Personality traits, attitudes and divorce

Haven’t posted more vetting stuff in a while, but here are some additional things you can look for. Psyblog covers some of combination of Big 5 traits associated with increased risk of cheaters. I recently had a post on the Big 5 traits and attachment theory, so this fits in fairly well.

The conclusions come from a survey of 208 people, who were asked about their relationships and whether they had cheated.

Up to 50% of people admit cheating on their partner, the authors write:

“Early studies reported that by the age of 40, 50% of all married men and more than 25% of all married women have engaged in extramarital sexual behavior.

Three decades later, an estimated 50% of men continued to engage in sexual and/or emotional extramarital relations while 40% of women engaged in similar relationships.”

The results of the study revealed that cheaters tend to be low in conscientiousness, extraverted and open to experience.

An N of 200 is rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s interesting to see that 50% of men and 40% of women are cheaters (emotional or physical).

Low in conscientiousness “is associated with flexibility and spontaneity, but can also appear as sloppiness and lack of reliability” and extraversion + open to experience means that they’re more likely to seek out ‘novel’ or ‘thrill seeking’ behavior. Cheating is obviously one of those types of things. Would not be surprised to see that this falls into similar patterns with alcohol, drug, and other novel substance tendencies.

To go along with this, there is another Psyblog on infidelity that corresponds to women specifically:

Narcissism is one of the strongest predictors that someone will cheat in their relationship, research finds.

Narcissists are likely to be vain, egocentric and over-confident — they like to show off their bodies, talk about themselves and put other people down.

Two other personality factors that predict people’s infidelity are unstable emotions and psychopathy.

People who are unstable are unreliable, careless, badly organised and find it hard to resist temptation.

Psychopaths, meanwhile, are irresponsible, spontaneous and manipulative.

Per the authors of the study:

“One of the strongest predictors is Narcissism.

Women high on Narcissism predict that they will flirt with, kiss, and date other men, as well as have one night stands, brief affairs, and serious affairs with other men.

…two equally strong predictors of mild and serious infidelity are low Conscientiousness and high Psychoticism.

These variables are correlated, and share the common component of impulsivity and inability to delay gratification.

And like Narcissism, Conscientiousness and Psychoticism are stronger predictors of women’s anticipated infidelities than men’s anticipated infidelities.

These findings suggest that a personality style marked by impulsivity, low dependability, and low reliability in general carries over…”

To go along with this is also Gottman’s research on the 4 horseman of the (divorce) apocalypse.

  • CriticismThe first horseman is criticism. Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint. The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack. It is an attack on your partner at the core of their character. In effect, you are dismantling their whole being when you criticize.
  • Contempt —  The second horseman is contempt. When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean—we treat others with disrespect, mock them with sarcasm, ridicule, call them names, and mimic or use body language such as eye-rolling or scoffing. The target of contempt is made to feel despised and worthless.
  • DefensivenessThe third horseman is defensiveness, and it is typically a response to criticism. We’ve all been defensive, and this horseman is nearly omnipresent when relationships are on the rocks. When we feel unjustly accused, we fish for excuses and play the innocent victim so that our partner will back off.
  • StonewallingThe fourth horseman is stonewalling, which is usually a response to contempt. Stonewalling occurs when the listener withdraws from the interaction, shuts down, and simply stops responding to their partner. Rather than confronting the issues with their partner, people who stonewall can make evasive maneuvers such as tuning out, turning away, acting busy, or engaging in obsessive or distracting behaviors.

Some of the Biblical antidotes to these are:

  • Kindness: speak the Truth in Love.
  • Respect from the wife, and honor from the husband
  • Humility
  • Valuing the relationship/marriage over personal feelings

These are some more traits and character qualities you should avoid when vetting a spouse.

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7 Responses to Personality traits, attitudes and divorce

  1. That Brotha Pedat says:

    Good stuff. Been approaching a lot of intersexual stuff using these materials lately. I’m as RP as they come, but there are many other answers as to how hasatan has crept in and begun destroying the families and marriages of The Most High.

    As for Gottman; has he gotten the Red Pill seal of approval yet? I checked Dalrock’s archives and didn’t see any significant mention. I think maybe Ballista mentioned him on his old Blog once before…maybe.

    I think apathy, pride, and hardness of heart are a few other horses that enable the divorce pathology as well. When a partner stops giving any fucks about the marriage, their partner, or even the Faith is a good sign of the beginning of the end. People start leaning more and more to their own understanding as opposed to humbling themselves for counsel and correction.

  2. THF says:

    Interesting post. You must have married an introvert I’m guessing?

    You have to remember that all women are hypergamous, and all have/will sin, or be tempted to sin. Introverts are very different from extroverts, yes, and need different categories or markers when studying where they’ll be more likely to stray. Hint: it’s not as obvious as an extroverted woman.

    Case in point: most women who blog, including the ones ’round the sphere, are all introverts. When I first figured this out it made no sense in my mind. Why put yourself out there so publicly if you’re an introvert? It makes sense when you watch how these introvert females relate to their commenters. They tell them everything about their lives, even their sex lives, and say they often feel more “themselves,” when they’re online than in person. In effect, being online makes them more “extroverted.”

    I’ve even seen some of these introverted women remark to their commenters or fellow forum readers that their online commenters understand or know them better than most of their friends in their real lives.

