The big way men and women respond to cheating differently

Jan 16, 2015 at 7:55 p.m. ET

The way you react to a cheating spouse or significant other might have everything to do with your gender. If the idea of your spouse falling in love with someone else makes you want to hurl plates, you might have female parts. If the thought of him or her getting busy with someone (sans love) bothers you more, well then you might just be a dude. Mars and Venus, indeed.

A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that men are more upset by physical infidelity while women are more traumatized by the emotional kind. It's easy to see why. Men do seem to get a lot more caught up in the physical side of cheating while women tend to worry more about the love.

When I think of my own marriage, I really do think we could survive a fling or a one-night mistake. I can't imagine how we might survive a true affair. If he loved someone else, that would break my heart.

The truth is, all forms of cheating are wrong. But this study takes it one step further.

Over 50 percent of heterosexual men were bothered by sexual infidelity, but only about 30 percent of all the other gender and sexuality groups felt the same way. These included heterosexual women, gay men, lesbian women and bisexuals, all of whom were much more concerned with love than sex.

So what's up with straight men?

The theory is that it calls into question who may have fathered their offspring. I guess on a biological level it makes sense, but hetero men really have some catching up to do in the emotional department. I mean who cares about a little sexual infidelity if feelings aren't involved. Be logical! What is more likely to damage the relationship permanently?

Yet another study proving straight men still have some evolving left do. But hey, many of us know that already. But we love them anyway. Most of the time.

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