Is your partner clingy? Watch out – they’re most likely to be having an affair, says new study

I have always known this but knowing that there are research findings out there supporting my gut instinct just makes me feel waaay better!


  • People unable to form secure  relationships with parents were affected
  • Infidelity frequently stems from fear of  being abandoned by spouses
  • Research conducted over four years and  includes data from 200 couples

By  Ruth Styles

You might think that a clingy partner would  be least likely to stray – but you’d be wrong, according to a new  study.

In fact, people who are insecure and find it  hard to trust are themselves more likely to cheat.

The research, which was conducted by a team  at Florida State University and reported in journal Psychology Today, looked at 200 newly married  couples over a period of four years.

Anxiety: Those who fear abandonment are more likely to cheat and be cheated on by their partnerAnxiety: Those who fear abandonment are more likely to  cheat and be cheated on by their partner


Security: Relationships with parents informed future behaviour with romantic partnersSecurity: Relationships with parents informed future  behaviour with romantic partners


During the study, participants were  regularly asked to complete a survey that questioned their feelings  towards  their partner and how secure in the relationship they felt.Those  who displayed needy behaviour and were anxious about being abandoned by their  partner were more likely to themselves cheat.

Interestingly, the same was found to be true  of the spouses of those who feared abandonment.

The findings have been attributed to another  psychological theorem that deals with attachment styles, which are formed during  childhood. Those who enjoyed a stable relationship with  their parents develop a ‘secure’ attachment style which, as an adult, translates  to being able to trust that partners will care for them and will make their  wellbeing a priority.

By contrast, those who have insecure  attachment styles either fear abandonment or battle to retain their independence  in a bid to avoid being rejected.

According to Michelle Russell, the  psychologist who led the study, those who fear abandonment are both more likely  to cheat and be cheated on, as well as displaying more neediness within a  relationship.

‘Attachment anxiety produces enough of a  threat to intimacy to motivate spouses to seek out alternative partners,’ she  explains.

Interestingly, the same wasn’t true for those  with the other form of insecure attachment style – greater independence – who  were found instead to be the least likely to cheat.

Culled from

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