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Question for Sexual in a relationship with an Ace

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

I don't know who you see here ignoring their partners and claiming moral high ground. I think you may be projecting from your experiences with one specific ace. Actually no ace has chimed in on this yet and no one at all has suggested ignoring a partner's misery at all - whether sexual or ace.

 

Unless I missed something. I saw @ChainReact's post and simply commented on that. I don't think he is saying that his wife is ignoring his misery. In fact I'm pretty sure he describes her being oblivious to it.

 

This is actually not true. It is a monogamous myth. You can love more than one person. Good camaraderie often develops into cheating without the original relationship being in trouble at all. Plain old attraction, small intimacies that seem harmless escalate. People routinely have poly relationships without original relationship being in trouble. The cheating isn't caused by the attraction but by the poor boundaries - which anyone can have. Marriage isn't some magic innoculation.

 

 

Read the book Not "Just Friends" - it has references to that research and a lot more other research as well and really covers the subject of infidelity very well, without moralizing and using a lot of data.

Asexual claims of obliviousness in the face of sexuals pointing out explicitly what's going on seem very, very similar to ignoring it to me. 

 

Your other argument seems to assume polygamous instincts. I've been in happy relationships and unhappy ones. In the first I wouldn't have dreamed of infidelity. I had no need to go outside the relationship; in unhappy relationships it's a constant thought, because the unmet needs are constant. You can't extrapolate every single relationship from your own approach to relationships. 

 

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anamikanon
6 minutes ago, CBC said:

I will definitely look that book up, sounds interesting actually.

 

Fair enough about the poly point, yeah. I suppose I was coming at it from the persepctive of the discussion being about a clearly unfulfilled partner in what was intended to be a monogamous relationship, and in that sense if neither person is polyamorous, cheating is indeed a sign of an already-existing problem.

No, cheating in monogamous relationships, particularly with work colleagues and such usually happens when there is a perfectly good relationship at home. It is simply the extended contact, camaraderie, an aspect of you that is understood better by the new partner and opportunities and so on. So the cheating partner can actually be and act loving and completely normal at home and their partner may not suspect a thing and in fact, the zing of sexual excitement in their life from the affair can also result in passionate intimacy at home. And this isn't me giving an opinion, but something I've seen in cheating situations among people, heard about from marriage counsellors and so on. Though the cheating being found out often ends the marriage regardless of the relationship being good right up to the point of it being found out. Even if they don't break up, it results in years of trauma and lost trust in the relationship that is very hard to mend.

 

Edit: The example of poly was simply to give a very obvious example of people being capable of loving more than one person. In cheating, they do it dishonestly. In poly they do it honestly, but there doesn't have to be a problem with an existing relationship to love someone new.

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Telecaster68
6 minutes ago, ChainReact said:

it’s just been difficult to explain the depth of the problem to someone who totally doesn’t get it (like telling a colorblind person that their pants and shoes clash horribly).

They don't have to see the colours, just accept that as a non colour blind person, the shoes and pants clash. 

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

No, cheating in monogamous relationships, particularly with work colleagues and such usually happens when there is a perfectly good relationship at home. It is simply the extended contact, camaraderie, an aspect of you that is understood better by the new partner and opportunities and so on. So the cheating partner can actually be and act loving and completely normal at home and their partner may not suspect a thing and in fact, the zing of sexual excitement in their life from the affair can also result in passionate intimacy at home. And this isn't me giving an opinion, but something I've seen in cheating situations among people, heard about from marriage counsellors and so on. Though the cheating being found out often ends the marriage regardless of the relationship being good right up to the point of it being found out. Even if they don't break up, it results in years of trauma and lost trust in the relationship that is very hard to mend.

Define 'usually'. 

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anamikanon
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

Define 'usually'. 

In about 8 instances of cheating, where I knew at least one party to the cheating, there was absolutely no major relationship issue going on when the cheater began their new relationship. I don't actually know anyone who went seeking to cheat because they had a problem at home. 

