Worried your man may be straying? Here, with the help of relationship experts, we reveal the tell-tale signs. Your man is more likely to cheat if...
1. You earn more than him
It will dent his ego, but could also harm your relationship if you are one of the women who earn more than their man. A 2010 study suggested men who are dependent on their female partners for income were five times more likely to cheat than those who contributed equally.
2. He works long hours
If your partner works such long hours that he spends less than 10 per cent of his time with you, then there’s a one in ten chance that he (or you) will be unfaithful.
According to the Office for National Statistics, married couples with children spend only 75 minutes a day enjoying each other’s company. ‘A partnership shouldn’t be too claustrophobic, but it should focus on doing some things as a couple,’ says Julia Cole, a couples’ counsellor and the author of a new book, After The Affair.
3. You live together before getting married
Many believe living together before getting hitched allows couples to get used to each other’s idiosyncrasies, paving the way for a smooth married life. But a Relate survey suggested those who live together but don’t marry are up to 40 per cent more likely to be unfaithful than those who tie the knot.
4. His father or brother has had an affair
Scientists have uncovered a genetic link to infidelity. Two years ago, a study at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, showed men who inherit a genetic variant that affects an important attachment hormone called vasopressin, are more likely to have weaker relationships and marital problems, and less likely to be married.
5. He has a twin who cheats
If so, be careful he doesn’t mirror his sibling’s behaviour. Dr Lynn Cherkas, a genetic analyst in the department of twin research at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, found that identical twins are 200 per cent more likely to be unfaithful if their twin has had an affair. ‘A lot of twins have similar personalities and shared values, which could be the reason for such findings,’ Cole says.
6. He's been married before (but you haven't)
A paper published in the European Journal of Operational Research in 2009 tracked 1,000 couples who were either married or in serious relationships over five years. Researchers found a previous divorce lessened the chances of a relationship surviving, although this was less marked when both partners had been divorced before.
7. He's sex-obsessed
One third of 1,468 men questioned admitted to viewing online pornography. According to Julia Cole, men who use internet porn on a regular basis are more likely to be unfaithful, as the habit can produce a deadening effect on emotions that can hurt relationships. Cole says: ‘Excessive use of chat lines, sex-texting and porn can leave someone numb to the emotional responses they would feel in a normal relationship.’
8. You live in the countryside
A survey of 4,000 spouses conducted by a dating website aimed at married people, illicit encounters.com, revealed adulterers are more likely to live in rural areas.
9. He was privately (or religiously) educated
A survey by illicit encounters.com found almost one quarter of the site’s 500,000 members attended private schools. A further 15 per cent of members had attended religious schools.
Adam Scott, founder of the website, says: ‘People who feel restricted by cultural and religious ideals are often those who feel the need to marry at a young age. As a result, they are far more likely to feel frustrated in their partnership.’
10. He doesn't like your family or friends
Relate says men risk losing a close-knit support group, and not just their spouse, if they stray.
11. He's a social-networking enthusiast
One law firm, Divorce Online, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook. ‘I am seeing an increasing number of people whose partners have been unfaithful through one of the social networking methods,’ says Julia Cole.
12. He has a lower IQ than you
Earlier this year, a study by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist from the London School of Economics and Political Science, revealed the smarter a man is, the less likely he is to cheat on his partner.