Almost half of American couples head for divorce after finding out that their partner had an affair, according to Chris Johansen, an expert marriage counselor.
Accurate statistics on infidelity, which are hard to come by since most infidelity is secret, suggest that marital unfaithfulness is widespread. According to the Associated Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, in 41 percent of the marriages one or both spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional. While half the marriages end after the discovery of infidelity, about 31 percent of the marriages endure after an affair has been admitted to or discovered.
In many cases, the cheater knows the person with whom he or she becomes unfaithful. Thirty-six percent of men and women admit to an affair with a co-worker; 35 percent admit to infidelity on business trips; and 17 percent admit to infidelity with a brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
About 22 percent of married men who have strayed at least once during their married lives; about 14 percent of married women who have strayed at least once during their married lives.
Some married people find fidelity difficult, if not impossible. Fifty-seven percent of men admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had; fifty-four percent of women admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had.
The appeal of infidelity goes beyond those who have actually been unfaithful. Interestingly, 74 percent of the men say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught; 68 percent of the women say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.