There are many issues with statistics related to affairs - not the least being the fact that people who have affairs are prone to lie!! Searching the internet lately for research and updates I have found lots of dodgy stuff – lists of supposed statistics without a reference in sight. And university studies that have been conducted on other students in their 20’s about cheating in their relationships – hardly representative of marriages or other committed relationships.I am into referencing sources and studies with sound methodology that make sense and can teach us something. Here is a collection of stats that I have found: • About 60% of men and 40% of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage " The Monogamy Myth" by Peggy Vaughan • About 24% of men and 14% of women have had sex outside their marriages. USA Today Dec. 21, 1998 report on a national study by the University of California, San Francisco. • Affairs affect one of every 2.7 couples, according to counsellor Janis Abrahms Spring, author of "After the Affair," as reported by the Washington Post on March 30, 1999. 10% of extramarital affairs last one day, 10% last more than one day but less than a month, 50% last more than a month but less than a year, but 40% last two or more years. Few extramarital affairs last more than four years. • Those who divorce because of an affair rarely marry the person with whom they are having the affair. Dr. Jan Halper’s study of successful men (executives, entrepreneurs, professionals) in Quiet Desperation: The Truth about Successful Men found that very few men who have affairs divorce their wife and marry their lovers. Only 3% of the 4,100 successful men surveyed eventually married their lovers. • Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75%. The reasons for the high divorce rate include: intervention of reality, guilt, expectations, a general distrust of marriage, and a distrust of the former cheating spouse. The comprehensive survey of 1083 spouses whose partners had an affair was conducted by Peggy Vaughan in 2002. The full study can be found here http://www.dearpeggy.com/book-descriptions/help.html
I have selected some statistics that relate to some key areas of healing after an affair: • Answering Questions about the affair leads to rebuilding trust o 31% of those whose partner refused to answer questions rebuilt some trust o 43% of those who discussed the situation a good bit rebuilt some trust o 72% of those whose partner answered all their questions rebuilt some trust
• Discussing the affair led to a better relationship after the affair o 21% of relationships where they discussed the situation very little were better than before the affair(s) o 43% of relationships where they discussed the situation a good bit were better than before the affair(s) o 59% of relationships where they discussed the situation a lot were better than before the affair(s) • Link between answering questions and creating a better relationship o 30% of relationships where partner refused to answer questions were better than before the affair(s) o 45% of relationships where partner answered some questions were better than before the affair(s) o 65% of relationships where partner answered all questions were better than before the affair(s) • How did you find out about the affair(s)? * o 33% - Spouse voluntarily told me o 14% - Someone else told me o 53% - I "found out" on my own • Did you want to know details about the affair(s)? * o 7% - No, I didn't want to know details o 31% - Yes, but I wanted only general information (who, when, why) o 62% - Yes, I wanted to know everything, including details • Has the relationship "improved" compared to pre-affair days? o 25% - No, the relationship is more distant and strained o 30% - Not actual improvement, but about the same as before o 45% - Yes, it's better than before the affair(s)
Final sobering stat about opportunity for affairs – a google search “affairs” brought up 6 different online affair matching (married dating) sites including the big one Ashley Maddison which claims to have 60,000 members in Brisbane alone.