There is a question that is asked again and again. How could someone cheat on someone else? How could infidelity ever occur in a marriage? Unfortunately, due to the secretive nature of cheating, it can be hard to learn those reasons or even figure out the exact percentage of infidelity in marriage or unmarried relationships. To help you understand cheating a little better, we have gathered up facts and statistics about infidelity from a variety of studies.
You may want to take some notes.
Eye-Opening Cheating Statistics
Whether you have cheated, been cheated on, or know of instances where partners have gone behind someone’s back, cheating is everywhere. It’s in the media and could be happening right next door.
In fact, a study from the UK found that 54% of women and 57% of men have been unfaithful at least one time. Regardless of gender, cheating is common in relationships. It is also common around the globe. Infidelity is a cross-cultural phenomenon that has gone on since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Historical Japanese texts discuss infidelity. Indigenous groups are also not immune to infidelity, as its seen even in long-established tribes, like the Kuikuru of Brazil or Turu of Tanzania.
Infidelity has also become far more common. Although numbers have dropped in recent years, cheating continues to be alarmingly high. People under 30 continue to be more unfaithful than their partners when compared to those who are older.
How Many Marriages Have Affairs?
As unpleasant as the topic of infidelity may be, knowing the facts can be helpful. Extramarital affairs are not uncommon. Sadly, it happens more often than you might have expected.
In the United States, it is estimated that between 30-60% of married people will engage in some kind of infidelity at some point in their marriage. This includes both physical and emotional infidelity, as well as one-night stands. Keep in mind that this percentage is conservative because people are not likely to openly discuss infidelity and many relationships end before any note of it is made.
An estimate made by the Journal of Marriage and Divorce states that 70% of married couples in the US will cheat at least once. Furthermore, studies of American couples have found that 20-40% of married men and 20-25% of married women will have an affair during their lifetime.
What Kind Of Marriages Lead To Infidelity?
You might think that infidelity is the result of a bad relationship or marriage, but that is not always the case. Just because a spouse is unfaithful does not mean they were dissatisfied. According to one study, 34% of women and 56% of men were either happy or very happy in their marriage, despite their philandering.
What does this mean? It’s a suggestion that even healthy relationships are prone to infidelity. This may be due to the fact that infidelity does not occur through any rational thought process. Too often, it’s opportunity or emotions that drive the act. Many people are shocked by their compulsion to have an affair.
Infidelity—mainly emotional infidelity—is driven by a need for acceptance and connection. Sometimes these start as friendships that become something much more intimate because lines are crossed.
All that said, understanding the most common reasons for infidelity, such as jealousy, boredom, dissatisfaction, and loneliness can help you pinpoint potential issues in your own relationship. People want their needs met, particularly those that make them feel loved and valued.
How Long Do Affairs Last?
A majority of studies report that affairs do not usually last too long. Around 25% of affairs are done within a week. 65% finish within 6 months. Only 10% continue on for 6 months or longer. Some of the longest affairs last for decades.
Here is the thing: emotional cheating can go on for much longer, often undetected until the relationship is negatively impacted. Emotional cheating is very secretive. The number of such a thing occurring is even more difficult to estimate than physical affairs.
Emotional Cheating Statistics
What is emotional cheating? It is a kind of sustained closeness with someone that borders on intimacy without there being any physical interactions. The romantic or erotic energy is there, but there is no sex involved. 56% of men stated they would be more upset with their female partner if they found out she was emotionally cheating on them. A whopping 73% of women stated the same thing.
Why is emotional cheating so devastating? Because, unlike physical affairs that can be over in one night, emotional affairs take a long time to develop and require attention to sustain. So much energy is given to the emotional affair that your marriage inevitably suffers.
How common is emotional cheating? The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy reported that 45% of men and 35% of women have engaged in emotional cheating.
Get A Stronger Relationship With Couples Academy
No one wants to be a statistic, especially when it applies to infidelity. Couples therapy for infidelity can not only prevent unfaithfulness but also help you recover from an affair that has already happened. Whether you are having trouble communicating about finances or you are worried about emotionally cheating, couples therapy can help.
Couples Academy has programs built around the healing process. Our team understands how difficult it can be to heal after such a betrayal, so we are here to help you and your spouse become stronger together. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our programs.