Is my wife going to cheat on me?

Okay, so I don’t think she is going to cheat on me. Let’s say my wife was previously married and cheated on her ex-husband (her husband at the time). Of course, it is not a happy marriage according to her. Now, I find out about this after we are married.

What are the chances of her cheating on me?

I know the obvious answers, if she loves you…, the past means nothing…, once a cheater…, etc. Are there any statistics out there that prove any of these things. We have a great relationship and I don’t see it happening, but am just looking for statistics. Do a majority of cheaters cheat again? Is it true that once you are a cheater, you are always a cheater (the thrill, the sex, etc.)?

Torture yourself dude - statistics

Definitely not torture as much as curiousity. If my wife were going to cheat, so be it. I am curious as to whether or not there are statistics showing the likelihood of cheating again.

I appreciate the link, but it does not answer the question. Good reading anyways, thanks!

From the site

You’ll never convince me of that in a million years. Most everyone that I know who has cheated on their spouse were also the most devout.

Sorry. I had one boyfriend who cheated on me and one who cheated on his ex-wife (while they were still married) and they were not religious at all. Plural of anecdote isn’t data and all that.

FWIW, you should examine the issue that caused your ex-wife to cheat. I won’t divulge what caused my ex to cheat, but it became obvious after a little while that he definitely didn’t have a high bar for fidelity.

What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter either way. People are people, and will justify their actions to whatever limit they’ll be comfortable with. Whether they are religious or not has precious little to do with it.

Well as soon as she meets me it goes up to 100%.

It may not matter in any one individual case, but we’re talking about groups and statistics here. And the statistics tell us that as a group, the religious are less likely to cheat. It’s not necessarily cause and effect (i.e., because you’re religious you won’t cheat or because you won’t cheat you’re religious), but it’s clearly an association. Among those who are inclined to attend services at least twice a week there’s a smaller percentage of those who are inclined to cheat, compared to the percentage of those inclined to cheat among those who never attend services.

This doesn’t mean that no one who attends services ever cheats, nor that everyone who doesn’t attend will cheat. There’s plenty of individual variation within each group. But the fact that you personally know religious people who cheated in no way negates the validity of the statement you question. Unless you personally know all umpty-thousand subjects of the study, you’re not in a position to claim the results are false.

Clarification of the OP:

Are you looking for a conditional probability - that is, what are the chances of someone cheating in a second marriage given that they cheated in the first?

Also, I have a morbid curiosity whether you didn’t know your wife had been married before until after you were married, or if you didn’t know she cheated during it? I doubt anybody’d be able to find statistics to support it, but I’d guess that somebody not coming clean until after they got married might also affect the likelihood that they would cheat.

Sorry if I seem cruel; my intellectual curiosity is piqued and I’m a social miscreant.

I don’t have access to the cited article, but I wonder how they distinguish between “mor elikely to have been unfaithful” and “more likely to admit they have been unfaithful”?

And that door swings both ways.

The statistic is suggesting that those who are religious and attend services are less likely to cheat, and thereby the religious do not suffer the moral turpitude issues that (at least in this case) the non religious suffer from. Since I completely reject the premise that lack of religion has anything to do with moral turpitude, I thereby systematically reject the premise that infidelity (a moral issue) has anything to do with whether or not you attend services or believe in a sky pixie. I know more than enough about human nature to understand that they are mutually exclusive.

Also, IMHO, if you could get the entire planet surveyed and have them cough up the truth about infidelity, I bet green money the numbers would run about 30-35% for women and double that for men. I know that makes me sound jaded in some way, but I been around the block a time or two and observed much in regards to human nature. Take that for what you will.

I know it doesn’t prove anything, but the minister who married us two nonreligious souls later went on to get involved in square dancing and wife swapping. He wound up swapping permanently a few years after that. :stuck_out_tongue:


Poking around the linked site, I find the organization, the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (which was created two years ago with funding from the Bush Administration through the DHHS, right around the time the Gay Marraige issue first reared its head), lists several people associated with the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation on its Advisory Board. The site also lists various hubs of activity including its research hub at Brigham Young University, and its faith-based hub at Norfolk State University in Virginia. As the son of an ex-Mormon, I can tell you that BYU is very unlikly to promote any research that suggests that religious people may be immoral to an equal or greater degree than heathens.

