Are more people being unfaithful these days, or has it just become less stigmatized—like opiate addiction. As a society, we must ask ourselves: Have we become more forgiving, or more thoughtless?
Divorce Rates in the USA
Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20-24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25-29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30-34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35-39 years old 5.1% 6.5%
According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
Infidelity—The Office: A New Hotbed For Affairs
The late Dr. Shirley Glass, infidelity researcher for over two decades and author of Not Just Friends has found:
- At least one or both parties in 50 percent of all couples, married and living together, straight and gay, will break their vows of sexual or emotional exclusivity during the lifetime of their relationship.
- After reviewing 25 studies, Dr. Glass concluded that 25% of wives and 44% of husbands have had extramarital intercourse.
- Among the 350 couples she’s treated, approximately 62% of unfaithful men met their affair partners at work.
Dr. Glass Clears Up Fact from Fiction
Assumption: Affairs occur mostly because of sexual attraction.
Fact: Affairs can happen in good marriages. Affairs are less about love and more about sliding across boundaries. The lure of an affair is how the unfaithful partner is mirrored back through he adoring eyes of the new love. Another appeal is that individuals experience new roles and opportunities for growth in their new relationships.
Assumption: A cheating partner almost always leaves clues, so a naïve spouse must be burying his or her head in the sand.
Fact: The majority of affairs are never detected. Some individuals can successfully compartmentalize their lives or are such brilliant liars that their partners never find out.
Assumption: A person having an affair shows less interest in sex at home.
Fact: The excitement of an affair can increase passion at home and make sex even more interesting.
Assumption: The person having an affair isn’t getting enough at home.
Fact: The truth is that the unfaithful partner may not be giving enough. In fact, the spouse who gives too little is more at risk than the spouse who gives too much because he or she is less invested.
Assumption: A straying partner finds fault with everything you do.
Fact: He or she may in fact become Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful in order to escape detection. Most likely he or she will be alternately critical and devoted.
According to the Wall Street Journal, infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30. Many experts believe this increase in cheating is due to greater opportunity (time spent away from a spouse) and young people developing the habit of having multiple sexual partners before they get married.
Points in the Marriage/Relationship When These Affairs Occur
After the Frist Year of Marriage: The time when affairs are the least detected. This is when the whirlwind ends, and routine sets in. The emotional high that both partners had been experiencing is gone. This leaves a void. And like drugs, you want to get high again. The new husband or wife may no longer consistently supply what is needed to find that high. If it happens here, the chances of it happening again have increased substantially.
The 5th to 7th Year: Referred to as the seven year itch. It doesn’t literally have to be the 7th year, but the point when achieving goals has occurred. From a couple getting married, having kids, buying their dream house, to a promotion at work. The faithful mate typically questions the fidelity of the other partner more at this point than at any other. These affairs go on for the longest period of time as well.
How to Tell if Your Partner is the Unfaithful Type
- Low Self-Esteem. Can’t pass up the opportunity to have their ego stroked and feel like someone wants them.
- Thrill-seeker. Taking risks makes them feel alive, a dangerous form of escapism.
- Behavioral. Picked it up from good ol’ Dad. If your spouse met his father’s girlfriend(s) at an impressionable age because he brought her by the house when Mommy wasn’t home, then watch out.
And remember, if you do confront your partner, he or she will deny any such infidelity, negating any such evidence you may have collected. They have no choice but to deny. Either they are guilty, but know you’ll leave them if they confess (and they don’t want a costly divorce), and tell their family, friends, and post their names on womansavers.com (a community-oriented site for survivors of emotional/physical abuse to share their experiences, tips and words of warning before it’s too late for others).
Other times they just won’t ‘fess up because they still have a certain fondness for you due to your history—though not enough to keep them respectful—and don’t want to hurt your feelings. There’s also the possibility that they’re telling the truth. However, if your gut is telling you something—listen to it. Especially if you’re not a suspicious person by nature. If you are naturally untrusting, don’t discount your intuition. Examine if something else is amiss in your life or your relationship first before hiring a P.I. or putting in the hours for DIY investigation.
Calculate Your Partner’s Risk of Infidelity Here:
You can’t stop someone from cheating, but you can do things that may make the person think twice about it.
- Know each other’s daily routine. Call to check in and say hi, or to share some news.
- Write a “mission statement” for your marriage. Put it in a nice frame and hang it in your bedroom next to your marriage certificate. This serves as a constant visual reminder of your bond and why you love each other.
- Always go to his work functions, and share your social networks. Having the same friends (bonus points if they’re in committed monogamous relationships) and becoming friends with your spouse’s family decreases the odds of infidelity by 26%.
- Learn conflict resolution. Real negotiation. Consider what you really want vs. what you need and what you’re willing to give up.
- Don’t stop learning about each other. You may be married for 5 or 10 years, but there’s always something to share about yourself. Tastes change. Maybe there’s a new hobby or activity you’ve always wanted to try and want your spouse to be a part of it.
- Put your marriage first—before the kids, your job, everything. You need to stay close. Sit down and have coffee or put on music you both like and just talk for a few minutes about what your day was like. Don’t bring up anything negative during this time. Establish a pattern of safe, open conversation time. In an infidelity study, people who reported being “not too happy” with their marriage were 4 times more likely to have cheated on their spouse as those who were “very happy.” And those “very happy” spouses were actually 28% more likely to have an extramarital affair than those who claimed to be “extremely happy.”
By True Romance Magazine (July 2010)