How To Prevent Cheating, According To Research

Here's how you can stop your partner from straying.

Last updated on Jun 19, 2023

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We recently shared the news that fewer couples are divorcing due to infidelity, which seems like a great victory for the legions of faithful, til-death-do-us-part men and women of the world. When you marry someone, you expect them not to stray, which is the bare minimum.

But unfortunately, though it's not causing married couples to beeline it to divorce court, the fact of the matter is this: Cheating still exists. Sometimes the significant other finds out; sometimes the act of unfaithfulness remains a secret.


But at the end of the day, any type of infidelity leads to one ultimate and universal question: Why? Why risk everything for a fleeting moment of passion? Do they wonder about the consequences? 

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Researchers in Canada sought to answer that very question in a 2011 study of a group of 1,000 men and women. The findings, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, offered some insight into what personality and relationship factors drive people to sexually stray from their significant others.

For starters, 23 percent of the guys and 19 percent of the ladies involved in the study had previously cheated on a partner. The study defined cheating as a sexual interaction "with someone other than your primary partner that could jeopardize, or hurt, your relationship."

RELATED: The 5 Main Reasons Why Men Cheat

Furthermore, researchers found that women were most likely to cheat when they felt low relationship satisfaction or unhappiness in their partnership.


In fact, a gal who felt unhappy with her partner was 2.6 times more likely to stray. Throw in some sexual incompatibility (in terms of values and attitudes) and women were 2.9 times more likely to have an affair. Meanwhile, men who reported high sexual inhibition due to performance anxiety were more likely to cheat.

Yikes! From the gist of that, it seems that normal relationship woes drive people to be unfaithful. It almost makes it seem hopeless to try. Maybe you can have your cake and eat it too? A lovely husband to come home to and a cute pool boy on the side.

RELATED: 7 Unsexy Things Couples Should Do Regularly To Prevent Cheating

Or not.

The lead researcher, Robin Milhausen, provides a seemingly simple solution: Conversation.


And yes, sometimes having an open discussion with your partner about your needs and expectations (both physically and emotionally) is easier said than done, but looking at the above causes for infidelity, it seems like taking the plunge and having that chat is an easy alternative to having your heart broken.

If your partner is going to cheat, the least he can do is tell you so you can high-tail it out of there sooner than later.

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Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, and blogger who writes about the rules of love and relationships.