 

Marriage counsellor in one of those eight instances actually said in conversation that it is more common for there to be threats of infidelity in a troubled marriage than actual cheating and that most people who cheat don't actually want their marriage to end and it is usually the spouse who feels betrayed that initates divorce proceedings. This is not to say it doesn't happen, but the fact of it is that most decent people don't set out to cheat. They simply feel understood and close to someone and enjoy it enough to make allowances till a time comes when the pretence is so flimsy that it gets dropped. This is the most common pattern I have seen among people who cheat with someone they meet on a near daily basis - which in turn is the only kind of cheating I know of from knowing actual parties in the situation.

 

Sit at same table for lunch turns into a pattern for waiting for the other to come before having lunch turns to rescheduling if necessary to be able to do it, extends to coffee at work, then maybe something before/after, casual physical contact, hug while arriving or leaving or emotional moment and so on. May vary, but common theme is that it escalates.

 

If you think of it, you avoid telling your partner because you still want to retain their good opinion of you. If you wanted to punish them, you'd be throwing your new relationship in their face to reject them, before dumping them, no? Or at least to humiliate them daily?

 

This is not to say this is an always/never situation. Simply that the patterns are quite dramatically different when you actually analyze instances from what the popular stereotype is.

 

The book also mentions similar, but offhand I can't mention specific research numbers or whatever.

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ChainReact
18 minutes ago, CBC said:

I will definitely look that book up, sounds interesting actually.

 

Fair enough about the poly point, yeah. I suppose I was coming at it from the persepctive of the discussion being about a clearly unfulfilled partner in what was intended to be a monogamous relationship, and in that sense if neither person is polyamorous, cheating is indeed a sign of an already-existing problem within the partnership.

I actually am pretty sure I’m poly by nature. In fact, I would enjoy a sense of compersion in my partner finding excitement from a secondary relationship - just so long as they don’t run off together. 

 

11 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

They don't have to see the colours, just accept that as a non colour blind person, the shoes and pants clash. 

But they won’t understand just how terribly the shoes and pants clash. It’s so much worse than they could imagine. 

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cbc
11 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

This is not to say it doesn't happen, but the fact of it is that most decent people don't set out to cheat. 

Sure, that's perhaps the case, but just because they didn't intentionally seek it out doesn't mean that when they find something fulfilling elsewhere, for many people at least, it doesn't mean there's not a realisation that something is missing or wrong in their primary relationship. I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons it happens, given how varied we are as human beings, but I guess what I'm drawing on is a little different than your own sources. From personal experience and from being aware of the experiences of a handful of others, it's generally been a case of "something is off here and we're not acknowledging it or don't know what to do about it".

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ryn2

There are also folks out there who just like to cheat, similar to stealing when not wanting for anything or lying just for fun.

 

I’m going to assume this overall discussion isn’t about them, though, or about poly people in unnaturally-monogamous relationships.

 

Employing cheating as a way to get a message across is - from a relationship perspective, not an individual one - a bit like using suicide to convey “I really, really hate you.”  It sure does send the message home, but at great cost.

 

If the message is “I do want to fix things but I’m at the end of my rope,” cheating just leaves more to fix.  If it’s “this is done,” then cowboy/girl up and say so.

 

Sometimes it’s the latter with a subtext of “and I want you to suffer like I have” or of “but I want you to break it off so I don’t have to.”

 

Again, be an adult and just end it...

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ryn2
49 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

No, cheating in monogamous relationships, particularly with work colleagues and such usually happens when there is a perfectly good relationship at home. It is simply the extended contact, camaraderie, an aspect of you that is understood better by the new partner and opportunities and so on. So the cheating partner can actually be and act loving and completely normal at home and their partner may not suspect a thing and in fact, the zing of sexual excitement in their life from the affair can also result in passionate intimacy at home.

This is actually something I’ve seen a lot of as well, so it would be another example of a scenario I didn’t think the gang was discussing....

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ryn2
51 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

They don't have to see the colours, just accept that as a non colour blind person, the shoes and pants clash. 

This is just getting it intellectually.  It’s not really understanding, feeling, and believing it.

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Telecaster68

I'm sure it happens. But the initial argument that discontent in a relationship just wasn't a factor in infidelity, which is clearly not the case.

