness to make it easier to stay committed to one’s partner”, she noted.

For the study, the team designed two studies. In the first study, the researchers told participants that they would be working with a very attractive person – who is either romantically unavailable or single.

They were shown the imaginary person’s face with its 10 morphed images and asked to pick the image that matched the original. The results shows that they consistently picked images morphed toward unattractiveness.

In the second study, the participants provided more information about their own romantic situations and the team described the imaginary person as single, and therefore, available.

Participants in relationships who thought the person was interested in dating found that person less attractive than individuals who were single.

People who were in relationships and were happy with their partners, perceived the imaginary person as less attractive than any other participant.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Is Cheating Ever OK?

Would you tell your friend if you saw their significant other on a dinner date with another?

Q: Is cheating ever OK?

At the very least, cheating means you don’t value the relationship you’re in. If you cheat once, think about what this means about your relationship with your partner- you have taken a risk that they could get hurt, they could get an STD, they could be embarrassed- so that you could have a short-term positive experience. If you continue cheating, consider ending your relationship, because you are clearly not committed or fulfilled.  Instead of taking that as an excuse to cheat, be honest with your partner and stop seeing them.

If you think you’re “just the cheating kind”, consider not having relationships.

If your partner has cheated on you, it will hurt, but you should ask if they’re interested in staying with you or if they’re shopping for other partners. Try to be honest about what you expect from them. Almost everyone cheats during their lifetime- it doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship but it must be addressed.

If you accept a partner’s continued cheating even though it hurts you- this lets the partner know that you don’t value yourself and that anything goes. This is not a good place to be for your emotional health.

Cheating hurts people in a very deep, sometimes irrational way.  Think about a relationship of yours that ended without infidelity, and about one that ended with it.  Do you feel differently about them?  Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.  If you are cheating “on your way out” of a relationship- consider ending your relationship first. You and your partner will have a better experience and nicer memories of each other if infidelity doesn’t color the end of your time together.

Q: Would you tell your friend if you saw their significant other on a dinner date with another?

I would not. I would tell my friend if their significant other was sending out pictures of his dick to other people. Even then, it doesn’t change anything. Usually, it just makes my friend upset.  It’s very difficult to give someone information that they don’t want, even if months later they recognize it was probably true.

Q: How do you feel about infidelity in celebrity relationships, like the rumors about Brad, Marion Cotillard, and Angelina?

If we assume that the thing that ended Brangelina was, in fact, cheating: I think that a mature relationship could have survived infidelity- so I suspect that this is not the first time, but the last that Angelina could deal with.

When infidelity is public, I think that changes things. It’s one thing to work on issues at home, see a therapist, try to communicate- it’s another when everyone on the street and everyone you see knows that your partner betrayed you and hurt you. Think about being at Ralph’s (or, let’s face it, Whole Foods or Gelson’s) and seeing people’s faces full of pity for you, when all you wanted was an organic wheatgrass juice.

That being said- I don’t think a marriage is a failure just because it ends. Because our society has changed to value the individual over the couple- everything is stacked against long marriages. You can learn a lot from marriage and grow as a person, even though that union didn’t last until death did you part.

All in all, the reason we call it cheating is that it’s a betrayal of what you have agreed on in your relationship.  If you don’t want to be monogamous, don’t be.  Cheating on your current partner as a trial for a potential relationship is a poor use of everyone’s trust.  If all of your relationships end in infidelity, consider doing the brave thing and ending the relationship before stepping out.

How To Cheat Without Cheating


If you have a cheatin’ heart but don’t want to act on it, here’s how to stop an affair before it starts.

Do you fantasize about secret hook-ups and flings? Are you disappointed by the emotional distance between you and your long-term partner? “Boredisappointment” is a word I’ve invented (just now, actually!) to describe those afflictions of relationship boredom — with a garnish of dashed hopes and dreams.

If you find this feeling all-too-familiar, say it with me: “I suffer from boredisappointment.”

Note that we didn’t say, “they gave me boredisappointment.” The key phrase here is “I suffer.” What you don’t want to do here (take it from me) is to blame your partner for all of it. Sure, they may have had the cold first and then passed the germs on to you. Or they’re just so damn noisy that now you’ve got a bad headache. Or maybe your partner was boredisappointed long before the thought entered your mind.

Whatever the reason, these are your feelings and they should be dealt with. Thankfully, and just as with any headache, cold, or food poisoning bout, there are things you can do (yourself) for relief.

