Rules Versus Consequences

By Truth About Deception

When you do something wrong, there are two ways of looking at it.

You can take a rules-based approach:

  • I screwed up.
  • I did something wrong.
  • I didn’t follow the rules.
  • I should NOT do that again.

Or you can look at your actions in terms of the consequences:

  • I screwed up.
  • I did something wrong.
  • No one really got hurt – or found out.
  • I can do that again.

New research shows that people, who take a rules-based approach when it comes to cheating, were less likely to cheat again.  People, who take a consequences-based approach, were more likely to cheat again.

Although the study on cheating did not look at infidelity in particular, the findings probably apply.

If you can rationalize cheating on your spouse in terms of the consequences, rather than in terms of right versus wrong, you are probably more likely to do it again.


Conflict and Cheating

By Truth About Deception

When someone cheats, it is usually not an isolated event, but a symptom of an underlying problem.  A study on how couples resolve conflict reveals that demanding partners – individuals, who assign blame and put pressure on the other person to change, were also more likely to be cheating.

This pattern, however, only occurred when the cheating was unknown.  In other words, cheating individuals acted more demanding during an argument, but only when their partners were in the dark.  When the cheating was known, the pattern reversed.

One possible explanation for this set of findings – people, who are unhappy in a relationship, are more likely to act in controlling ways.  Unhappy campers are also more likely to cheat.  But, when the cheating is discovered, the tables turn; the victim gets to take control.

Infidelity is rarely an isolated event.


It’s Not Me – It’s My Friend

By Truth About Deception

Are you friends with someone who cheats?  What should you do?

Solid advice on how to deal with a cheating friend from “The Ethicist” at the New York Times.


Cheating Doesn’t Mean It Is Over

By Truth About Deception

In a survey of men, who had been cheated on, the vast majority said they still loved their wives and wanted to save their marriage.

Our own survey results show that while women cheat because of problems in their relationships, the majority of female cheaters did not want their relationships to end (see, cheating survey results – data takes a while to load).

Research consistently shows that the best way to deal with problems in a relationship is to keep boredom at bay (see, boredom kills).

Perhaps dealing with problems before they lead to cheating would be wise, given that neither men nor women want a relationship to end, despite the pain that cheating causes.


Cuckold Me Once

By Truth About Deception

Say you want to have sex with your partner and they decline your request.  Sure you are upset.   But, some people get more upset then others.

Men, who were led to believe that their partners might have been unfaithful, were the most frustrated and angry of all.

The explanation offered?  Men are concerned about being cuckold – concerned about raising someone else’s baby (women never have to worry about raising someone else’s baby).

On the other hand, women, and men with faithful partners, have an easier time being shutdown.

Having a partner reject your sexual advances is never fun, but it is a lot more painful for men who think their partner may be cheating.

More evidence that men and women respond differently to the thought of being cheated on by a partner.