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ryn2
17 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm sure it happens. But the initial argument that discontent in a relationship just wasn't a factor in infidelity, which is clearly not the case.

There are many factors in infidelity, of which relationship discontent is one and personal discontent is another.  The last time I saw stats on it, neither was close to being the most common cause... but it’s been over a decade (probably close to two) since I did any real information-seeking on it.  Most of the research I did see way back then aimed to debunk the popular myth that infidelity is something the cheated-on partner can prevent.

 

 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

here are many factors in infidelity, of which relationship discontent is one and personal discontent is another

I agree. But @anamikanon was arguing that it was never anything to do with relationship discontent.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I agree. But @anamikanon was arguing that it was never anything to do with relationship discontent.

@anamikanon is correct (or was, last I looked) that it not nearly as common a cause as people think it is.  In terms of what people see in their own friend/colleague groups, I’m sure that will vary.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

@anamikanon is correct (or was, last I looked) that it not nearly as common a cause as people think it is.  In terms of what people see in their own friend/colleague groups, I’m sure that will vary.

And since only friend groups have been cited on both sides, we don't know either way. But I'd say that by definition, a relationship where one partner is willing to break an understanding of monogamy isn't a healthy relationship.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

cheating in monogamous relationships

It's not a monogamous relationship if wifey is eating cock at her local gym then going home and kissing her hubby with tangy-flavoured lips lol. It's only monogamous if you're not fucking anyone else.

 

2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

They simply feel understood and close to someone and enjoy it enough to make allowances

There is a scientific term for this: Not being able to keep it in your pants. These are the people who bring STDs home to the trusting spouse. You can be close to someone and be their friend without having to get your genitals out of your jeans.

 

2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

there was absolutely no major relationship issue going on when the cheater began their new relationship. 

In other words, some people are pigs who (instead of being honest with their partner by admitting they're not comfortable with monogamy) get their kicks off with other people's naked bodies. Sure it's fun and feels good, but part of being in a healthy monogamous relationship is NOT giving into those baser instincts. If you (general 'you' here) know it would hurt your partner enough that they may break up with you over it (ergo the secrecy) then it's clearly not something you should be doing no matter how good it makes your genitals feel. And if you're driven to do something that may potentially hurt your partner that much (not to mention may give them diseases), purely for your own selfish pleasure, then yes there are underlying issues even if the cheater themselves doesn't recognise those issues. You don't do something you KNOW will break your partner's heart and potentially damage their health unless there's something not quite right happening on some level. There are of course many instances of cheating where the relationship is deeply troubled already and I'm not so harsh about those circumstances. It's just when someone goes and fucks around with a perfectly happy relationship (as those are the ones you're referring to apparently) that I take serious issue. 

 

On a more serious note: Having personally had sex with many, many married men I can say the vast majority of them are seeking something their wife can't give them. Whether that's an emotional need, a need for comfort, a specific sexual act, or a mixture of all three, many cheaters do so because they need something specific, the absence of which is causing them disquiet or unhappiness at home on some level. They may be very happy with the rest of their relationship, but they need this one thing enough that they're willing to risk the pain it may cause their partner to seek it out with someone else. If you're in enough pain on some level that you can risk creating pain in the person you love, then something is most definitely amiss in the relationship. That's regardless of whether or not the cheater is able to admit or even recognise that those issues exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ryn2

I’m not going to try to dig up research from 10-15 years ago so if someone is more motivated... go for it.

 

Cheating as a broad category doesn’t say much about the health of the relationship.

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ryn2

Sorry, that was for tele.  Ficto snuck into the middle.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

Sorry, that was for tele.  Ficto snuck into the middle.

I'd be interested to know your take on what I said in my comment, we seem to have rather different opinions on this matter :P

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ryn2
1 hour ago, FictoVore. said:

I'd be interested to know your take on what I said in my comment, we seem to have rather different opinions on this matter :P

I last did any research on the topic 10-15 years ago, so I’m not current, but my research at the time and ultimate personal opinion is that many ostensibly monogamous people give that excuse (“it’s something my spouse couldn’t give me”) to avoid facing the actual truth (which varies).  It’s the pass we’ve always given adulterous behavior and it’s an easy way to pass blame/say “I just couldn’t help myself.”  Nobody wants to say “eh, my spouse is fine but I just felt like it” or “whoops, I lied and said I’m monogamous and/or monoamorous when I’m really not.”

