Are You Likely to Have an Affair? Reply

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Risk Factors for Cheating Are Age, Gender and Relationship Satisfaction

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal

I was struck by a recent study showing that people might be more likely to cheat on a partner in the year before a milestone birthday. This suggests that if you’re in a committed relationship, you’re at roughly a 10-year cycle for heightened risk of infidelity.

Researchers said they worked with Ashley Madison, a dating website for people seeking extramarital affairs, to analyze data on more than 8 million men who had registered with the site. The study was one of six published together in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in 2014 that examined when people make big life changes. It found 950,000 men were ages 29, 39, 49 or 59, or “9-enders,” and their numbers on the dating site were 18% higher than what would be expected by chance, according to the researchers from New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also looked at data for women and found a similar, though less pronounced, pattern.

Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Everyone, even the experts, has a different definition of “infidelity.” Some define it narrowly as sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your spouse or committed partner. Others define it more broadly to encompass a range of sexual activities, or even emotional infidelity such as flirting or sharing secrets.

To be clear: If you break the rules of sexual or emotional commitment in your relationship, whatever they may be, it is infidelity. Different relationships have different rules. You know when you’ve breached them.

The more broadly infidelity is defined, the more common it is. The number people seem most interested in is how often married people have sex with someone other than their spouse. Most studies show that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 married people will admit to having engaged in sexual infidelity, says Justin Lehmiller, a Purdue University psychologist who studies sex and relationships and is the author of “The Psychology of Human Sexuality.”

Yet experts say almost everyone has thought about cheating on a spouse at one time or another, whether it’s fantasizing about a date with Bradley Cooper or flirting with a colleague over lunch.

Have you ever wondered if you’re in danger of being unfaithful? The experts advise you to look at these risk categories. People who engage in infidelity typically fall into more than one.

Article continues at “Gender”

 

 

 

 

 

91% of Executives Mismanage Their Time – At What Cost? Reply

wasted timeBy Chris Simmons

In March, Inc magazine ran a very interesting feature called “Time Troubles.” This article claimed that only 9% of executives are satisfied with their seemingly optimal time-management skills. The vast remainder of corporate leaders Inc assigned to one of four failed executive types: Crisis Managers, Cheerleaders, Online Junkies, and Schmoozers. While Inc did not say what percentage of executives fit into each category, it did reveal the major failings which resulted in said assignments:

  • Crisis Managers: Spent 67% more time on unanticipated, short-duration problems than the optimal group.
  • Cheerleaders: Mis-spent 45% more time on employee pep talks AND 39% less time with business clients.
  • Online Junkies: Wasted 36% more time on email and voice mail than more effective and efficient face-to-face communication.
  • Schmoozers: Squandered 17% more time with clients than necessary by stealing time that should have been invested in communicating with their workplace colleagues.

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. As such, I thought the Inc item was a great starting point. We, collectively, pay a huge price for poor time management. It drives up personnel turn-over, miscommunication and bankruptcies while driving down morale, engagement, and profit margins. In keeping with this theme, the next question I would love to see Inc tackle is: “what is the cumulative cost of these time-management failures?”

 

“Must Reads” From The Latest Issue of Psychology Today Reply

TodayBy Chris Simmons

Of all the magazines I read/scan, Psychology Today is one of the few I strongly endorse. More specifically, I encourage you to buy it hardcopy, as the digital edition is only fully populated well after the print magazine hits the streets. Since it’s a bimonthly publication, this means print subscribers have the content up to 60 days before the complete digital version appears. Coincidently, this generally coincides with the release date of the next print issue.

For those I’ve inspired to purchase the May/June edition of Psychology Today, the four features you cannot afford to miss are:

A Perfect Devil:  Successful psychopaths have our ear, but it’s the unsuccessful psychopaths who may hold the keys to this devastating disorder.  – Kaja Perina

Now It’s Personal:  Arguments are harder to resolve when values are on the line. – Matt Huston

Love, Factually:  (offers suggestions based on “research-based [marriage] vows that actually help couples keep their promises to one another”) – not sourced

Build a Better PSA:  The science of persuasion can help us make healthier choices. – Deepa Lakshmin

Disclaimer: I recommend Psychology Today because I believe in the product. I have no personal or professional ties with the publisher in any form.

Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater? Reply

Cheaters

Understanding the reasons behind infidelity

by Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Over 90% of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30-40% of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, violence, divorce, and homicide. Considering these negative effects, why do people cheat? Is the phrase, “once a cheater, always a cheater” true? Here, I answer these questions and outline the three reasons for cheating.

