Twenty percent of men and 15 percent of women admit to having cheated on their partner at some point during their relationship. And many of those had (and continue to have) their affairs during business trips. Of the people that do have an affair, over one-third do it on a business trip. So what makes a business trip so ripe for infidelity?
While some cheat during trips simply because it’s easier than trying to sneak around the husband or wife at home, the main reason is people feel free to become a new person when they are away from home without the wife or kids. They can escape their ordinary lives and be anyone they choose to be. It’s total escapism and fantasy. “Going out of town for business allows people to try on a fantasy life,” says psychotherapist Christine Snyder. “One without quarreling with your spouse about your dirty socks on the floor, coordinating carpools for your kids’ soccer practices, or sitting in your cubicle like most other days of the week. Many of us are so appalled by infidelity that the only way we can wrap our heads around it is to paint the person as a diabolical monster,” she says. “But the people who do have sex with others on business trips are often very normal and average people.”
Other factors can play a part too. Many travelers drink more than they normally do when they attend conventions and trade shows. They also don’t get as much sleep as they do at home. While excessive alcohol consumption has long been associated with infidelity, the combination of excessive alcohol and lack of sleep have been linked with increased unethical and deviant behavior. Both together can make it easier to take that fantasy life too far.
Of course, seeing your husband or wife off on a business trip doesn’t automatically mean they will have an affair while they are gone. Infidelity isn’t automatic. Keeping your relationship strong at home will keep it strong on the road.