 

But, again, not super-current on the topic beyond anecdotal evidence these days.  The prevailing school of thought may have moved on without me.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

many ostensibly monogamous people give that excuse

Where 'many' is 10pc? 50pc? 90pc?

 

My problem with this whole line of argument is that it firmly places anyone going outside their relationship as very likely just doing it because they fancy a bit of strange, which is a very convenient narrative for aces who don't want to engage with their partner's issues with the relationship, and who view sex as having nothing to do with other elements of the relationship (which is almost never the case).

 

Of course this happens, but I don't think most people do it just because they can and they're bored with their completely idyllic relationship. The vast majority of people don't go into a relationship anticipating they'll cheat, so something must've happened. Maybe they got bored. But (without assigning blame) clearly something isn't right, in the same way that clearly something is going wrong with someone who's violent. People mostly don't just do things with a high risk of bad consequences when they're perfectly happy with their life.

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ryn2

I’m not moralizing.  I’ve been all three points on the triangle.  At the time I did the research it was to prove to someone (in whose relationship I was in no way involved) that her “blame the other woman” perspective was not correct... so I wasn’t investigating from an ace-ish place.  If you have the time and curiosity to look into it now, from your own perspective, by all means do so.

 

I’ve said in past discussions that - in anything requiring action - the person taking the action is more at fault.  Could that person be in a relationship that explains his/her/their actions?  Absolutely, but there are ways out of the situation that don’t require dishonesty.  Is dishonesty justified in some situations?  That’s each individual’s decision.

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ryn2
17 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The vast majority of people don't go into a relationship anticipating they'll cheat, so something must've happened.

The vast majority don’t expect to divorce, either.  All those bad things are done by and happen to other people.  People are very good at that particular brand of optimism.

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anamikanon
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

And since only friend groups have been cited on both sides, we don't know either way. But I'd say that by definition, a relationship where one partner is willing to break an understanding of monogamy isn't a healthy relationship.

I actually cited an entire book as well, which I don't have on hand right now. 

 

Edit: And a book on infidelity sees friendships sliding into cheating (as opposed to any discontentment being the trigger) often enough for the NAME of the book to be "Not 'Just friends'".

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anamikanon

Also, Google is thy friend. I just found these without hunting too hard. The corelations are for a lot of data points. Most of them irrelevant to satisfaction in marital relationships. Though lack of satisfaction is one too among the newer married people. Other strong corelations include a previous history of cheating (particularly for men), being the breadwinner, age, etc

 

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-predictors-infidelity-divorce-highlighted.html

https://ifstudies.org/blog/who-cheats-more-the-demographics-of-cheating-in-america

 

This one mentions marital distress as a factor (since you hadn't bothered to provide the research either ;) )

 

http://whatsdoneinthedark.org/infidelity-prevalence-trends-and-prevention-a-research-review/

 

Also, the data in the book is better. I'll share it when I find a copy. The reason for that is that while self reporting for surveys can "rationalize" own behavior by blaming problems in the relationships to spare their own conscience (not my fault s/he made me do it), what comes up in actual case studies often presents a picture of opportunity over discontent - in the sense of the discontentment usually being more along the lines of normal marital friction and no major hindrance to the existing relationship till the new person is found. Including an active sexual relationship. In the sense that after a new attractive partner is found, the existing one appears drab - this is a common psychological phenomenon in all relationships - the new dazzles. Poly people actively warn against impulsive desicions during "NRE" - new relationship energy. Someone you can meet to have hot sex regularly with and no tangles of baggage will seem more "satisfying" than someone you are say.... sharing the child rearing of twins. This is not the same as dissatisfaction being the cause.