1. Individual reasons. The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” refers to individual reasons for cheating or qualities about the person that make them more prone to commit infidelity. Researchers have identified a variety of individual risk factors including gender, personality, religiosity, and political orientation. Regarding gender, men are more likely than women to commit infidelity. This is largely because men have more testosterone, which is responsible for the strong desire to have sex. Regarding personality, those who have less conscientious and less agreeable personalities are more likely than people high on these traits to commit infidelity. If you’re wondering about your own personality, take this assessment: personalitytest. Very religious people and those who have a conservative political orientation are less likely than non-religious and liberal people to commit infidelity because they have more rigid values.

2. Relationship reasons. The second reason people cheat is for relationship reasons or characteristics about the relationship itself that are unsatisfying. For these people, becoming involved in a more well-matched partnership diminishes or eliminates their desire to cheat. So, the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” does not hold true for these people. Instead, factors about the relationship itself must be examined. Researchers find that partnerships characterized by dissatisfaction, unfulfilling sex, and high conflict are at risk for infidelity. Partner dissimilarity is also associated with infidelity. The more dissimilar partners are in terms of factors like personality and education level, the more likely they are to experience infidelity.

3. Situational reasons. The third reason people cheat is because of the situation. In such cases, a person might not have a cheating personality and might be in a perfectly happy relationship, but something about their environment puts them at risk for infidelity. Some situations are more tempting than others. For example, spending time in settings with many attractive people makes cheating more likely. The nature of a person’s employment is also related to infidelity. Individuals whose work involves touching other people, personal discussions, and one-on-one time are more likely to have an affair. When the sex ratio is imbalanced (i.e., an overabundance of men or women in the population), people are also more likely to experience infidelity. Finally, in terms of geographic region, people who live in urban areas, as opposed to rural, less populated regions, are at greater risk. This is because people in metropolitan areas generally have more liberal attitudes about extramarital sex and because cities have larger numbers of people, which creates an environment of anonymity and an abundance of partners with whom to have sex.

Feature continues here: Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?

 

Why Employees Stay – or Not Reply

By Chris Simmons

In his work on “Motivation Theory,” psychologist Frederick Herzberg discovered that certain job factors satisfy employees, while others are intended solely to keep them from becoming disgruntled.

The Motivators (or “health factors”) focus on job satisfaction. They can drive productivity; provide a stimulating workplace, and real job satisfaction. These factors include recognition, achievement, responsibility, advancement, growth, control, and most importantly – the work itself. Motivators are always linked to the individual’s needs.

Maintenance (or “hygiene factors”) focus on preventing job dissatisfaction. These are the topics that – if they are missing or perceived as unfair – will displease employees. They include administrative policies and practices, supervision, working conditions, status, interpersonal relationships, salary and associated compensation, and job security. Maintenance factors are always linked to the organization’s needs.

The presence of adequate Maintenance factors alone will never be enough to motivate employees to perform excellent work. However, these factors must be present to allow the opportunity for excellent work. As such, Maintenance factors can be seen as environmental or preventative, as they produce no increase in work output, but can strongly limit performance if they are absent or viewed negatively by staff.

Herzberg insists that Motivators and Maintenance factors are not mutually exclusive. For example, in the past, nursing and teaching were examples of jobs with poor Maintenance factors (e.g., low pay, low status, poor working conditions) coupled with strong Motivators (i.e., very important work, high achievement, responsibility). Fortunately, the Maintenance factors for these fields have risen markedly over the years.

Curiously, Herzberg also found that once an individual’s maintainers (i.e., needs) are met, further increases (even doubling or tripling) result in no performance increases.

Why Rate Your Marriage? A Numerical Score Can Help Couples Talk About Problems Reply

Therapists Say They Learn a Lot When Couples Commit to Numbers in Areas Like Trust, Teamwork, Physical Intimacy

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal, Bonds@wsj.com

When marriage therapist Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill met with new clients recently, she asked them why they were seeking therapy. The couple told her they’d spent years arguing over finances and recently had their worst-ever blowup. The husband complained about how much money his wife was spending; the wife said her husband was controlling. They hadn’t slept in the same room for months.

Ms. O’Neill, whose practice is in Mount Kisco, N.Y., then asked the question she often poses in a couple’s first session of marriage therapy: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you each rate your marriage?”

The spouses’ answers? “7.5” and “almost an 8.”

“Whoa,” Ms. O’Neill remembers thinking. “What they are saying doesn’t match those numbers.” She would have given their marriage a 4, she says. “Those scores are very telling.”

How would you rate your relationship?

