Study Reveals Who Your Spouse Will Most Likely Have An Affair With — And Why

Photo: Unsplash: Kinga Cichewicz
Why Do Men And Women Cheat And Who Are They Most Likely To Be Cheating With? Scientific Studies Explain Infidelity

Sorry. It's science.

By Anka Radakovich

With so many cheating husbands and wives in marriages these days, scientific researchers are busy trying to figure out why married people feel drawn to having an affair with other women and men. Most studies estimate that about 14 percent of married women and 22 percent of married men admit to having cheated on their spouse at least once in their married lives.

But ... who are they cheating with?


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One recent study conducted by the people at Superdrug Online Doctor, a web-based pharmaceutical treatment and service provider in the UK, found one particularly startling statistic: a whopping 40.6 percent of women and 32.9 percent of men in the group of 2,000 Europeans and Americans surveyed said they cheated with a friend.

And it gets worse. In another study, online jeweler Forktip surveyed 5,000 respondents in order to "understand how relationships and ‘mating rituals’ are evolving."

In doing so they learned that 23.8 percent of the cheaters who responded said they had an affair with their partner's friend!

So wrong! But apparently, so exciting ... Who knew?


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Cheaters responding to that study also admit cheating with people they meet at work (22.4 percent), one of their partner's family members (3.9 percent) and generalized "others" (49.9 percent).

Another big secret among cheating husbands and wives is that they tend to cheat with other married people. (I need to get married so I can cheat.)

As most people are aware, Ashley Madison — the dating site for people who are “married but dating” — accidentally exposed its members’ emails and personal data after being hacked in 2015, yet nearly three years later, they are thriving with more members than ever before. In the process of recovering from the bad press associated with the infamous hacking, Rob Segal, CEO of parent company Ruby, explained that the "new Ashley Madison is focused on facilitating 'open-minded' hookups, such as for polyamorous couples or singles looking for a BDSM partner — or all of the above."

“The fastest-growing category (in dating websites) is this open-minded one," Segal said in a public statement back in 2016, "as people really begin to question 20th-century values and apply a new 21st-century approach to human sexuality.”

The site also changed its original slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair,” to the more whimsical, "Find your moment."

While the move to welcome more people in polyamorous relationships makes sense, as polyamory is way more ethical than cheating, a quick browse through the married guys on the site reveals tons of married men saying things like, “I love my wife, but she doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore.”

(That may be 'cuz she’s busy having sex with your best friend.)

Another cheating study called "The Brain Adapts to Dishonesty" and published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience explains the psychological reasons people have affairs.

The study focused on an area of the brain called the amygdala, the location in which we form and store "memories associated with emotional events." Researchers studied functional MRI images of participants given opportunities to lie or act dishonestly in order to achieve something in their own interests. The findings indicate that humans have "a biological mechanism that supports a ‘slippery slope’: what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions."

In other words, the more omeone cheats, lies about it, and gets away with it, the more their degree of guilt lessens each time, and the more likely they are to repeat the dishonest behavior they got away with.

So what’s the good news here?

The Superdrug study referenced above found that the number one reason American and European women cheat is because their "partner stopped paying attention to me,” so they looked for that attention elsewhere. So in the end, its not really about the sex, its about the compassion and intimacy.

Well, for women, at least.

The number one reason American and European men cheat is because "the other person was really hot."So there's that.

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t introduce your spouse to your best friend.


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Anka Radakovich is a legendary sex columnist, certified sexologist, sex educator, screenwriter, and author. She is currently a columnist for British GQ and has written for Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men's Journal, Seventeen, Glamour, Maxim and more.

This article was originally published at Sexpert.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.