Skip Nav
Summer
40 Outdoor Date Ideas For Summer Lovin'
Wedding
30 Small Real-Girl Engagement Rings With Big Impact
Nostalgia
16 Disney Quotes That Will Make Your Heart Melt
How to Pull Off Statement Earrings
Must Have Box
1 Type of Statement Earring That Anyone Can Pull Off

Cheating May Change Your Brain

Your Brain Reacts Differently When You're Not Monogamous, a Scientific Study Suggests

Wondering if your partner is cheating on you is one of the worst feelings in the world. Relationships are hard enough, but having to add on a conversation about infidelity? Yikes — hello, emotional roller coaster.

Many have gone through those hard moments of piecing together that gut-wrenching mystery, wondering whether your loved one is just stressed from a hard day or secretly lying to you with every passing moment. It would be so much easier if there was a scientific way to get the truth out. (And one that doesn't just involve guessing, even if there are some red flags to watch out for.)

It turns out, scientists hypothesize people who cheat actually have identifiably different brain chemistry than people who are being faithful to their partners. The scientific study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, compared brain activity in monogamous and nonmonogamous men by showing them images while scanning their brains with an fMRI machine. The researchers showed each group of men (one group who identified as monogamous, one group identifying as nonmonogamous) romantic and sexual pictures and recorded which areas of the brain were activated.

ADVERTISEMENT

When shown romantic images, the brains of the monogamous men lit up on the right sides, including their orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with decision-making. However, the brains of all the subjects of both groups reacted similarly when shown sexual images, suggesting only feelings of romance are changed when a subject identifies as nonmonogamous. "Results indicated that monogamous men showed more reward-related neural activity when viewing romantic pictures compared to nonmonogamous men," the study says. "These results demonstrate that the neural processing of romantic images is different for monogamous and nonmonogamous men."

It's important to note that, as with any scientific study, more research is needed before the underlying hypothesis can be proven, and the study included 20 men, so the size of participation needs to be considered. The study also didn't account for polyamorous relationships and didn't ask whether the subjects were literally cheating, just that the nonmonogamous individuals weren't with only one partner.

It would be nice if there was a way to carry an fMRI machine to check for signs of cheating, but that's closer to an episode of Black Mirror than real-life tech. Instead, hopefully, open communication will help filter out some of the confusion, and if nothing else, perhaps your instincts can point you in the right direction.

From Our Partners
Why You Should Consider an IUD
Is It OK to Have Sex When You Have a Yeast Infection?
Is It Normal to Have Pain After a Pap Smear?
Essay About Having More Sex When You're Pregnant
Why Siblings Are So Important
Things Military Spouses Do During Deployments
How Marriage Changes When You Have Kids
What It's Like to Have a Baby With Your Friend
How to Improve Your Sex Life After Having Kids
Questions You Should Ask Your Gynecologist
Benefits of Traveling Without Your Kids
How Marriage Changes in Your 30s
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds