The Webs We Weave: Predicting Infidelity Motivations and Extradyadic Relationship Satisfaction

J Sex Res. 2021 Feb;58(2):170-182. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2020.1746954. Epub 2020 Apr 6.


The current study examined relationships between sociosexual constructs and motivations for infidelity in a currently cheating sample. Members of the website who were actively using the website to search for and/or engage in infidelity completed a brief anonymous online survey. Our findings supported previous research regarding emotional and sexual motivations for infidelity. However, we also found that various individual differences were connected to each type of motive. For example, sexual motivations for infidelity were best predicted by being male, having an unrestricted sociosexual orientation, experiencing less sex guilt, having greater Christian identification, and being less satisfied with the primary partner. Importantly, these were not the same patterns for each type of motivation (e.g., anger). Finally, participants' satisfaction with their secondary (i.e., infidelity) partners was not consistently predicted by the motivations for infidelity. This suggests that an individual-differences approach to predicting issues related to infidelity is an important approach for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Deception
  • Extramarital Relations
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Motivation*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners