Cheating is arguably the worst thing that could happen to your relationship (especially if your boyfriend lusts after the likes o' Miley Cyrus). But you might want to quit complaining about your independent boyfriend who doesn't text you each and every night before he goes to sleep. According to a new study, needy people are the ones most likely to be having an affair. The study, led by psychologist Michelle Russell at Florida State University, concluded that insecure people are those most likely to stray.
The study surveyed 200 newly married couples over a period of four years. The questionnaires they were given show that people with abandonment issues and lower self-confidence are more likely to cheat. In fact, in a couple with an insecure partner, both partners are more likely to cheat. Because everyone wants to escape this:
In contrast, couples where both partners felt more secure were the least likely to stray. Basically, a crippling fear of infidelity is likely to lead to infidelity (big surprise, it's not just about men supposedly having higher sex drives).
Most studies on infidelity distinguish between two types of attachment — anxious attachment, where fear of abandonment leads to clingy behavior, and avoidant attachment, where people ignore their insecurity and attempt to retain their independence. Previous research pointed to the avoidant attached as the most likely cheaters, but Russell has found that the anxiously attached are actually more likely to stray. This is mostly explained by the fact that most studies focus on undergraduates, while Russell's research looked at relationships with higher levels of commitment.
People with abandonment issues and lower self-confidence are more likely to cheat.
Bottom line, if your partner seems dangerously clingy, it might signify a bigger problem than endless loving messages. A relationship where both partners are secure can only be stronger — now you can be thankful you guys don't breathe in tandem.
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