However, they do cite their source for that statistic: Atkins, D.C., Jacobson, N.S. & Baucom, D.H. (2001). Understanding infidelity: Correlates in a national random sample. Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 735-749, which some citations list as Atkins, D.C., Jacobson, N.S. & Baucom, D.H. (2001). Understanding infidelity: Correlates in a national random sample. Journal of Family Psychology, 15(4), 735-749. Unfortunately, I can not find a free online version of this article.

What I DID find was the farewell letter(pdf), two years later, of then-editor of the Journal of Family Psychology (a peer-reviewed publication of the APA), Ross D. Locke, in which he lists as among his proud accomplishments the publication of various special issues and sections, including a section on “Families and Religion”, in issue 15(4), suggesting the possibility that the article was specifically solicited for that sepcial section.

The authors of the paper itself are:
[li]David C. Atkins, currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary[/li][li]Donald H. Baucom who studies and advises couples who are supporting each other during cancer treatment, but who was listed last year as a “forgiveness researcher” by A Campaign for Forgiveness Reasearch.[/li][li]Neil S. Jacobson, who seems to be a straightforward and highly respected psychology researcher. Of course, if in the very final preparation of the article for a special issue of families and religion in 2001, some undue relisious bias had crept in, he would have had little to say about it, as he had been dead for two years.[/li][/ul]

So, while the article itself is not easily available to us to review its methodologies or conclusions (or their correct description by the NHMRC), I’d have to say there is a higher-than-background-noise possibility of a pro-religion bias in circumstances surrounding the presentation of that statistic.

It looks like the stats issue has been covered, however:

…since this sounds like an invitation, I’ll add my andecdotal opinion:

I had an extended affair with a woman who was married when we started going out. A couple of country songs, a blues tune and a hard rock ballad later, she just lost interest.

After a little soul searching, I realized that she left her husband by having an affair with me. Our relationship became very intense, and we (I) considered marriage. But I’m sure if we would have stayed togather, I would have been the other other man sooner or later.

Maybe I can contribute some useful information for the OP to help make up for the hijack:

It doesn’t much matter what the likelihood of her cheating is statistically. If you are paying attention to your SO, really paying attention to him/her, you will know that he/she is cheating immediately and in many cases before he/she actually cheats. It is only when we allow ourselves to be distracted from our mates that we put ourselves in a position to have the rug pulled out from under us. They will tell you when they have lost interest in you, and are thereby vulnerable to another party, and they will do so without muttering a word.

From the site

I don’t believe this at all.

Based on my personal observation of people I’ve known and do know, self-described religious people seem to cheat more than the non religious.

Looking at the source the quote above cites I see that the information was taken from a paper entitled Understanding infidelity (Atkins, D.C., Jacobson, N.S. & Baucom, D.H. (2001)), published in the Journal of Family Psychology, which describes itself thus:

The journal’s emphasis is on empirical research papers. However, the journal also publishes theoretical and conceptual articles, literature reviews, meta-analyses, case studies, commentaries, and brief reports.

This journal also has a number of board members affiliated with religious institutions, not that this in and of itself should discount the findings, but it should certainly be taken as one of many possible indicators of the journal’s philosophical leanings.

**FormerMarineGuy **~~ maybe you should have asked yourself this question before you married the lady. :dubious:

I “cheated” on my first wife, but not in susequent marriages, so the “once…always…” is certainly not absolute.
The best you can do is work diligently at the marriage, if the other person wants to be there they will stay, if not then they won’t. Trying to demand or coerce fidelity is sure to fail.
BTW, my first wife frequently accused me of cheating, among other perceived shortcomings, before I decided to give it a try. I really, really enjoyed myself.
I also think attending church functions two or more times a week, when done by only one partner, can be considered a form of “cheating”.

I don’t have any statistics to back things up, but I do know human nature.

Once a taboo is broken, it is much easier to break that taboo in the future.

More interesting stuff:

In this article. some of whose information is ALSO cited by don’t ask’s link, while the number of men and women surveyed who had extramarital sex was less than fifty percent, among those who did have EMS, more than half of them reported themselves as being of the opinion that extramarital sex is always wrong, an attitude that could certainly be described as being promoted by most mainstream religions. Funny that the Helathy Marriages folks didn’t mention that part of the study.

So putting the two pieces of info together, in order to significantly reduce the likelihood that you will cheat, it is not necessary to BELIEVE the dictates regarding marriage of your religion (which seems to have NO preventative effect whatsoever), it is only necessary to attend services at least twice a week, which presumably leaves you too busy (and, IMO, too depressed) to go whoring around.