Relationship Advice Tips By Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Between 40%-76% of people are likely to cheat at least once during a romantic relationship.
Finding out that you have been cheated on is a horrific experience. It can disorient you, make the ground under your feet shake and call into question the entire foundation of commitment and security in your relationship.
Style of Attachment dictates whether or not you will cheat
Contrary to popular myth, men and women both cheat and in similar ways. It is less about gender and more about your style of attachment in the relationship.
- If you like your autonomy more than you value commitment you are more likely to cheat.
- If you won’t allow yourself to rely on a loved one, and are worried about being let down you are more likely to cheat.
- If you believe that the only person you can truly count on is yourself you are more likely to cheat.
- If you protect yourself from disappointment by doing everything yourself for yourself, you put self-reliance over mutual sharing – making it more likely that you will cheat.
If you have these experiences in your relationships, you are probably terrified of intimacy.
You probably have a dismissive style of attachment. In other words you literally ‘dismiss’ the possibility that you partner can be relied upon, on a consistent basis. That insecurity means that you can’t take the risk of commitment.
Cheating is a way of making sure you don’t commit to a potentially unreliable partner
A study conducted by the University of Montreal in 2008 found that both men and women who were fearful and dismissive of intimacy cheated in order to cling on to their sense of autonomy, need for space and freedom. The cheating was to create distance, rather than a sign of not loving their partner.
Cheating reduces fear of being let down, but can damage the connecting bonds
Cheating lessens the immediate risk of being unattended to. Your partner’s deep hurt makes them back off. You gain space, but soon feel scared that the bonds are breaking. When both partners are backing off the position gets too risky. You the cheater then get scared and make moves to appease your partner with guilt, abject apology and promises of fidelity, to make sure that the basic bond that is crucial to your relationship security stays in place. And so the cycle goes.
Which is worse – sexual or emotional cheating?
The Journal of Psychological Science reported a study in 2009 also found that it was the dismissive style of attachment in both men and women that made them suffer more when they were victims of sexual infidelity. They are far less concerned about emotional infidelity.
Men and women who are comfortable relying on others are hurt more by emotional infidelity. They are betrayed in a deeper way that affects the core uniqueness of who they are rather than just their roles as sexual partners.
Here are 4 ways you can ease your fear of being let down and avoid the threat of cheating ruining your relationship.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is for educational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Jeanette Raymond for any reaction you may have when interacting with the material.