Money… Sex. Power. More money… Cheating.
No, this isn’t the cliché of long hours at the office, in the shoes (and pants) of high-level exec. It’s actually the other way round.
New research has found people who are financially dependent on their spouse are more likely to cheat, compared to the higher earner of the two.
This is surprising for two reasons.
Firstly, if you’re financially dependent, you have more to risk by cheating. Your home, your lifestyle, your belongings are on the line. So, why would you stray?
Secondly, it also goes against the stereotypical portrayal of financially successful alpha men and women getting their rocks off with their secretaries.
In fact, researchers found men were least likely to cheat when they were responsible for 70% of the household income. And the odds of a woman’s infidelity declined as her share of income within the couple increased.
Our most painful memory confessions. Post continues below video.
The study, which comes out of the University of Connecticut, analysed the relationships of 2,750 married people between the ages of 18 and 32. It found participants had a strong preference for income equality in their relationships.
“We find that, for both men and women, economic dependency is associated with a higher likelihood of engaging in infidelity,” the report states. “But, the influence of dependency on men’s infidelity is greater than the influence of dependency on women’s infidelity.”
Around one in 20 women will have an affair in any given year if they’re completely dependent on their spouse. While one in seven men will stray if they’re completely dependent on their wife for financial support.
“Infidelity may allow economically dependent men to engage in compensatory behaviour while simultaneously distancing themselves from breadwinning spouses,” the author speculates (this is a completely different, just as disappointing, stereotype).
The author also suggests it is faithful, successful, supportive women who are keeping it all together.
“I argue that by remaining faithful, breadwinning women neutralize their gender deviance and keep potentially strained relationships intact,” the report states.
Our response? He’s not worth it.