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5 Important Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Getting Into Bed


5
Are You Married?

The image of a frenzied, psychopathic Glenn Close as Michael Douglas's spurned lover in "Fatal Attraction" had a generation of men thinking twice (or more) about their dalliances outside the home. Yet infidelity is still rampant, according to most reputable sources, even if the figures are wildly erratic. Clearly, celebrities and politicians have raised cheating to an art form, but what about the rest of us?

Most studies place the percentage of cheating spouses anywhere between 15 and 70 percent [source: Bowman]. A University of Texas study put the figure between 40 and 76 percent [source: Buss]. A March 2008 poll by USA Today reported that half of Americans knew someone who cheated on their spouse, a rate twice that of a similar 1964 poll [source: Jayson].

Don't expect your partner to advertise that he or she is actually still hitched. Deception is the very root of betrayal, and wedding rings and family photographs are easily concealed. Unless your partner is a veteran philanderer -- or a very good liar -- an honest and direct question can usually tip you off to his or her marital (or current relationship) status.

Once you've got your answer, of course, you still have the option of proceeding. The term "consenting adults" means exactly that -- the two of you have every right to decide what's OK for you. Just be aware of the amount of baggage that can come with any affair where one person is still attached.

There can be a number of legitimate explanations, such as a pending divorce, but that's exactly the kind of information you want to know before doing the deed. In that instance, "Why did you break up?" is a reasonable query.

This isn't your first time, is it?


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