Happiness, Relationships & Infidelity

Happiness, Relationships & Infidelity

‘Happy enough’ couples fall prey to infidelity, too

By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY

Relationship researchers are finding evidence that may be unsettling to many married couples: Sexual affairs aren’t limited to those in unhappy unions.

Among findings:

ê¢__‘Ô¢Couples who report “pretty happy” marriages are twice as likely to have had an affair as those who have “very happy” marriages, says a study in May’s Journal of Marriage and Family. Those who report “not too happy” marriages are three times more likely than the “very happy” to report an affair, says David Atkins, associate professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.

ê¢__‘Ô¢Couples who said that either they or their spouse had an affair reported no signs of unhappiness, such as hostility, and had more positive than negative interactions, according to a study published in the June issue of the journal Family Process by Beth Allen, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado-Denver.

ê¢__‘Ô¢Only a quarter of men in a third study, also by Allen and reported this year in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, said they had “lots of marital problems” before an affair.

So, how happy is happy enough to ward off extramarital temptation? If someone who reports being happy still cheats, is it boredom or something deeper?

To read more about what Ed Deiner refers to as the search for ultra-happiness…click here