Infidelity is an issue we work with multiple times a day at Imagine Hope. Unfortunately it is an epidemic that is plaguing America's marriages and relationships. This week Imagine Hope is digging deeper into this issue to give you a glimpse of how to protect your relationships, how to heal if you have experienced this, and whether or not your relationship is at risk for one.
It is difficult to have "accurate statistics" due to the secrecy of affairs and the shame of people admitting their relationships have fallen victim to one. The following statistics were taken from www.menstuff.org. These give you an idea of what people are willing to admit to on the topic of infidelity. Keep in mind these statistics are not up to date, and the numbers are mostly likely much higher in reality.
- 22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
- 14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
- Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
- 70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses' extramarital activity.
- 5 percent of married men and 3 percent of married women reported having sex with someone other than their spouse in the year 1997.
- 90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong.
- 17 percent of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.
- Only 46% of men believe that online affairs are adultery.
- About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage- according to "Monogamy Myth" Therapist Peggy Vaugn. (This number has believed to have gone up and is nearly equal between men and women at 60%.)
- Affairs affect one of every 2.7 couples, according to counselor Janis Abrahms Spring, author of After the Affair, as reported by the Washington Post on March 30, 1999. Ten percent of extramarital affairs last one day, 10 percent last more than one day but less than a month, 50 percent last more than a month but less than a year, but 40 percent last two or more years. Few extramarital affairs last more than four years.
- Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75 percent. That means you only have a 25% of a successful marriage if you marry the person you had an affair with.
- 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex.
- It is estimated that 53% of all people will have one or more affairs during their lifetime.
Check back this week as we discuss more affair-related topics.
Written by guest blogger Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Renewed Horizon Counseling. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling. You can find Teri at renewedhorizon.com