Risk Factors in Cheating

Cheating can be a coping mechanism in individual problems or the expression of individual wants and needs, or it can occur as a reaction to relationship problems, but it is important to note that cheating can manifest itself not only in problematic relationships, but also in relationships that are going well.

There are many studies that establish a relationship between marital dissatisfaction and infidelity, suggesting that this concept is a primary risk factor for infidelity. However, there is a possibility that relationship dissatisfaction can be the cause of cheating, as well as the result.

Thompson (1983) stated that dissatisfaction with marriage and sexuality; When it comes together with other negative factors such as feeling lonely in marriage, the need for emotional freedom, alienation, the presence of extramarital affairs in the environment, separation of sexuality and love, it has revealed that it is strongly associated with extramarital affairs. Similarly, another study by Atkins et al found that relationship satisfaction strongly predicted cheating. The results of the study showed that participants who positioned themselves in the “not very happy” option in their marriage were four times more likely to cheat in their relationships than those who described themselves as “very happy”, and participants who chose the “quite happy” option were twice as likely to cheat in their relationships than those who chose the “very happy” option.

Glass and Wright (1985) discussed the relationship between infidelity and marital dissatisfaction in terms of genders and found that women who had extramarital affairs experienced more marital dissatisfaction compared to men. According to the results of the same study, while the desire to reach more emotional satisfaction than the emotional satisfaction in their relationship is a motivating reason for women, sexuality seems to be more motivating for men than marital dissatisfaction. The results of the cited study seem to support the idea that there is a relationship between marital dissatisfaction and infidelity.

In a study on variables that predicted sexual infidelity in married individuals, marital satisfaction and sociodemographic variables were found to be highly correlated with sexual infidelity; In addition, neurotic personality structure, religious belief, and pregnancy variables have also been shown to have predictive power of sexual infidelity.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, environmental factors such as ease of access to other people and diversity are among the risk factors for cheating. There are researchers who explain the inequality between the distribution of men and women in cheating rates and argue that men have a higher potential for cheating due to their historical involvement in business life compared to women and their contact with more people due to work. The decrease in the difference between gender distribution in cheating rates, which may be due to the fact that it started to take place a lot, seems to support the idea that access to other people may have an effect on cheating. Some extramarital affairs may be strongly associated with major psychiatric disorders, personality disorders, or paraphilia. For example, disorders such as hypomania, cocaine addiction, psychopathic personality, and exhibitionism challenge people’s capacity to remain loyal, patient, and responsible.

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