An affair doesn’t usually “just happen.” It usually begins long before the two individuals even meet, when marital issues are becoming too much to bear.
When negative feelings are kept inside or the fear of conflict outweighs solutions, emotional distance is created. That distance can spark loneliness and an emptiness that needs to be filled. To fill the void, one partner may decide to confide in someone else, and as a result, emotional intimacy—and eventually physical intimacy—develops.
What Type of Person Gets Cheated on?
In a 2020 study, researchers wanted to see if there is a type of person that gets cheated on in relationships. Specifically, they were curious about aspects of a person’s personality that may make them more susceptible to having their partner or spouse have an affair.
Accounting for age, education, gender, race/ethnicity, and religiousness, they found:
- Those who were less conscientious (i.e., more careless, less hard-working and organized) were more likely to have a partner cheat on them
- Those who were more agreeable (i.e., more warm and helpful) were more likely to have their spouse commit infidelity.
This is no way an attempt to victim-blame you if you happen to be an agreeable or non-conscientious person and get cheated on. But it does provide some insight on a common marital issue. Ultimately, being more conscientious won’t guarantee your partner won’t cheat, but exuding greater responsibility, self-discipline, and helpfulness can benefit your relationship.
Is Your Marriage Vulnerable to an Affair?
Even though there is a “typical” profile for the victim of an affair, an even better predictor of one is loneliness and opportunity. Some strong marriages can be prone to affairs, when one partner grew up in a home or works in an environment where infidelity is the norm.
Many people can find it in their hearts to forgive their spouse’s actions, but many other believe it’s a betrayal beyond forgiveness. If you believe your partner is having an affair, but need proof to know for sure, a private investigator can help you find it.