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 full study can be read here