By Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

During a recession, bankers are the new lawyers. You know, the butts of jokes, either loved or hated. A new study shows many are feeling hated and seeking love in all the wrong places. According to Reuters:

“ said it has seen a huge increase in the number of financial workers signing up to have affairs after the collapse of the markets in October last year, and that “finance” continued to be one of the most represented professional areas on the site.”

The website set out to determine why this was so. They interviewed 380,000 members, 20,000 of them work in financial services and found that among some of the reasons for infidelity were public revulsion for bankers, along with lack of affection in private. Additionally, members were interested in engaging in risky behavior to escape boredom, and feeding the ego by landing a trophy mistress. Long hours, negative public sentiment, stress and separation from their partners makes those that work in finance (and any high-stress job for that matter) more prone to turn to an affair; especially now when there is more than enough stress to go around!

If we look around, we see a higher rate of affairs in other professions that are very demanding, like politicians. I’ve talked about this before and explained my theory. The bio-chemical craving for connection, as discussed in the book “Financial Infidelity”, stems from stress, separation and/or loss. These are probable elements for finance workers now. The stress goes without saying, and the separation aspect was even mentioned in the study, as bankers work longer and longer hours, lending fewer opportunities to connect with a spouse or partner. Thus, it’s not a stretch to think that those in this field are facing large financial losses themselves, or dealing with clients who have suffered losses.

A common reply in the study from male respondents had to do with boosting egos and giving in to the peer pressure of having a mistress for the sake of status. A stressed out banker distancing himself from family creates fertile ground for indiscretions.

All this explains why infidelity happens, but certainly doesn’t excuse it. Although certain people, professions and/or websites make it seem otherwise, an affair is not something to be coveted. Adultery usually leads to a further rift in a relationship, and all too often is the precursor for divorce. Contrary to social and popular belief among some, infidelity is not a status symbol. Rather, it is a symptom of a life that is terribly out of balance.

Instead of choosing infidelity as a solution for relieving stress, communicate with your partner. If you’re not at a good point in your relationship, talk to SOMEONE you trust, with the goal of developing emotional intimacy with your partner. Affairs create more lies, more stress and more separation, and you’ll be worse off than when you started.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil ( is the author of best selling book Make Up Don’t Break Up, newly revised with accompanying DVD: Falling in Love and Staying in Love. The book with 3 new chapters is being released in Feb 2010.


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