Betrayal is something that often puts marriages (and relationships between couples in general) in crisis. But is there a difference if it is the man or the woman who betrays? And how common is marital infidelity?
A researcher at Bowling Green State University studied the phenomenon, analysing the data on a sample of over 1,600 subjects, who were followed for twenty years, from 1980 to 2000. The study analysed different aspects of the correlation between extra sexual relations – marriage and the end of marriage. In particular, the study asked several questions. In the first place, if the fact that betraying is the man or woman changes something, or in both cases there is the same risk of divorce. Secondly, if there are characteristics of marriage that influence the effects of infidelity.
The analysis of the data allowed us to confirm that extramarital relations are strongly correlated with a subsequent divorce, and that this correlation would be constant regardless of the “previous” quality of the marriage.
Moreover, men would be three times more prone to betrayal than women, but this is not reflected in differences on the “consequences” of betrayal, which is always equally likely to lead to divorce. Instead, two other elements would influence this probability: the religiousness of the couple and whether the woman works or not. In the case of highly religious couples, betrayal would mean a much higher probability of divorce, while in the case of couples where the woman works forgiveness would be more likely.