QUIZ: Rate Your Marriage

Researchers often rely on rate-your-relationship questionnaires in studies of why some marriages last while others crumble. Therapists say couples can benefit from occasionally using these tools to step back and get a clinical view of behaviors, healthy and unhealthy, in their relationship. The rating process can help start a discussion, clarify strengths and weaknesses and, hopefully, lead to marital growth.

“Rating helps you be honest with the reality of what you are feeling,” says Karen Ruskin, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Sharon, Mass. “And the only way to fix something is to first know what the problem is.” Some experts, rather than assign one overall number to a relationship, encourage couples to examine and rate a number of aspects of the marriage that researchers and clinicians agree are most important.

Clinicians say they learn an enormous amount of information by asking a couple to rate their relationship—including the spouses’ individual perceptions about the level of crisis they have reached, and their willingness to be honest. It is helpful to see which partner states the number first: Often, it is the person who is angrier. The order in which a couple presents their problems suggests the order in which the problems should be addressed, like a road map. “That’s worth six months of therapy right there,” says Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York and Boca Raton, Fla.

Attaching hard numbers to the most important relationship in your life comes with some risk, of course. It can be sobering to actually quantify which areas aren’t working well. “You can’t hedge a number,” Dr. Hokemeyer says.

But for couples seeking help for a troubled relationship, a rating serves as a baseline, Dr. Hokemeyer says, a point from which to move upward.

Story continues here: Why Rate Your Marriage?

The Role of Physical Attraction in Your Relationship Reply

Can you get it if you’ve never had it?

By Stephen J. Betchen, Psychology Today

The concept of attraction has been defined in many ways by many different experts in the field of relationships. Some look to biology to explain why we are attracted. Others believe we unconsciously replicate our attraction to our opposite sex-parent. Some believe we’re attracted to those with the same level of emotional maturity or differentiation of self. And still others believe that our unconscious, internalized conflicts choose our partners. These are plausible theories that have been supported by research and clinical experience. And all are deterministic. The biological theory offers that our nature chooses our partners for us (e.g., hormones in love); the latter two psychological explanations contend that partner choice is rooted and shaped in early youth, in relation to our parents. Relationship therapists usually abide by the theory that they were initially trained in. It’s no surprise that it’s impossible to get a unanimous agreement between them on attraction. Nevertheless, the question that seems to create the biggest debate, even bringing experts from different orientations together against those who share their theories seems to be: Can a partner who’s never been physically attracted to his/her mate grow this attraction with time? This question has produced some very interesting, and sometimes heated debates at professional organizations.

I have to admit that I err on the side of the naysayers. In nearly 35 years of practicing couple’s therapy I’ve never seen a partner “get it” when they “never had it” to begin with. I’ve seen a few who “had some” and “grew more.” Even those who were attracted to non-physical aspects of their partners (such as intellect) couldn’t seem to grow a physical attraction. In this sense, you either have it from the beginning or…

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that a lack of physical attraction will necessarily mean the demise of a marriage. Many people live together without physical attraction and/or little to no sexual relations. Other things outweigh physical attraction to these people such as companionship and security. Some find their mates interesting and stimulating. But to many, this type of relationship may be a so-called “house-of-cards.” Consider the following examples:

Janie, a very attractive woman in her middle forties came for couple’s therapy with her husband Tim. Janie lost the desire to have sex with Tim but couldn’t give a good reason. Tim seemed very much in love with his wife. He also kept himself in great shape and was a good provider. Even Janie sang his praises. Sensing something was awry, I separated the couple only to find out that Janie was having an affair. She told me: “Tim is a great guy who treats me like a queen. But as nice and handsome as he is, I’m just not attracted to him.” When I asked Janie the magic question: “Have you ever been physically attracted to Tim?” “No, not really,” she answered. “I needed to get out of my house because my parents were both terrible alcoholics and Tim promised to take care of me—the rest is history.”

Wendy and her husband Larry presented for couple’s therapy…. The Role of Physical Attraction in Your Relationship

Are You Carrying Emotional Baggage from One Relationship to Another? Reply

The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.  ~Lao Tzu

Are you carrying emotional baggage from one relationship to another? Just like schlepping an overstuffed Samsonite, it will cost you, make your journey more difficult, and could prevent you from making a successful connection!

Relationships are a bit of a dance, and in order to remain light on our feet, we need to shed the dead weight of the issues that continue to plague us. The tango is a dance in which two people either move together in the same direction or in opposition to each other. Perhaps this is why the phrase ‘it takes two to tango’ is so often used when referring to relationships.

While it does take two to make or break a relationship, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our responsibility as it relates to its success, or its collapse. As we all know, to keep a long-term relationship moving forward takes much effort. If it ends, and we don’t look deeply into our actions or inactions that played a role in the demise, then we are simply setting ourselves up for another relationship with an expiration date.

