Spouses who are insecure about their partner's commitment are more likely to be unfaithful, according to a new study.
The results were published earlier this year in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Florida State psychologist V. Michelle Russell found that couples in which one or more partners exhibited signs of "anxious attachment" -- meaning they feared abandonment and acted clingy as a result -- were more likely to stray outside the marriage, compared to spouses who were confident in their relationship.
Russell came to these conclusions by studying over 200 newlywed couples' personality, attachment style, marital satisfaction, sexual activity, and infidelity over a timespan of three-and-a-half to four years.
Russell explained, "Individuals high in attachment anxiety tend to feel that their needs for intimacy are not being met in their current relationships and use sex to meet their unmet needs."
In other words, clingy spouses who need a lot of emotional reassurance from their partner and feel they aren't getting it are more likely to look for it somewhere else, with someone else.
Russell pointed out that spouses with "anxious attachment" tendencies aren't just more likely to cheat, they are also more likely to get cheated on -- creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
The take away here? The more secure you feel about your marriage, the more secure it may become.