These Personality Traits Are Linked To Marital Infidelity

People’s own personality also affects whether or not they are cheated on by their partner.

People’s own personality also affects whether or not they are cheated on by their partner.

Women who are highly extraverted are more likely to cheat on their partner, research finds.

Extraverts are outgoing, social and full of energy.

Introverted women, meanwhile, are less likely to cheat on their partner.

Introverts tend to enjoy more solitary activities, prefer to think before they talk and enjoy focusing their mental energy inwards.

For men, no personality traits were strongly linked to infidelity, the results of two 3-year studies has found.

Neurotic partners

Instead, the research revealed that your own personality has an important effect on whether your partner cheats on you.

The data from newlywed couples found that partner neuroticism is critical.

People with neurotic partners were more likely to cheat, whether it was the man or the woman.

Neuroticism is a personality trait that is strongly linked to anxiety, sadness, irritability and self-consciousness.

In addition, men with wives who were highly narcissistic were also more likely to cheat.

8% cheated within 3 years

For the two studies, 227 couples were surveyed and followed over around 3 years.

Along with personality tests, they were asked if they had been unfaithful.

Around 8 percent of couples admitted infidelity within the first three years of marriage.

The study’s authors write:

“…infidelity may be better explained by partner (versus own) personality.

Given that people’s own enduring characteristics and their partners’ enduring characteristics influence their shared environment, it is possible that people’s partners’ personality traits, specifically, influence the negativity of their shared environment to a greater extent than do people’s own personality traits.”

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (Altgelt et al., 2018).


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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.