Be honest with yourself.

Do you have trouble communicating?

If so, then ask yourself: Is it easier to get divorced than it is to make the effort to listen to her, to show her attention so she feels you ‘get’ her and that she is a priority?

Are you emotionally unavailable?

If so, then ask yourself: Would you rather be alone than experience an emotionally strong connection because it’s built on vulnerability?

Are you a workaholic?

If so, then ask yourself: Would you rather end the relationship than work a little less so you have enough energy to provide him with the intimacy he requires to feel connected?

Do you make excuses (you call them reasons) for not being where you want to be in your life?

If so, then ask yourself: Would you rather stay single than step up and do what it takes to improve your lifestyle?

I’ve heard people say, “I’d have to change who I am, and I’m not willing to do that.”

I ask, is changing your behavior the same as changing who you are? Is making an effort to show you care, changing your personality? Granted, if you enjoy working on cars, you won’t be happy in a three-piece suit… but that’s not the same as being willing to learn the tools that will help you change and grow. These tools could very well prevent you from going to the pit for a tire change every few laps around the track!

We will keep getting the same results if we keep doing the same things! (Yes, also known as insanity). Hard as we try to ignore them, the lessons we are supposed to learn in this life will continue to boomerang right back in our face until we come face to face with them. This applies to many areas of our lives including our work, weight, familial or intimate relationships.

Our issues will follow us from relationship to relationship and will not go away until you tackle them head on!

Some possible demons to consider:

Did You Get Married and Divorced For The Same Reasons? 1

By Aaron Karmin, PsychCentral.com

Why is it that we fall in love with our dream-mate and then spend the next forty years yelling, fighting and screaming as if we had married our worst enemy? It makes no sense. It makes even less sense to get a divorce and marry someone just like the first one.

All humans acquire expectations, both positive and negative in childhood. These expectations encourage us to think, feel, act, and make choices in certain ways. However, expectations do not exist in a vacuum, they exist in a context. And the context that shapes our expectations is built around our past.

Our past doesn’t necessarily predict our future, but what is familiar is comfortable and can offer security. For example, a woman who was criticized by her father and blamed by her brother will not be comfortable with a partner who treats with empathy or support. When she dates a controlling and hostile guy, her friends will say: “He’s not for you,” but she will defend him saying: “He’s really a good person down deep. It’ll work out, you’ll see.”

Another example is the woman who was “abandoned” by her father as a child. She is not “comfortable” with men who are stable and predictable. She will gravitate towards men who will mirror her father’s example and abandon her. If she accidentally marries a man who is unlikely to abandon her, she will provoke him until he can’t stand it any more and stomps out the door. Mission accomplished.

If this woman finds herself dating a man who treats her with respect, she will feel “uncomfortable” and soon end it. She will not question the nature of her “discomfort,” nor seek to relieve it. She will keep dating until she meets someone that she feels “comfortable with.”

Still another example is the woman who was her father’s sparring partner. She will be comfortable with men who fight with her. She will be uncomfortable with men who try to calm her down, to please her, or treat her as an equal. She will scorn such people as “too passive,” or “too boring.” She will search for someone more “exciting” to turn her on. In time, she will find him and they will make miserable music together.

This process is not rational or logical. We ask ourselves, “What does she see in him?” If we ask her, she will come up with some cover story like, “He is so strong, so sure of himself.” The paradox is that we often separate from our partner for the same reasons that we were first attracted to them:

First Attraction: “He was so strong and manly.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He was a brute”

First Attraction: “She was so cute and helpless; she needed me.”
Grounds For Divorce: “She was so dependent on me, I couldn’t breathe.”

First Attraction: “I loved his sense of humor.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He never took me seriously”

First Attraction: “She was sharp as a tack.”
Grounds For Divorce: “She cut me to ribbons with that mouth of hers”

First Attraction: “He was so ambitious and successful.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He never came home from work.”

First Attraction: “She was so pretty.”
Grounds For Divorce: “She was always getting looks from other men”

First Attraction: “I loved her independence!”
Grounds For Divorce: “She wouldn’t do a thing I told her.”

First Attraction: “He was a take-charge guy.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He was a control freak.”

First Attraction: “He was so easy going.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He never made a decision”

First Attraction: “He was so attentive.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He never let me out of his sight.”

First Attraction: “He was so passionate.”
Grounds For Divorce: He always yelled at me.”

First Attraction: “He couldn’t keep his hands off me.”
Grounds For Divorce: “He would push and smack me