The first step to overcoming infidelity is admitting you’re tempted to cheat. After that comes the fun part!

“What?” you ask. “What fun part? I’m about to destroy my ten-year marriage with the pretzel guy from Costco!”

Hold on now, Brenda. Put down the cheese dip and zip up your fly. You can learn how to stop an affair from happening by leaning into the feelings of cheating without actually doing it. Let’s take a look at four options that can do just that.

1. Cheat on your partner… by having a “naughty” sleepover with your platonic best friend.

Throw a “self-care” night with your closest platonic (emphasis on platonic) best friend, and soak up the sinfulness of it all. Junk food, face masks, roses and candles, confessions, whatever — do what you wish someone else would do for you.

Your romantic partner can’t meet every need in your life. This is why friendships exist. It’s unnecessarily painful to depend on one person for every aspect of your emotional well-being — not to mention unrealistic. But there are ways to get your emotional needs met without ruining your partner’s life. Gush over the grocery boy with your bestie and there’s no harm done. Letting the grocery boy gush on you, well… that’s what’s we’d like to avoid.

Pro tip: TELL YOUR FRIEND ABOUT YOUR URGE TO CHEAT. This (1) makes you accountable to someone outside of your partnership, (2) presents a great opportunity for advice from someone you trust, and/or (3) validates and affirms your boredisappointment without getting an STD.

2. Cheat on your spouse… with a project.

Why is it that when people cheat, they can always find time to do so — but when it’s a painting or building a zen garden, there are a million things more important?

In an interview for The Rumpus, Elizabeth Gilbert recommends approaching your creative project like it’s a secret lover. “Go have an affair with your book…just get some sexy lavender underwear from the girl in Coyote Ugly and go have a fling with your book.”

If there’s a story you’ve always wanted to write, paint, crochet, or sculpt, find secret times to do so. And if you’re feeling frisky, you’re in luck: from boudoir photography to romance novels to sexy dance classes and more, there’s a whole world of titillating activities for you.

Pro tip: To satisfy your urge for sensual risk, why not pose nude for an art class — or take an art class and draw somebody else? Often, the rush of seeing and/or being seen is enough to satisfy the urge to cheat — or (even better) get over it completely.

Couple On Kitchen

3. Cheat on your spouse… by pursuing a real adrenaline rush.

Try something dangerous; I dare you. Go skydiving or bungee jumping (with a reputable guide, of course). Go ride a horse and fall off. Do that thing in Vegas where you rent a racecar and pretend to be Ricky Bobby. Experts say that spontaneous excitement boosts your dopamine levels, which can satisfy the pleasurable rush you’ve been craving.

Now I’m not a psychic, but I have a feeling that tropical cliff-diving is a lot more worthwhile than fondling some guy you met at a fundraiser. Unless he’s Tom Hardy, he ain’t that cute.

Pro tip: Take your partner with you! You might be surprised with this one. There’s a certain kind of closeness that comes from defying death with a lover. Please don’t risk your life on my account, but… jump out of a plane. See what happens.

4. Actually cheat on your partner…but do it with your partner.

Maybe both of you are boredisappointed, who knows? Perhaps they’re even more boredisappointed than you are, but haven’t discovered LOVE TV yet.  Lucky for them, they have you. Cha-ching!

Instead of thinking about how to stop an affair, think of how you would start one — and then get your partner involved. Surprise them with a naughty email from a private account, or arrange a ‘secret’ tryst with them. Have them meet you on his or her break at work, or after hours at a surprise location. You can go all ‘role-play’ if you want, but trust me — sometimes, doing something that feels forbidden and secretive is the best way to feel like your true self.

Pro tip: Sexting isn’t just for single Millennials. Worst sext-case scenario, you can just send each other sexy spoofs and laugh about it. At least then you’ll both be smiling.

To have a good relationship, you need to take care of yourself.

You can stop an affair before it begins by acknowledging that your needs for novelty, excitement, play, emotional satisfaction, or pleasure aren’t being met – and then finding alternate ways of providing these needs for yourself. By all means, include your partner in as much or as little of this as you’d like, but this is on you. There are healthy ways to do this without ruining your life.

What are some other ways you can think of to overcome infidelity urges? Share your stories in the comments below! And for more reading on ethical cheating options, check out this perspective on polyamory or this one on nonmonogamy. (Yep, they’re different!)