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This One Thing Makes Your Partner 3 Times More Likely to Cheat, Study Finds

This common occurrence could increase your risk of suffering infidelity in your relationship.

Discovering that your significant other has been unfaithful to you can be a life-altering realization. Suddenly, that once-happy partnership feels indelibly tarnished, leaving you shellshocked—and wondering what went wrong.

While each case of infidelity is different, there's one factor that may determine whether or not your partner cheats. In fact, research suggests it could make them three times more likely to be unfaithful. Read on to find out which red flag to watch out for.

RELATED: Doing This Together Led 20 Percent of Couples to Divorce in New Survey.

If your partner has cheated in previous relationships, they're more likely to cheat on you.

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While people can—and frequently do—change their behavior, when it comes to infidelity, one of the best predictors of future cheating is having cheated in the past.

A 2017 review of research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that, among a group of 484 adults in heterosexual relationships, individuals who had cheated in one relationship were over three times more likely to cheat in their next relationship as compared to people who had remained faithful to their previous partners. Similarly, individuals whose past partners had cheated on them were twice as likely to have their current partners cheat on them, too.

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Past infidelity also increased study subjects' suspicions about their current partner cheating.

Unhappy Young American Woman Having Argument With Man At Home.
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If you've ever been cheated on or thought that your significant other was cheating, it's understandable that you might be eager to look for clues as to why your partner was unfaithful.

Unfortunately, this may lead to you feeling suspicious of your current partner, whether or not that's actually warranted by their behavior. The same study found that individuals who suspected their past partner of being unfaithful were over four times more likely to suspect their current partners of cheating than those who hadn't been cheated on previously.

Repeated infidelity was a constant across demographic groups.

man and woman turned away from each other on a couch
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While you may have suspicions about what demographic factors may make a person more likely to cheat, they're probably not particularly accurate.

According to the study's authors, while past cheating was a strong predictor of future cheating, neither gender nor marital status was particularly linked to the prevalence of infidelity.

However, certain characteristics of your relationship may be linked to cheating.

Couple fighting about bad driving
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Though you may not be able to accurately predict whether or not your partner will cheat based on their gender or whether or not you tied the knot, there are some components of your partnership that may make you likelier to cheat—or be cheated on.

According to a 2021 study published in The Journal of Sex Research, the factors most linked to in-person cheating were low relationship satisfaction, low romantic love, and personal sexual desire, while online cheating was associated with having longer relationships, a greater interest in engaging in specific sexual activities, and personal sexual desire.

RELATED: If Your Partner Has These 4 Qualities, They're More Likely to Cheat on You.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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