Look, we don’t want to ramp up fear and make you an insecure wreck.
If you suspect your partner is cheating, that’s an issue. There’s clearly a lack of trust there.
So a study suggesting a specific window of time in which people are more likely to cheat shouldn’t really have an impact on how you feel. If there’s trouble brewing in your relationship, you need to work on it – no matter how long you’ve been together.
Okay, now we’ve got that bit sorted on to a new bit of research that suggests a window of time people are more likely to cheat on their significant others.
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research looked at 423 people in long-term relationships, asking them about their likelihood of cheating.
Researchers found that women who had been married between six and ten years were more likely to be unfaithful.
In the early stages of the relationship, or after they’d been married for ten years, women were less likely to cheat.
Researchers believe that women are more likely to stray at the six year mark as that’s when they’re experiencing the pressure of raising children and approaching middle age with the same partner.
In the early bits of marriage women are still enjoying the honeymoon phase, and after ten years of marriage things are more settled. It’s just the in between part that’s tricky – adding weight to that ‘seven year itch’ theory.
For men things are a little different.
The study found that men were most likely to cheat after they’d been married for 11 years or more. In their case, researchers think this is down to mid-life crises and an evolutionary desire to make more babies.
Interestingly the research also suggests that women are less likely to cheat than men – especially if they’re religious – and the main factors for women cheating are down to anxieties such as worrying about ending up alone.
Previous research from affairs website Ashley Madison suggested that the main reasons for cheating are rare or boring sex, too much work, raising kids, or a lack of trust.
That’s all stuff you can work on. Rather than dismissing cheating as just an inevitable part of being married for more than six years, have a think about improving areas of your relationship that might be lacking. Make sure you’ve got trust, improve your sex life together, have date nights away from the kids.
Relationships are tough, especially if they last for decades. It’s normal to have moments of doubt and struggle. But if you can work through that stuff, you can have something pretty special.