    Take into account also, introverts are more likely to form sexual attraction attachments online it seems; which would be harder to study compared to extroverts who prefer real life attractions and interactions. I’ve personally known two introverted women who found their husband in online forums, this just isn’t something comparable to how extroverts relate. So cheating, while it may not be as obvious and open as an extroverted woman would behave, could and I’m sure often, does happen emotionally for them due to the internet.

    Answer this, why are introvert women more likely to be bloggers putting themselves out there, writing about their sex lives for a predominantly male audience, etc? Why wouldn’t extrovert women be doing this? Because they gain enough male attention in real life. Introverts might be too shy to seek attention in the real world, but it seems online is where they’re most comfortable to seek men’s attention.

  3. @ Pedat

    Good stuff. Been approaching a lot of intersexual stuff using these materials lately. I’m as RP as they come, but there are many other answers as to how hasatan has crept in and begun destroying the families and marriages of The Most High.

    I’m very hesitant to blame Satan for anything. Most marital problems are because the two people in marriage are messing it up themselves and too prideful to admit it.

    As for Gottman; has he gotten the Red Pill seal of approval yet? I checked Dalrock’s archives and didn’t see any significant mention. I think maybe Ballista mentioned him on his old Blog once before…maybe.

    Who knows. He does have some accurate indicators of impending divorce which can be useful to those who are married.

    Now that I think about it, this is probably one of the main oversights that I wish I had included in the book.

    I think apathy, pride, and hardness of heart are a few other horses that enable the divorce pathology as well. When a partner stops giving any fucks about the marriage, their partner, or even the Faith is a good sign of the beginning of the end. People start leaning more and more to their own understanding as opposed to humbling themselves for counsel and correction.

    Yup.

  4. @ THF

    Interesting post. You must have married an introvert I’m guessing?

    You have to remember that all women are hypergamous, and all have/will sin, or be tempted to sin. Introverts are very different from extroverts, yes, and need different categories or markers when studying where they’ll be more likely to stray. Hint: it’s not as obvious as an extroverted woman.

    Around the middle I think.

    I don’t think solely extroverted matters… what seems to be particular volatile is the combination of all 3 traits together. I wouldn’t be worried about a single one or maybe even two… but if you see two to three of them AND questionable character and behavior that’s when I would be really concerned.

    Answer this, why are introvert women more likely to be bloggers putting themselves out there, writing about their sex lives for a predominantly male audience, etc? Why wouldn’t extrovert women be doing this? Because they gain enough male attention in real life. Introverts might be too shy to seek attention in the real world, but it seems online is where they’re most comfortable to seek men’s attention.

    By and large I agree. Women tend to seek attention AND approval wherever they can get it. FB, IG, SC, and other social media prove this more than blogging whether a woman is introverted or not.

    This is a temptation that women and wives actively have to fight.

  5. Jacob says:

    Excellent post. Just a comment on that initial study where the researchers state that 25% of all married women are unfaithful compared to 50% of married men. This ratio is probably false and more likely to be the other way around. There are three well-known medical facts that undermine such claims.

    1. Sex chromosome DNA markers show that twice as many women than men who ever existed have had children.
    2. Twice as many women than men carry the herpes virus.
    3. 25% of post-marriage paternity tests come back positive (i.e. the man raising the child proves not to be the biological father).

    These facts can be easily verified. They basically prove that women have sex far more often than men and will generally try to hide the fact. These three provable observations suggest the proportion is more like 2:1 the other way around.

    The study itself reveals how such an egregious misrepresentation of the figures occurred. The authors state that “up to 50% of people admit cheating on their partner”. The study is based solely on people who admit to cheating. They don’t include data on the people who have cheated but didn’t admit to it, so this claim must be false:

    “Early studies reported that by the age of 40, 50% of all married men and more than 25% of all married women have engaged in extramarital sexual behavior.

    It can’t be “all” married men and women if the figures are based only on those who admit to it.

    The fact is that women are far less likely than men to admit to cheating, even in an anonymous study. The incentives for women to lie are not trivial and they’re much more likely to rationalize the lie because truth is less important than feelings. To the female brain, something is right (i.e. true) because it feels right. Hypergamous rationalization and anti-slut defences are powerful motivators for women to deceive, even self-delude, because the felt ‘rightness’ of the act far outweighs the felt trangression of the deception.

    I’m therefore very cautious about your “50% of men and 40% of women are cheaters” statement. The figures are probably more like 60-80% of women and 30-40% of men. I’ve heard many pastors who try to skew the ratio heavily towards men to make their man-shaming or AMOG-ing sermons work, but the facts on the ground simply don’t bear this out.

    It’s critically important in our attempts to understand why married men and women cheat to recognise that women are far more prone, and far more likely, to transgress sexually than men. It has always been so. It’s biological reality in the animal kingdom. I believe God instituted marriage to keep men and women from falling back to this animal nature.

    None of this detracts from the finer details of your post, so please just take it as a fact check.

  6. @ Jacob

    Agreed and good points.

    I probably should have said “this study claims this percentage of people cheat but we know it’s likely higher for women and possibly less to similar for men.”

  7. ballista74 says:

    > I think maybe Ballista mentioned him on his old Blog once before…maybe.

    With this mention, I thought I’d point out there’s no “old Blog”, just the current one as accessible in the comment name. I threw the old blog’s contents up in the new one, so you can see everything I’ve posted up to this point.

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