Would Joel from Parenthood cheat on Julia?A recent study says that men who are economically dependent on their wives are five times more likely to cheat than their equally earning counterparts. And guess who else is more likely to cheat? The guys whose wives are economically dependent on them.
Does that make you want to scream? You betcha. Except as usual, when you look more deeply at the data, it’s not as scary as it seems. Damn these studies and their panic-inducing first-glances!
Here’s why you shouldn't panic:
1. The study looked at couples between the ages of 18 and 28. That’s a whole lot of young and less-settled men. Do the same study of men between 28 and 38 and I’ll bet the cheaty numbers will go down.
I’m not saying younger guys are guaranteed to cheat. I’m saying they’re more likely to. I personally know several guys who were total tomcats in their 20s -- serious Don Drapers -- but settled down once they passed the age of 30 and either got it out of their system or gained a measure of self-confidence that didn’t depend on racking up notches on their belts.
2. The numbers can easily be manipulated. When the authors of the study corrected for age, education level, income, religious attendance, and relationship satisfaction, this effect vanished. Even they don’t quite know what it all means.
3. Whichever way you slice it, even this depressing study found that only about 4 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women were cheating anyway. Which makes the vast majority of marriages intact.
In these uncertain economic times, when we pretty much have to take whatever financial arrangement we can get, the last thing we need is the uneasy feeling that by taking care of the family, we’re leaving the back door open to another woman. Am I saying I’m annoyed at this study’s authors, for distressing working women unnecessarily? Yes. Yes, I am.
Would you trust your husband to be a stay-at-home-dad?
Image via NBC