For those who worry about infidelity, there is good news to be found in the MSNBC.com/iVillage Lust, Love and Loyalty survey. Bed hopping is not as common as we think, and a big reason why more people aren’t wandering is that we love our significant others.
But no matter how loving and well-intentioned we are, some people do stray — 22 percent of survey takers in monogamous relationships say they've cheated on their current partner.
The survey backs up earlier research that shows despite a persistent belief that many more people are cheating, the infidelity rate usually hovers around 25 percent over the course of a relationship, says Adrian Blow, a marriage and family therapist and assistant professor at
The survey also shows there is no one type of cheater. Young or old, married or living together, kids or no kids, assorted relationships show similar rates of infidelity. In that sense, "everyone is vulnerable," Blow says.
Why even a strong marriage might be susceptible is partly illustrated by another of the survey’s results. People do not tend to cheat with strangers. By far, most paramours are found among the ranks of friends and co-workers.
"If someone has a great marriage, but some hot opportunity comes along, like a colleague you are attracted to, you can be vulnerable," Blow says.
Infidelity, to borrow cop talk, is often a crime of opportunity.
But why, after months or years or even a lifetime of faithfulness, does anybody take the opportunity? And is there anything we can do immunize our relationships against wandering?