A survey of counseling professionals from YourTango.com—the digital leader in love and relationships—sheds dramatic, new light on infidelity. Surprisingly, it's not about the sex. Instead, emotional dissatisfaction is the number-one reason both men and women cheat, according to these experts, while sexual dissatisfaction comes in second. Only 8% of respondents say men are "hard-wired" to "spread their seed."
About this statistic, YourTango Expert Lynn R. Zakeri has this to say: "It may sound surprising, but many men are really looking for someone to connect with, to be their best friend and their intimate partner, and when they lose that connection in their marriage, they may look elsewhere." Meanwhile, YourTango Expert Dr. Susan Heitler adds, "While there are many factors that can lead to an extramarital sexual encounter, emotional distance is one that couples can prevent. If there's been distress, dissension or too much distance, take a marriage ed class to learn how to stay more comfortably connected."
Members of YourTango Experts, an organization of 1,200 psychotherapists, counselors, coaches and other helping professionals, completed a survey that reveals numerous insights on infidelity, including culprits, preventative measures and counterintuitive advice for adulterers.
While nearly 50% agree that technology is a catalyst for cheating, only 7% indicate that Facebook has increased the number of affairs significantly. 90% say that dating sites like Match.com just provide the opportunity; if someone wants to cheat, he/she will find a way regardless of the sites or services available.
The top two measures to prevent cheating are: (1) for both partners to feel valued and important to each other and (2) to have good communication. Satisfying sex clocked in third.
"This data is consistent with our previous research that underscores the real problem for most couples is less about sex and more about feeling valued and communicating successfully," states Andrea Miller, CEO and Founder of YourTango. "And while 50% of affairs play out sexually, emotional affairs constitute the betrayal a whopping 40% of the time. It's the lack of closeness that overwhelmingly leads to cheating and discord."
Thankfully, there's hope for the unfaithful. 81% disagree with the adage "once a cheater, always a cheater." YourTango Expert Dr. Shoshanna Bennett explains this result saying, "Sometimes certain factors collide in one's life which may lead to cheating. Once those circumstances are handled or worked through (usually regarding the primary relationship), the temptation to cheat frequently disappears, never to return again."
Additional findings include:
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
Find out how your relationship personality is affecting you and the people you love.Take Quiz
Find out for sure to best interact and deal with others.Take Quiz