Here are some statistics about cheating compiled by Menstuff®

  • 2% of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
  • 14% 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% of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses' extramarital activity.
  • 5% of married men and 3 percent of married women reported having sex with someone other than their spouse in the year 1997.
  • 22% of men and 14% of women admitted to having sexual relations outside their marriage sometime in their past.

two broken heart cookies Note that the above adultery statistics of the prevalence of affairs were made more than a decade ago; so based on changes in society during the intervening years, the current percentage of the population who have had affairs is probably somewhat HIGHER. For instance, the continuing increase of women in the workplace and the increase of women having affairs on the Internet means that the numbers for women having affairs is probably similar to those for men—about 60%.

We all know, or suspect, what some of the effects of infidelity are for couples, children and families. The cost of divorce, the stress for all involved, the time it takes to recover (if one recovers), all make for grim consideration. Is it possible to recover? If a couple wants to stay together, is it even a good idea to try?

It is possible for couples to rebuild their relationship. There is no guarantee (there are so many variables, like the willingness of each partner to put in the work required, the severity of the infidelity, etc.), but there are couples who are able to rebuild a healthy relationship after the bomb of infidelity has struck. Notice I mention the word "rebuild." Once the betrayal of trust most certainly involved in infidelity is experienced, the couple must start from scratch. The first relationship (pre-infidelity) is destroyed and relationship #2 must be built. But couples have been able to do exactly this, and have been able to build a relationship that is healthy and thriving.

This takes a tremendous amount of work and most couples need support to accomplish this. It is wise to seek both professional help and any kind of other support that is available to take this task on. But given the cost of divorce and the other costs involved, it may well be worth it to try.

Get more like this straight to your inbox!

Plus our exclusive guide Things your mama never told you about talking dirty…

Sign Up Now

Stay up to date with relationship tips and more

Plus our exclusive guide Things your mama never told you about talking dirty…

LeMel Firestone-Palerm, LMFT, LPCC, CGT
LeMel Firestone-Palerm, LMFT, LPCC, CGT About LeMel...
Helping Create Healthy Relationships Since 1997
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist MFC 42162
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor LPC 1534
Certified Gottman Therapist