Stealing Someone Else's Husband Isn't Always a Recipe for Disaster

woman and man in office talkingWhen Tori Spelling's husband Dean McDermott cheated last year, plenty of critics ascribed the words "karmic payback" to the situation, because when the stars met and fell in love, both were married to other people. But while karma may have something to do with history repeating itself, it may also be science.

People who've been "poached" from an existing relationship by a new partner are more "socially passive, not particularly nice to others, careless, and irresponsible and narcissistic," according to a new study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Research in Personality. Further, the authors say these people also tend to be less committed, less satisfied or invested in their future relationship, look outside of their relationships sexually, etc.

Translation: major bad news. Basically, if you begin a relationship with someone who is still in another relationship, you're taking a big risk that they'll stray from you one day, too.


This isn't exactly surprising. But what bears noting, which the researchers didn't appear to touch on, is that there are exceptions to this seemingly obvious "rule."

Consider Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. We don't know exactly what the state of affairs was at the Aniston-Pitt home when Brad got with Angie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but maybe he was technically "poached"? Fast-forward to almost 10 years later, and the pair are now happily wed with 6 kiddos. And I know a couple who were unhappily married to others when they met, but found they were more compatible with one another and have been married for 30+ years.

More from The Stir: 15 Real Reasons Women Gave for Cheating on Their Husbands

In other words, it seems fair to argue that these situations aren't always black and white. "Once a cheater, always a cheater" may be true a lot of the time, but there are exceptions. People can find their better half while they're still attached to someone else. And they very well may remain faithful to that person afterward.

The researchers acknowledge that while they can't necessarily predict the outcome of every relationship that begins with poaching, the chances are higher that poached partners will cheat again. Seems like a safe assumption ... but not necessarily a dealbreaker for many couples who happen to start off with anything but a clean slate.

Have you ever been poached or poached a partner? Do you believe relationships that start out with "poaching" can succeed?

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