46 reasons not to cheat on your partner

46 reasons not to cheat on your partner


The day before their first birthday, Benjamin and Emma took a romantic rowboat ride in the middle of a nearby lake. Emma, ​​in love with the surrounding beauty, grabbed Benjamin’s phone to snap a photo. Instead of his usual reaction, which wouldn’t have been the same, he froze, gripping his fingers tightly around his phone.

Emma, ​​puzzled, first thought that Benjamin was playing some kind of game or having a romantic surprise, keeping his phone so as not to reveal it. But, reading Benjamin’s frozen expression, mixed with worry and shock, Emma knew that wasn’t the case. After seconds that felt like hours, Benjamin handed his phone, filled with text messages, to another woman. It seemed that the man Emma loved was someone she didn’t know at all.

Deceit is not a new phenomenon and stories similar to the one written above are not new. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 3 men and 1 in 5 women will engage in extramarital affair at least once in their life. While these staggering statistics suggest that theinfidelity is common and that the reasons for deceive the other are many, recent research has attempted to uncover a seldom asked question: why don’t people cheat?

In two studies, research published in Personality and Individual Differences sought to discover the factors that prevent people from cheat on their romantic partner.

In the first study, 40 volunteer participants, average age 31, participated in 30-minute semi-structured interviews during which they were asked why they weren’t cheating, haven’t cheated yet, and wouldn’t be cheating. , followed by a survey of questions and open questionnaires centered on the same themes. Data gleaned through interviews and questionnaires was then coded, allowing the researchers to identify 46 reasons that deterred people from cheating, which they categorized into 8 broad categories:

Category: I am satisfied with my relationship

    • My partner treats me well
    • I derive many benefits from my relationship that I don’t want to lose.
    • I don’t want to destroy my relationship
    • I respect my partner
    • I don’t want to betray my partner
    • I have a good time with my partner
    • My partner doesn’t deserve this
    • I don’t want to hurt my partner
    • I love my partner

Category: social stigma

    • I worry what people would think if it got out
    • I fear being stigmatized socially
    • I don’t want people to know
    • I’m afraid of the reactions of my partner’s friends if it gets out

Category: be ashamed if it is known

    • I would be ashamed if it were known
    • This is not compatible with my religious beliefs

Category: feeling guilty

    • I wouldn’t feel good with myself
    • I can’t go on with my life feeling guilty
    • I would feel guilty
    • I don’t consider it right
    • I don’t consider it ethical
    • I would be ashamed
    • I wouldn’t like to have a double life
    • I don’t want to betray my partner’s trust
    • I am monogamous
    • I respect myself
    • I do not like lying
    • This action can hurt a lot of people

Category: were not provoked

    • My partner did not provoke me
    • I see my relationship as having potential
    • I’m afraid to enjoy and I’ll be tempted to do it again
    • Not having met someone attractive enough to do so

Category: fear of my partner’s reaction

    • Fear of my partner’s reaction if he finds out
    • Afraid that my partner finds out
    • If I had children with my partner
    • Fear that my partner reacts violently

Category: I don’t want to get in trouble

    • I’m afraid to admit it to my partner
    • I never had the chance
    • I’m afraid of the reaction of my partner’s parents if they find out
    • I’m afraid to regret it
    • I worry about the consequences of something like this
    • My friends advise me not to
    • My parents advise me not to
    • I am afraid of contracting a sexually transmitted disease

Category: Fear of it happening to me

    • I wouldn’t want something like this to happen to me
    • I’m afraid my partner will do the same

A second study, involving 576 participants with an average age of 33, was asked to rate on a five-point Likert scale the likelihood that the 46 reasons above would be good points for deterring deception. They also received personality measures, using the Big Five Inventory.

In sum, the researchers found that women were less likely to cheat on their partnerespecially if they were satisfied with their relationship, and also because they would be more likely to to feel guilty. In terms of personality, those who were most likely to cheat scored high on openness, while those who were least likely to cheat scored high on conscientiousness.

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