Cheating is such a common relationship fear — and with good reason. If you’re in a long-term relationship or have been cheated on before, it’s totally normal to wonder if there’s a way to know if someone will cheat — if there are common habits of cheaters or telltale signs that someone isn’t going to stay faithful. Unfortunately, it’s usually specific to the individual and the relationship that you have — and it’s pretty tough to be 100 percent sure if someone will cheat or not. But it’s important to remember that people who cheat aren’t always bad people.
“I think the most common misunderstanding is that only bad people cheat,” Erica Turner, MS, resident in marriage and family therapy and director of marketing at Group Therapy Associates, tells Bustle. “Sure, there are definitely people who are chronically unfaithful and may have little respect for their partner or themselves. But most of the people we see in couples therapy essentially ‘slid into’ cheating — they felt like something was missing or going wrong in their primary relationship, and instead of dealing with that, they allowed a friendship or interaction with another person to become inappropriate. This doesn’t usually happen all at once, but over time, it builds until they have a physical and/or emotional intimacy with an outside person that threatens their primary relationship.”
And while we can’t always predict it, it can be interesting to get a sense of some of the trends and habits of people who cheat. That’s why Ashley Madison, the married dating website, surveyed 1,000 of its members about what they do on the weekend and shared it exclusively with Bustle.
What was particularly interesting was that cheating men and women seem to get up to slightly different things during their free time. For men who cheat, the top hobby they were likely to be doing on the weekend was exercising, while 11 percent chose travel — a hobby that didn’t even make the top five for women. What did cheating women get up to? Here’s what the survey found.
1. Cooking And Entertaining: 24%
Cooking and entertaining for… their affair partner? The members didn’t specify, but cheating women like have people over at the weekend — in fact, it was the number one hobby for cheating women. Besides cheating, I’m assuming. For men, this came in at number two on the list.
2. Exercising: 18%
Though exercising wasn’t number one on the list for women— like it was for men — it wasn’t that far off. Eighteen percent of cheating women hit the gym or the park for some exercise when the weekend comes.
3. Reading: 13%
It wasn’t a huge percentage, but 13 percent of women liked to curl up with a good book in their spare time. Meanwhile, reading didn’t even make the top five for cheating men.
4. Going To The Movies: 12%
I think what we’re learning from this list is that cheating women are pretty much like everyone else. They look to cook and read and exercise — and 12 percent of them like to go to the movies. Twelve percent of male respondents also said they liked trips to the movies, making it number three on their list.
5. Gardening: 10%
Finally, to round out the wholesome image of things cheaters do when they’re not cheating, 10 percent of women like to hang out in the garden. It fell at number five for men, as well.
If you’ve been cheated on, it’s easy to picture whoever cheated on you as a two-dimensional evil villain, when the reality is that most of the people who cheat are just… regular people They read, they go to the movies, they garden. The truth is, there’s just no foolproof way to tell for sure who’s going to stray.
Originally posted on Bustle