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What prevents the appearance of infidelity in a relationship?

What prevents the appearance of infidelity in a relationship?

May 23, 2022

As much as our conception of a healthy love relationship has improved in recent decades, that does not mean that the love life is no longer full of imperfections. Infidelity is one of the most frequent, for example.

In fact, today it is estimated that The most frequent reason for divorce are extramarital affairs , and it is not uncommon for research to show that around 4% of people with a partner who are consulted claim to have been unfaithful in the last 12 months.

Keeping this in mind, What is it that makes some couples never give infidelity? Let's see it

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Theories about what makes a relationship stay solid

In a recent study published in the scientific journal The Journal of Sex Research, a team of researchers set out to detect which factors are They make couples do not fall into the temptation of infidelity .


To do this, they tested the validity of a series of theories that try to explain the ways in which people with a partner behave in contexts in which, if they wanted, they could have adventures of this type. These theories, which for years have tried to account for the glue that holds people together in romantic relationships, are the following.

Theory of morals

For example, according to the theory based on morality, beliefs about what is good and bad in a relationship they would have a determining weight in the actions of those who are married or not in a single situation. Of course, morality seems to have a weight in the love life, given that in almost all cultures, relationships outside the couple are seen as something that speaks badly about who commits those acts.


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Economist theories

On the other hand, economic theories propose that people who are in a loving relationship they think in rational terms about the costs and benefits which means being in a relationship with a specific person, with all the sacrifices and time and effort management that implies.

It is assumed that all people who have been investing in a relationship for a long time, or who believe they can benefit greatly from continuing with the one they have recently started, will be less likely to have relationships outside of it, or at least will demand that other potential partners contribute much more than the current one so that it is worth the infidelity.

Evolutionist theory

Evolutionary Psychology tends to emphasize the role that genetics and in general the inheritance that passes from generation to generation influences the behavior of individuals, and in the case of the psychosexual context, normally these behavior patterns are described in terms of differences between men and women. The reason is that, if you take into account the influence of evolution on sexual behavior , then the fact of belonging to one sex or the other has to influence the "starting point" from which each person judges a possible option of this type.


Normally, men are described as individuals who value quantity more than quality, whereas in women the opposite is true, and they would value more the possibility of being with a partner that provides stability and emotional commitment. The reason why Evolutionist Psychology has defended this idea is not based on the existence of stereotypes about differences between sexes, but from a genetic inheritance fruit of opportunities and costs which, incidentally, would occur in many other species of living beings.

According to this perspective, the females, having a limited number of eggs and because they have to be pregnant and therefore "vulnerable" for a long time, before conceiving need to ensure that they will have the collaboration of a couple committed to the task of helping to provide material goods necessary for the survival of the family, as well as protection.

The males, on the other hand, would have less reproductive value since biologically their commitment in the creation of a family is lower, so their concerns would be more focused to make sure that they are not raising the offspring of another individual (the females, when forming the embryos, have it much easier to know who it's his offspring and who is not).

Thus, from the evolutionary perspective men should be more likely to be unfaithful, while they would be more afraid of the possibility of their partner establishing direct sexual contact with other people, while women would be more concerned about the possibility that your partner emotionally connect with another person.

On the other hand, monogamy would be limiting both for one sex and the other, since in the case of men the variety of possible sexual partners is minimized and, in the case of women, prevents them from investing in other potential relationships that may be worth more. The possibility of forming a fixed community around them, be it family or a substitute, would be an aspect that would contribute to the unity of these relationships once they have been formed.

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Factors that prevent the appearance of infidelity

Based on the above explanations, the researchers created a 34-item questionnaire and administered it to 110 people between 24 and 60 years of age, married for at least 2 years, with at least one son or daughter as a result of that relationship. The questions of that questionnaire were related to elements that, personally, each individual could value as aspects that would prevent infidelity on their part.

The results show that the aspects that contribute most to avoid infidelity they are the moral standards, the consequences that the infidelity would have on the sons and daughters, the fear of being left alone, and the effects that the deceit would have on the other member of the couple.

In addition, the data obtained reflects, to a certain extent, that evolutionary ideas are fulfilled, but only in a very timid way. Men are somewhat more likely to commit infidelity, since the welfare of the children and the moral aspects have greater weight for women.

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Bibliographic references:

  • Ziv, I., Lubin, O. B., & Asher, S. (2017). "I Swear I Will Never Betray You": Factors Reported by Spouses as Helping Them Resist Extramarital Sex in Relation to Gender, Marriage Length, and Religiosity, The Journal of Sex Research. DOI: 10.1080 / 00224499.2017.1347602

Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved | Esther Perel (May 2022).


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