Cheating is a terrifying prospect when you’re in a relationship. And while the majority of people don’t cheat, it can happen. A new study from the University of Connecticut is out to discover just what makes people cheat—and the results are surprising: Both men and women are more prone to cheating on their spouses when they’re more economically dependent on them, the research found.
For the study, researcher Christin Munsch, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, analyzed pooled data of 9,000 people, aged 18 to 32, from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. She looked at how satisfied people were in their marriage and their sexual activity to determine whether they cheated.
Not only that, but Munsch discovered that men who made money but weren’t the primary breadwinners were also more likely to cheat. The sweet spot, she discovered, was when they earned 70 percent of the family’s total income. At that point, they were the least likely to cheat.
Women, on the other hand, are less likely to cheat the more money they earn for their families.
However, Munsch stresses that people shouldn’t freak out about her findings. “The majority of people who are economically dependent are not cheating,” she says. “Men have a 15 percent chance of cheating but an 85 percent chance of staying faithful. I don’t want people to read this and think their relationship is doomed.”
Her takeaway: The most important thing is to pick a partner who is not going to be threatened by your success. And on the flip side, it’s important for you to be a cheerleader for your partner’s success, as well.
STUDY REVEALS THAT ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE MAKES A PERSON CHEAT IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP