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Study: Financially dependent spouses more likely to be unfaithful

The more financially dependent you are on your partner, the more likely you are to have an affair according to a new study.

University of Connecticut sociologist Christin Munsch studied data from interviews with over 2,750 married people between 18 and 32. She concluded that “people don’t like to be in uneven relationships”, and that an imbalance in a couple’s financial relationship can cause resentment and the urge to reassert themselves elsewhere.

The research shows that there is a five per cent chance of women being unfaithful if she is 100 per cent dependent on her husband. The ratio changes with financially dependent husbands having a 15 per cent probability of looking outside the marital relationship. Munsch suggests that there is “something about not being the breadwinner that men especially don’t like.”

Interestingly, when the financial contributions are equal, the study showed that the chance of an affair drops to less than 4 per cent.

Munsch also discovered that women who are the sole breadwinner are least likely to cheat, while men who bring in 70 per cent of the household income are least likely to cheat, but the potential of him being unfaithful does rise incrementally to 4 per cent if he is the sole earner.

The study’s conclusions are counter-intuitive to the perception that those in financial control are more likely to feel they have the freedom to have an affair. Instead, Munsch concluded that a couple’s relationship was more likely to be healthy when both parties felt that they were contributing positively to the marriage.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Dr. Nigel Miles says:

    Naturally especially if they suffer from DSM V, PD or NPD’s!

  2. Dorcas Nduati says:

    Ooh God may women go to school so that there will be no cheating

  3. Ronoh Robert says:

    The dependency is okay if both are mutually agreeing on money matters

  4. Luke says:

    “Munsch also discovered that women who are the sole breadwinner are least likely to cheat”
    Yet we know that women who earn more than their husband are far more likely to be unhappy and far more likely to file for divorce – the study doesn’t deny this – so it suggests that the dependent women cheat because they cannot afford to leave !
    It doesn’t paint a very rosy picture of marriage does it ?
    Although I should point out that I think all marriage is really bad news for a man so I am biased 🙂

  5. larmat says:

    Am not for women to earn more to compete with men but i support women education. Both women and men are capable of cheating wish it would be clear what marriage was intended to be…

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