Is it possible never to cheat
People with this trait are prone to cheating - it's hard to spot
A 2017 study by polling institute Gallup shows that only nine percent of Americans believe that infidelity is morally acceptable. If you've never cheated on your partner before, you will likely struggle to understand what causes a person to destroy trust in a relationship. Why does someone risk their partnership for a night with a stranger? How can you live with secretly meeting other people?
As it turns out, there is a specific trait that shows up in the psychological profiles of people who have repeatedly cheated on their partner.
Experts agree: cheating and narcissism belong together
The American Psychological Association sees a narcissist as someone who believes they deserve special treatment and who deem the right to involve others to the satisfaction of their own desires. The narcissist feels that normal rules do not apply to them and that their needs are more important than those of others. He also believes that his attractiveness, sexual performance, and intelligence are above average. Being in a relationship with someone like this means that there are ideal conditions for infidelity.
“People who are always anxious to put their own happiness and satisfaction first, and who believe that their needs is most important, are more likely to cheat,” said Jacqui Manning, who works as a psychologist in Sydney the online portal “Mamamia”, which deals with topics relevant to women.
This theory is supported by a 2014 study that looked at the relationships between infidelity and "sexual narcissism" (the extent to which someone is convinced they are good in bed and how important they are to have sex).
135 newly married couples were followed over a period of four years. The researchers found that spouses who displayed sexually narcissistic behaviors were more likely to be unfaithful.
If someone is narcissistic, they will fail to understand why they should give up their own satisfaction in favor of someone else
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Behavioral scientist Carmen McGuiness says narcissists tend to have greater cravings for casual sex and sex with no emotional attachment. In an article for the online platform Mind Body Green, she explains that narcissists often have problems communicating and are not good at dealing with personal problems.
Not being able to constructively discuss and solve problems can of course put pressure on a relationship. It is similar when a partner tends to separate emotions from physical intimacy. In this case, it is often easier for the person to have sex outside of a relationship.
There is even a recognized psychological disorder called "Narcissistic Personality Disorder"
The hallmarks of this disorder include a lack of empathy for other people, a desire for admiration, and behavior that is self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. Of course, you can't say that every cheat suffers from it. Even so, it can be said that people with a narcissistic personality are more likely to cheat.
“Not all unfaithful partners are automatically sexual narcissists. However, people who exhibit these behaviors are at greater risk of cheating, ”Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor of psychology and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Psychology Today.
Narcissists don't necessarily stay loyal when they're in a good relationship - the desire to be admired and desired by other potential sexual or romantic partners is often enough to brush away concerns about the feelings of the steadfast partner.
Being with a narcissist can also affect your own psyche. "If your partner is unfaithful, it can affect your mental health as well as the health of your relationship," said Whitbourne.
There may also be a deeper and more troubling psychological reason why a cheater finds it okay to cheat on his partner
According to McGuiness, infidelity and narcissism are closely related to psychopathy. Psychopathy is a condition in which a person is unable to feel empathy for other people.
She says there is a 95 percent chance that a psychopath or sociopath will look for other sexual partners outside of a relationship. She also writes on Mind Body Green that "disregarding the feelings and rights of others and the inability to feel remorse or guilt" are some of the behaviors that make psychopaths more likely to cheat.
Regardless of whether someone is psychopathic or just plain narcissistic, destroying trust in a relationship by cheating on the partner proves that there are problems in a relationship.
Talking openly with one another, being honest about your needs, and being alert to tempting situations are all behaviors that couples can use to protect themselves from infidelity. Paying attention to whether your partner or yourself has narcissistic tendencies can also be a big step in strengthening your relationship.
“Wonder if you see these tendencies in your partner,” says Whitbourne. “Your relationship is more likely to hold up if you are able to address conflicts and maybe even resolve them before they become a real problem. A personality is not easy to change, but it is possible. "
Translated by Jessica Dawid
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