Last week I touched on how people make the decision to cheat. I'm not trying to excuse people's behavior or judge them. I'm just trying to understand what drives people to act a certain way. Understanding peoples behavior is a key concept within Counselling. I'm ambushed with various readings and The Truth About Deception has been a real eye opener. This week I'll focus on some of the factors that will influence a person to cheat
- Attractiveness An individuals attractiveness influences whether they're likely to cheat. Attraction comes in many forms and isn't just the physical appearance. It could be money, social skills or status, all these things can fall into whether a person finds someone attractive. Of course physical attraction plays a very important role as this is what draws us towards people. Apparently people who have successful careers, higher incomes, better educations are more likely to cheat than people who are less successful. Not sure whether I agree but this is what research has shown.
- Opportunity The more individual free time people have the more likely they are to cheat. I know some couples who are simply too busy to cheat. Of course you can always find the time if that's what you desire to do but it's going to be a lot more harder than the person who has more time on their hands. Couples who have separate careers, travel plans, friends, social lives are more inclined to cheat than the couple that spends most of their time together. I'm not suggesting you spend every minute of the day together but don't go to the extreme where you hardly see each other, find a happy medium.
- Risk Taking People who have a sense of adventure and like to take a risk are more inclined to cheat than people who are more fearful and timid by nature. Risk takers don't dwell on the negatives and the worse that could happen too much. Yes they consider the pros and cons but don't let it affect their final decision. You could go as far as say that the risk takers in this scenario are not thinking through the consequences. They act in the moment and deal with the backlash if/when they get caught.
- Sexual Desire is different for each person. Some people have very high sex drives while others are less inclined. This is a big hurdle in some peoples relationships. I guess it's obvious to say that those with a higher sex drive are more inclined to cheat then those who aren't. People who have multiple affairs are addicted to the novelty and excitement which infidelity can provide. I have a friend that constantly cheats on his girlfriend of 10+ years. I think the secret lifestyle drives him. The sneaking around, the attention he doesn't get at home, the feeling of being constantly wanted is the excitement he craves.
- Attitude Toward Love Some people view love as a sacred bond between two people. Unfortunately there are a few who view love as a game, to gain emotional power and manipulate them. (Got to be careful who you hook up with). People who view love as a game are more likely to have multiple partners, they view it as another form of control over their spouse. As well as the different types of love attachment.
- Attachment styles go back to how we are loved as children. When caregivers are responsive and constantly there for the children. The infants form secure style of attachment. When they get into adult relationships they are more likely to have satisfying and loving relationships. When caregivers are inconsistent or overly protective the child may form an anxious or preoccupied attachment. As an adult they may go on to be constantly worried and anxious about their love life. They crave and desperately need intimacy and never stop questioning how much their partner loves them. Finally if parents are neglectful the child is likely to form a dismissive style of attachment. Once they hit adulthood they may form dismissive attachments to their partners. They may be uncomfortable with intimacy, may not like it when people get to close and don't like being dependent on a partner or vice versa.
- Relationship Problems We all have them unfortunately some of us deal with them the wrong way. As problems emerge people are more likely to cheat. Whether it's a feeling of being misunderstood, lack of time spent together, sexual desires, under appreciated and where there is constant fighting.