There's no gut-punch, wind-knocked-out-of-you feeling quite like finding out the love of your life has been unfaithful to you. Hopefully, you will never have to personally experience the pain of being cheated on, or be guilty of infidelity yourself, but until you do, you'll never know just how painful it can be. When you are with a person you plan to spend the rest of your life with and you find out they have been sneaking around on you, it's easy to take this betrayal personally. But one thing is for sure: It's never your fault. Any acts committed by a cheater relate back to their own issues, and perhaps even more certainly, their biology.
Scientists study cheating as part of understanding human relationships and how they work, or for that matter, how they don't work. These studies are relevant to so many people, as researchers have uncovered that infidelity affects 1 out of every 2.7 couples and 60% of men and 40% of women have admitted to being unfaithful at some point in their relationship. With the introduction of social media and dating apps, it's easier than ever to find a partner in crime, or rather, a second partner to cheat with. This has led to several new studies about how and why people cheat, as well as where they're most likely to find other partners. Here are 15 things you need to know about cheating.
15 Faking It
Most women who admit to faking the big O with their partner say they do say because they are trying to spare their partner's feelings. That seems to be a good enough explanation for faking it, but as some researchers found, it could go far beyond protecting your guy's ego! When a psychologist from Harvard University analyzed the findings of a 138 women and 121 men in relationships and their experiences with faking it, and with infidelity, he found that both men and women who fake it more often, are more likely to have been unfaithful to their partners. There are only theories as to why this may be, but one of the most likely reasons is to make your partner believe you are satisfied in your relationship. This is not something that should be lied about, always be honest with your partner so you can figure out how to get them or yourself to the big O.
The hottest thing about Wednesdays seems just to be its nickname: Hump Day. One would think the weekends bring on far more opportunities to cheat than the middle of the week ever would, thanks to the likelihood of being in social places filled with attractive men and women where alcohol is served. As it turns out, Wednesday evenings between 5 and 7 PM are the most common time for people to cheat. In fact, over 18% of more than 172,000 admittedly unfaithful people said this is the time they are most likely to cheat. When you think about it, this makes sense, most people feel as though it is easier to pull off cheating during the week as people are more suspicious of their partners on weekends. Weekdays for most people are about work and getting all you need done in order to live freely on the weekend. Most people would not suspect weekdays let along Wednesday to be the cheating peak. This even shocked us!
13 The French and Their Views on Cheating
When you think of France, you probably get glimpses of the Eiffel Tower, of delicious red wine and fine cheeses, countless museums... and cheating? According to a 2013 survey, only 47% of French people believe that cheating is morally unacceptable, which puts them in the #1 spot of most accepting of this behavior. And it wasn't even a close-call: 2nd place goes to Germany, where 60% of people find infidelity morally unacceptable. That means not only are the majority of French people forgiving of infidelity, they are also the only country to have a majority with that belief. On the other end of the spectrum, Turkey and Palestine tied for the least accepting of infidelity, with 94% regarding it as immoral.
Another interesting fact pertains to dating sites. According to YourTango "84 percent of Jewish singles reported that they've never cheated in a relationship, as opposed to only 66 percent of Christian singles."
12 Cheating Isn't the Cause of Most Divorces
With how prevalent cheating in marriages is, you might think it's also the reason the divorce rate is so high, when in fact, another factor takes the cake. A survey done by the Divorce Financial Analysts found that basic incompatibility was the leading cause of divorce with 43%. Infidelity did, in fact, take second place with 28%, with things like drug use, parenting disagreements, abuse, and money issues all coming after. Further studies need to be done to discover if fundamental incompatibility is linked to an increased chance of cheating to shine a lot more light on this survey's findings. This is why we are lucky to now have the freedom to wait to get married, we no longer feel the social pressures of settling down in our early 20s. We can take the time to get to know someone and to make sure they are the one for us.
11 Broken Hearts
We've all seen movies and TV shows where a cheating man collapses at the feet of his mistress from an apparent heart attack, and this might have more to do with reality than with good TV than we once thought. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a correlation between infidelity and increased odds of cardiac risk and men who are unfaithful are found to have a higher chance of experiencing cardiac arrest. This just goes to show that cheating on someone not only breaks their heart, but it can do serious damage to yours as well! We can only assume the stress and worrying must get to someone after spending so much time trying to hide what is going on. Let this be a warning, cheat and you could end up with a broken heart, literally.
10 What's Do the Fingers Have to do With It?
A collaborative study between the University of Oxford and Northumbria University researched any possible correlation between the lengths of the index and ring fingers and any impact that could have on a person's odds of being unfaithful. While finger length seems to be a rather random factor in a person's relationship behaviors, the study had some findings that we think you will find to be quite interesting. It found that the shorter the index finger in relation to the ring finger, the more testosterone you were exposed to in utero. What does this mean for cheating? Well, increased exposure to testosterone in utero is linked to increased promiscuity. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and in this study in particular, the findings were subtle and only occurred when a large selection of people has been investigated. So don't go running over to check your guy's fingers just yet.
9 Is Online Flirting Cheating?
There is some gray area as to what constitutes as cheating and what is "harmless" flirting, so researchers set out to learn what millennials think counts as cheating and where flirting online falls into it. A vast majority of millennials (82%) were found to categorize online flirting as cheating, while only 15% disagreed, and 2% were unsure. Of the people surveyed, 88% of women think online flirtations are cheating compared to 77% of the men. This is perhaps not entirely surprising, considering women are more likely to find emotional cheating worse than that of the physical variety and are more apt to leave their partner if they learn they have been unfaithful. With social media on the rise so is online cheating, even though people know it is wrong they still do it. This is something to be careful of, you don't want to get tangled up in a web of lies.
