Findings suggest that disparities in moneymaking play a significant role in infidelity, at least among the young couples they studied. “With women, they were less likely to engage in infidelity the less money they make relative to their husband,” said study author Christin Munsch. “But for men, the less money you make relative to your spouse, the more likely you are to engage in infidelity.”
Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and research professor at Rutgers University, said it makes sense that men with more money would be more likely to fool around. “He probably travels a lot and drives nicer cars, and he’s probably in finer restaurants. He’s advertising the kind of resources that women are looking for from an evolutionary perspective,” she said. “Around the world, women go for men who are on the top of the pile.”
But there’s less reason, from an evolutionary perspective, for a man to stray if he makes less money than his female partner, she said. “You’d think a man would want to stick around those resources himself. That may have more of a purely psychological explanation.”
As for women, she said, wealth brings them a greater power to do what they want, whether it’s leave a bad relationship or have an affair.