 

I'm also planning to get some data from lawyers in terms of who initiates divorce when cheating is a factor. Logically, a discontented spouse is more likely to find an out, right? I don't know any cheaters who initiated divorce.

 

And regardless of whether the couple stays together or not, the marital "discontentment" when the cheating is found is way worse than anything that existed in the relationship before. Which was my original point.

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anamikanon
5 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

It's not a monogamous relationship if wifey is eating cock at her local gym then going home and kissing her hubby with tangy-flavoured lips lol. It's only monogamous if you're not fucking anyone else.

 

There is a scientific term for this: Not being able to keep it in your pants. These are the people who bring STDs home to the trusting spouse. You can be close to someone and be their friend without having to get your genitals out of your jeans.

 

In other words, some people are pigs who (instead of being honest with their partner by admitting they're not comfortable with monogamy) get their kicks off with other people's naked bodies. Sure it's fun and feels good, but part of being in a healthy monogamous relationship is NOT giving into those baser instincts. If you (general 'you' here) know it would hurt your partner enough that they may break up with you over it (ergo the secrecy) then it's clearly not something you should be doing no matter how good it makes your genitals feel. And if you're driven to do something that may potentially hurt your partner that much (not to mention may give them diseases), purely for your own selfish pleasure, then yes there are underlying issues even if the cheater themselves doesn't recognise those issues. You don't do something you KNOW will break your partner's heart and potentially damage their health unless there's something not quite right happening on some level. There are of course many instances of cheating where the relationship is deeply troubled already and I'm not so harsh about those circumstances. It's just when someone goes and fucks around with a perfectly happy relationship (as those are the ones you're referring to apparently) that I take serious issue. 

 

On a more serious note: Having personally had sex with many, many married men I can say the vast majority of them are seeking something their wife can't give them. Whether that's an emotional need, a need for comfort, a specific sexual act, or a mixture of all three, many cheaters do so because they need something specific, the absence of which is causing them disquiet or unhappiness at home on some level. They may be very happy with the rest of their relationship, but they need this one thing enough that they're willing to risk the pain it may cause their partner to seek it out with someone else. If you're in enough pain on some level that you can risk creating pain in the person you love, then something is most definitely amiss in the relationship. That's regardless of whether or not the cheater is able to admit or even recognise that those issues exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am no fan of cheating, but I thought the request was for scientific research 😛

 

I find your overall statistical perspective on this interesting in the sense of seeking professional services is a deliberate act (I assume you are referring to those days) and unlikely for someone to "slide" into. Such a subset of people being seeking or planning on infidelity due to specific reasons is not surprising. 

 

For that matter, there is a significant number of people, more often men, who tend to simply be lecherous and are making passes at people when opportunity presents. This is different in the sense that they aren't doing it out of discontent or seeking specific experiences or even "sliding" into it - they are simply doing it because they can and don't beleive they owe anyone fidelity regardless of their married status.

 

Regardless, I don't think it is a bright idea - as stated in the comment that kicked off this discussion. In my view, even if someone is seeking specific sexual experiences outside marriage, the ethical way (and one less likely to torpedo the rest of the relationship down the road) to do it is to discuss and do it with consent.

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Telecaster68

So here’s some peer reviewed, published, research on causes of infidelity. It indicates that relationship satisfaction is a major factor, and that while a few studies do raise some issues around opportunity, they’re problematical, and far, far from demonstrating infidelity is just about opportunity.


From Journal of Family Psychology 2001, Vol. 15, No. 4, 735-749, Understanding Infidelity: Correlates in a National Random Sample, David C. Atkins, Donald H. Baucom, Neil S. Jacobson

 

From the literature review:

 