8 Do We Inherit Cheating Behavior?
A 2014 study from the University of Queensland found that our genetic makeup has a much stronger influence on our likelihood of cheating than was once thought. By studying sets of twins and siblings who were in long term relationships, researchers learned a very interesting few things. The importance of studying both twins and siblings shows which traits may be genetically identical or only having some shared genetic material. By studying these groups, researchers found that 63% of a man's likelihood of cheating came down to his genetics, compared to only 40% of a woman's. Scientists say there is a greater biological payoff for men who cheat (more offspring and more chances to pass down their genes), while a woman's biological motivation for cheating is not entirely clear. So don't go thinking that this can be used as an excuse, you still know the difference between right and wrong.
7 Blondes Have More Fun...And More Affairs
This next study did not have significant scientific backings the way others do, but the results were interesting nonetheless. Cheaterville.com is a site devoted to exposing cheaters, and they studied all those who were listed as cheaters and categorized them by their hair color. While brunette women are far more widespread than blondes, the study found that 42% of the women listed as cheaters on the site were blonde, compared to 23% being redheads, and the rest constituting of brunettes and black-haired women. On the man's side, the most likely hair color of a cheater was brunette with 40%, black hair 32%, blonde hair 20%, and 5% red haired.
According to Medical Daily "While Cheaterville.com findings seem to indicate that hair color is extremely important to relationships at risk for infidelity, they also acknowledge that their survey did not address balding, temporary or permanent hair coloring as well as race and ethnicity. " Fascinating.
6 Telltale Swimmers
Now this is one the facts on this list that you might find to be the most fascinating, as it was for us. Clinical sexologist, Dr. Lindsey Doe, asserts that around 40% of sperm is known as "kamikaze sperm," or sperm that is meant to fight off the sperm of other men. These sperm are not designed to actually inseminate the egg, rather, their sole purpose is to make sure another man's sperm won't have the chance either, picture them as the defenders in the whole thing. Researchers examined the semen of men who suspected their partners of cheating and found that when they do, the levels of kamikaze sperm rise! These findings are still debated as to their accuracy and relevance, but if they are proved to be correct, it is indeed very absorbing. Therefor sperm knows to protect itself when they suspect wrongdoing by the partner. Makes sense.
5 Cheating with Friends
Cheating with a stranger might seem like a better way to make sure your partner never finds out, but most men actually cheat with women that they know. One study found that 50% of admittedly unfaithful women and 62% of admittedly unfaithful men were involved with someone in the workplace! In fact, it is believed that more than 60% of affairs begin in the workplace, while other studies suggest that this number could be upwards of 85%. These numbers are certainly high, but considering how much time is spent in the office, often in close quarters with other people, they aren't that surprising. Other studies have found that coworkers often engage in secret affairs due to their friendship beforehand and a certain level of trust that is created during their time working in such close quarters. The trust they develop helps one another to think they will never spill their secret. Sneaky.
4 Added Risk
While the male member doesn't technically have bones in it, it can be fractured if it experiences forceful trauma when it is erect. Following the fracture, the penis will hemorrhage and swell, causing immediate agony. Urologist Dr. Andrew Kramer conducted a study of patients admitted for penile fractures between 2004-2011 and found some very interesting results. More than half of the patients with fractured penises sustained their injuries while conducting an extramarital affair, coincidence you think? That's right, cheating on your significant other can lead to an increased risk of a broken male member. Scientists suspect these odds are increased due to the likelihood affairs are often conducted in unconventional settings where the actual sex act gets more complicated an acrobatic. As if a guy needed another reason NOT to cheat, risk of breaking their member has got to be on the list of terrifying deterrants.
3 Those Most Likely to Cheat
While scientists have nailed down particular traits that are common in people who are unfaithful, of course having these traits doesn't mean you're bound to be a cheater, or that the person you're with is either. A plethora of research has uncovered five things most commonly found in people who cheat and the results were sometimes surprising, and other times not so much. One of the least surprising was that cheaters are most likely to be wealthy men or poor women. Researchers suspect this may be due to poorer women hoping to improve their financial status by getting involved with wealthy men. The other four factors were a person's age ending in 9, heavy social media users, those who have cheated before (not so surprising), and those who experience a sudden increase in their sexual desire with their partner.
2 A Cheater's Gotta Eat
When it comes to random facts about cheating, it may not get more random than the fact someone took the time to find out where cheaters are most likely to dine. Have you ever thought about this? Because apparently many people do.
When notorious affair-facilitating website Ashley Madison ran a poll to find out where their customers are most likely to eat, the answers were perhaps surprising, or perhaps not so much. You might not have suspected the following restaurants to be top choices for those looking outside of their relationships. Of the 40,000+ people who answered, the majority listed chain restaurants like Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Lobster as their go-to places for secret dinners. This is not surprising due to the sheer popularity of these restaurants with MOST random population samplings, but the fact that these places are so heavily populated might increase the chances of being caught. Isn't this something they are worried about?
1 Famous Cheaters
Remember how wealthy men are most likely to conduct affairs? Nothing supports this finding more than the sheer volume of affairs caught being unfaithful, however several female celebrities have also been caught cheating. Perhaps celebrities don't actually cheat more than anyone else, but it's simply made much more public. Either way, the public eats up these stories and while some accused celebrities are able to move on from the drama, many never recover from their damaged reputations. Some celebrities involved in cheating scandals that really took the public by surprise include Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart, Leann Rimes, Jennifer Lopez, Jude Law, Katharine McPhee, Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt, and Larry King. If these names shocked you, just think about how many celebs have cheated without us ever knowing. With their lives so public it is shocking that any of these people would have the guts to go through with infidelity.