Being monogamous isn't always a walk in the park. As much as we may love our partner, numerous studies suggest that humans simply aren't naturally monogamous creatures; so, for some, it can be a huge challenge to stay faithful. Perhaps we stumble upon a passionate attraction that just can’t be ignored, or perhaps we've lost the spark with our spouse and actively seek it elsewhere - regardless of the causes, infidelity sadly occurs more than you might think.
No matter what country you come from, statistics suggest that infidelity is always a temptation regardless of your gender. Gathered from a variety of reliable sources such as The Examiner, Statistics Brain, and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, we've collated some illuminating facts about infidelity around the world.
9 Average Length of an Affair: 2 Years
Affairs aren't always just quick flings or one-night stands. They can also be long-lasting relationships that happen simultaneously with active marriages. For some, it can happen spontaneously and without much notice. For others, it’s a sincere yet complicated relationship, that isn’t resolved so easily by simply putting everything to a stop. In this case, an affair can last an average of 2 years; an especially long time if you're juggling two partners.
8 68% Of Women Would Cheat if They Never Got Caught
If you’re in a committed relationship, the chances are you have a deep level of care for your significant other, and you wouldn’t want to do anything that would compromise that. But as the old saying goes: What they don’t know, won’t hurt them. According to some surveys, 68% of women reported that if they knew they would never get caught, they would most definitely engage in a scandalous tryst with an alternative object of their affections. As a thought experiment, the results aren't too surprising; in a hypothetical world where there are no consequences, many philosophers and sociologists hold that it's not incomprehensible that humans would do morally reprehensible things even worse than adultery.
7 57% Of Men Admit to Committing Infidelity in any Relationship
Just slightly above women, many men have been engaged in affairs while in almost every relationship they’ve ever been in. At 57%, over half of men surveyed admitted they’ve done the deed regardless of their perhaps unknowing partner. That number is only 3% more than women so it could be that both parties are committing adultery and neither of them have the slightest clue. As in most statistics on infidelity, men rank the highest here.
6 74% Of Men Would Cheat if They Never Got Caught
Men and women aren’t always so different. Just like their female counterparts, men would be more than willing to have an affair if they knew nobody would get hurt in the process. In comparison to women, men are about 20% more likely to commit adultery if they were certain that they would never get caught. At 74%, men hold their ground at the more-willing gender to take the plunge into infidelity.
5 54% Of Women Admit to Committing Infidelity in any Relationship
Not once, not twice, not even three times. The risk of being caught hasn’t stopped the majority of women from cheating in just about every relationship they've ever been in. Although 68% of women admitted they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught, only 14% less than that number admitted to committing infidelity with every partner they've ever been with.
It might a relatively low percentage in comparison to the rest, but the act itself is noteworthy. If things in a marriage aren’t spicy enough, 17% of men and women admitted to infidelity with a brother-in-law or sister-in-law. For men, sex is usually the driving factor here: their in-law may have proposed a sexual rendezvous, or they may already be illicitly attracted to the taboo. For women, it's not always about physical attraction and sex. According to the statistics, women are more likely to seek an emotional connection they may not be getting from their husbands.
4 31% Of Marriages Last After an Affair has been Admitted to or Discovered
So you've found out that your husband or wife has been cheating on you. Some of you might be taken aback. Others might have been suspecting this all along, and perhaps they're just relieved their suspicions are finally becoming vindicated. Still, people make mistakes, and if they're sincere enough, some might be worthy of a second chance. Maybe this is thinking behind the 31% of marriages that continue to last after an affair has been admitted to or discovered. According Dr. Keith Ablow, author of Living the Truth, continuing a relationship even with adultery might be a good thing, and could reveal some aspects of the relationship that partners never considered before. Discovering an affair may have a positive effect on a relationship by igniting passion and giving something for the couple to fight for and preserve.
3 3% Of Men Divorce their Wife and Marry Their Lovers
So an affair has been discovered by a suspecting wife. The man has had just about enough of lying and sneaking around and decides to make a choice. Despite a couple’s best intentions, things don't always last after an affair is discovered or admitted to. Unfortunately, the relationship ends. But in the case of men, what happens next? It might be expected for men to leave their wives and shack up with their lovers, but only 3% actually make the commitment to marry their lovers after ending their other marriage. It seems the most men don't end their marriages at all, continuing to strive for a second chance with the woman they have been with longest.
2 36% Of Men and Women Admit to an Affair with a Co-Worker
Jealous of your husband’s new female secretary? Is your wife’s male boss much better looking and richer than you are? It's not uncommon for people to meet their husbands and wives at their place of work. It's also not entirely uncommon for people to meet their illicit sexual partners at work either. When asked, 36% of men and women admitted to having an affair with a co-worker. Being exposed to someone other than your spouse for 40 hours a week may have that effect. When it does, more than a quarter of either gender will commit adultery.
1 90% Of Americans Believe Adultery is Morally Wrong
It may not be revelation that people don't always live by their word. In the case of infidelity, Americans don't really live by their morals either. Despite more than half of both genders reporting they would cheat or have cheated, a majority 90% of Americans still believe adultery to be morally wrong. Although they may consider it a serious no-no, or perhaps even a sin, that doesn't mean the act of infidelity isn't still intriguing. It's human nature to be drawn to the thing you're not supposed to have; after all, that's the nature of temptation.