Spouses Who Fear Abandonment are More Likely to Cheat

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

In Hollywood storylines, a cheating spouse is frequently portrayed as a confident if not snide type, selfishly serving his or her own needs.

Yet in many cases, the emotions and motivations are not as dramatically clear, and experts tell us some spouses cheat, in part, because of insecurity.

In a newly released study, spouses with insecurities specifically related to their own partner’s commitment were found more likely to cheat themselves.

The research involved more than 200 couples, all recently married. The group was extensively questioned about their levels of sexual activity, their own marital satisfaction and how they view infidelity. Personality testing was also done.

Florida State psychologist V. Michelle Russell lead the research, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

“Spouses with insecurities

were more likely to cheat.”

Russell points to spouses with signs of “anxious attachments.” These can include a fear of being abandoned or those who were found to be “clingy” with their spouse.

These individuals were found to be more likely to cheat compared to spouses displaying more confidence in their partner.

Russell described a scenario where a so-called clingy spouse is in need of a response from their partner, and absent that, is more vulnerable and likely to seek out other possibilities.

“Individuals high in attachment anxiety tend to feel that their needs for intimacy are not being met in their current relationships and use sex to meet their unmet needs,” Russell said.

Additionally, Russell found the same spouses who display these needier tenancies were also more likely to be cheated upon.

Russell sees it as almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, where a person can fixate on a perceived problem so much that they actually create an environment that welcomes it.

From: Journal of Family Psychology

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.