Financially dependent spouses are more likely to cheat

Published Jun 9, 2015, 6:30 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 10:41 pm IST
Representational image. (Photo:
 Representational image. (Photo:
Washington: Did you know that economic dependence on his or her partner incites a person to cheat on them?
A research conducted by the University of Connecticut claims that men and women are more likely to cheat on their spouses if they are more economically dependent on them.
Assistant Professor Christin L. Munsch said that people usually don't bite the hand that feeds them, but the research findings indicate that they like feeling relatively equal in their relationships rather than being dependent.
She added that in an average year, there's about a five percent chance that women who are economically dependent on their husbands will cheat, whereas about 15 percent chance of men who were entirely economically dependent on their wives will have an affair.
The researchers also found similarities in the way that men and women respond to being economically dependent and they discovered that people who are primary breadwinners in their marriages behave very differently. For women the larger their percentage of the combined marital income, the less likely they are to cheat.
But among men, those who were completely economically dependent on their spouses are the most likely to cheat, and as the money men make relative to their spouses increases their odds of committing adultery decreases.
Men are least likely to cheat when they bring home 70 percent of a couples' total income. After 70 percent, however, men become increasingly more likely to stray.
Munsch said that the increase in the likelihood of men engaging in infidelity that occurs as they make significantly more than their wives is relatively small compared to the increase in the likelihood of cheating that takes place among men as they become more economically dependent.
The research titled is published in the American Sociological Review.


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