According to a 2012 research study by the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, infidelity is more commonplace than one might imagine.
Details from the study stated 41% of married respondents admitted that either one or both partners had cheated either physically or emotionally during their marriage. More concerning is that 57% of men and 54% of women surveyed confessed to committing infidelity in at least one relationship they have had.
In terms of an actual physical affair, 22% of married men and 14% of married women admitted to having had one. According to the study, the average affair lasted two years and the survival rate of the individual’s marriage post discovery was 31%.
So what does this all mean?
First, affairs are much more commonplace than one would imagine.
This potential has only increased with the advent of social media and its ability to reconnect and rekindle former flames. According to a 2010 ABC News article, 20% of divorces are now due to Facebook. With new forms of social media coming online every day, this number is sure to grow.
Second, aside from social media, workplace romances are one of the primary drivers of infidelity.
According to the same study, 36% of those surveyed admitted to an office affair with 97% saying it occurred during a business trip.
Third, without the risk of being caught or labeled as an adulterer, many more affairs would occur. In fact, 74% of men and 68% of woman said that if they knew they would not get caught they would have one.
Finally, these statistics reflect a sobering state of marriage. No marriage is immune from this potential destructive force. However, understanding that this possibility exists is the first step to preventing it (as the one who may be cheated on or the one who may be drawn into an affair).
Successful healthy relationships are built on respect, trust, and open communication. Secrets, by their very purpose, promote separation. Openness and forthrightness must be foundational principles upon which you build your marriage.
So whether your relationship has gone through the tragedy of an affair, the beginning stages of a future one are occurring, or you want to take the steps to “affair proof” your marriage, we are here to help.
The Center for Family & Crisis Counseling is here to assist in identifying causes or concerns in your marriage, developing strategies to eliminate those issues, and create tools that will help in uniting each partner in marital purity.