The last thing you want to do when your partner tells you that one of their parents had an affair, is think about yourself.
But, if a little voice in the back of your head is whispering ‘does it run in the family?’ then you can’t help that.
According to a 2014 study of 2,000 British men and women by Illicit Encounters, just over half of men who cheated said their fathers were cheaters, and three quarters of women who had extramarital affairs said that their mums were unfaithful.
Could it be that our ability to commit to one person sexually for our entire lives is genetic? Not so, according to Dr Kelberman, of the Great Ormond Street Institute.
Flower company Bloom and Wild got Dr Kelberman to look into which human behaviours are genetic and which are a result of our conscious choices. He firmly believes that there is no cheating gene, saying: ‘Such behaviours are acquired and nothing to do with genetics.
‘There are lots of studies on the genes involved in inheritance, most of which are contentious. There are potentially thousands of genes involved, and our estimates at present only account for a very small amount of what is inherited.’
Therefore if cheating does run in your family, it is a result of either coincidence or nurture rather than nature.
It is worth noting that the leading study on this question was taken by people on an extra marital affairs website, therefore everyone taking the test was already inclined towards cheating, which skews the sample.
If your partner had a cheating parent and you’re starting to worry then you can take a look at our guide to the signs that someone is cheating, as well as having an honest conversation with your partner about your concerns.
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