Quote

In reviewing 10 studies of infidelity, Thompson (1983) proposed a "deficit model" to explain infidelity in which deficiencies in the primary relationship play a central role in precipitating and sustaining infidelity. Only 1 study of the 10 that he reviewed failed to reveal a significant relationship between marital satisfaction and infidelity. Thompson estimated that characteristics of the marriage (e.g., low satisfaction and low sexual frequency) reliably account for 25% of the variance in infidelity. Analogue studies with young, married couples have shown that marital conflict may make a couple more susceptible to an extramarital affair (Buss & Shackelford, 1997); relationship dissatisfaction may increase the desire to become involved in infidelity (Prins, Buunk, & VanYperen, 1993); and partners believe that low marital satisfaction will lead to an affair (Wiederman & Allgeier, 1996). Nonetheless, not all studies have shown a relationship between infidelity and relationship dissatisfaction. In their large-sample survey of American couples, Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) failed to find a relationship between infidelity and marital satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, or sexual frequency. In addition, Spanier and Margolis (1983) found that quality of marital sex was unrelated to occurrence of extramarital sex (EMS) in their sample of recently separated and divorced respondents. Moreover, some couple therapists also support the idea that infidelity does not automatically imply a. poor primary relationship (Elbaum, 1981; Finzi, 1989).

Twelve studies have shown a link, four haven’t. So it’s far from a done deal.

 

That paper goes on to say that women are more likely to have affairs because of dissatisfaction with their relationship than men. Some studies have claimed a relationship between opportunity and infidelity, but they measure ‘opportunity’ in limited ways (like the amount of work travel, or ability to afford to pay prostitutes,for example); and they don’t compare it with people who have the opportunity but don’t choose infidelity. Necessarily, if someone has cheated, they have the opportunity... 

 

Discussing their own results, they say:

 

Quote

 

The results also confirm previous research indicating that relationship satisfaction is powerfully related to infidelity (Buss & Shackelford, 1997; Prins et al., 1993; Thompson, 1983; Wiederman & Allgeier, 1996). Participants who reported that they were "not too happy" with their marriage were almost four times more likely to report EMS [extra marital sex] than those participants who responded that they were "very happy" with their marriages. It is interesting to note that respondents who reported their marriages as "pretty happy" were twice as likely to report EMS as those in very happy marriages. This suggests that the association between relationship satisfaction and infidelity exists on a continuum, and it is not only those people in unsatisfying relationships who are at greater risk for EMS

 

In other words, it’s a sliding scale: the less happy in your relationship, the more likely you are to have an external relationship. They concede it’s not the only factor, and age, education, and income are statistically more strongly related to whether people have cheated; but it’s certainly showing a strong correlation.


From Is infidelity a cause or a consequence of poor marital quality? Denise Previti & Paul R. Amato, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 21(2): 217–230

 

Quote

 

In general, EMS is more common among individuals who evaluate their marriages negatively or who report that marital intercourse is low in frequency or quality (Buss & Shackelford, 1997; Prins, Buunk, & Van Yperen, 1993; Thompson, 1983; Treas & Giesen, 2000; Waite & Joyner, 2001). Not all studies find that marital quality is related to infidelity. For example, Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) found no association between marital satisfaction and EMS. .... Despite a few exceptions, however, the majority of studies indicate that EMS is associated with low marital quality.


 

And

 

Quote

 

...in relationships where no EMS has yet occurred, a high level of divorce proneness (thinking that the marriage is in trouble, thinking about divorce, and talking about divorce with one’s spouse or others) predicts that at least one spouse will engage in EMS. The notion that EMS is more likely to occur in troubled marriages is consistent with several other investigations. For example, Buss and Shackelford (1997) found that sexual dissatisfaction and marital conflict made couples more susceptible to infidelity during the first year of marriage. Similarly, Prins et al. (1993) found that people in unhappy relationships expressed a greater desire for EMS, as well as greater involvement in EMS


 

They do go on to say that people tend to start talking/thinking about divorce *then* have an affair, and then the affair makes divorce more likely - cause and effect spiral.

 

I'm not saying opportunity has no effect. I'm saying relationship dissatisfaction is a huge factor.

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ryn2
7 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Also, the data in the book is better. I'll share it when I find a copy.

When I googled the book last night all 324 pp. of it are online in .pdf format.

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anamikanon
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not saying opportunity has no effect. I'm saying relationship dissatisfaction is a huge factor.

ok.

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anamikanon
6 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

When I googled the book last night all 324 pp. of it are online in .pdf format.

That's good to know. Will check it out.

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