What percentage of marriages survive infidelity?
MANY MARRIAGES SURVIVE INFIDELITY
No one finds it hard to believe when a marriage breaks up over an extramarital affair. After all, Americans consistently rank fidelity as the No. 1 cherished value in marriage.
So when a couple claims their marriage has survived an affair, and, in fact, is even stronger for the experience, most people don’t believe it.
When Gary Hart’s wife stood by him after his affair was revealed during the 1988 presidential election, the public assumed the couple had made a deal to salvage his campaign.
Now allegations of infidelity threaten yet another presidential hopeful and, once again, skeptics abound. To quell rumors, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, went on national television to say they had serious marital problems in the past but had worked them out.
Psychologists say they see couples every day who are able to put their marriages back together. There are no hard numbers, but a few studies estimate 25 percent of marriages are able to overcome an affair.
«These are the marriages you don’t hear about,» said Nancy Vrechek, a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist. «People have been doing it for years, but nobody says, `Well, my husband had an affair, and we worked through it.’ And nobody puts that in the paper.»
There are many reasons people stay together — loneliness, religious values, love, fear. For a healthy relationship, however, couples must confront and solve the problems that caused the affair.
The key to salvaging the marriage, therapists say, is a mutual idea of the value of the relationship. In other words, commitment.
«Staying together and being faithful is an intellectual choice as well as emotional, and it is daily,» said Douglas Canterbury-Counts, a licensed psychologist from Palm Beach, Fla. «My practice is based on the assumption that people can change.»
And change, therapists agree, has to happen for a marriage to survive. Usually therapists start by examining the reason for the infidelity. Among the most common reasons are a need for sexual conquest, inability to deal with aging or depression and inability to develop a trusting relationship, according to Dr. Melvyn Kinder and Dr. Connell Cowan, authors of the book «Husbands And Wives, The Guide for Men and Women Who Want to Stay Married» (Signet 1990).
But there are many other reasons. Some partners have different sex drives. Some have affairs out of revenge or anger.
«Affairs can also be symbolic of saying `I’m leaving,’ » Vrechek said. «A lot of people have a hard time trying to dissolve a relationship, but if they get their partner really mad, they can kind of walk away. It’s an easy way out.»
Couples with the best chance of surviving are those where the infidelity is a casual, one-time event, said Norma Schulman, a licensed psychologist and marital and family therapist.
In recent years Schulman also has seen a number of people continue in marriages even though their partners were involved in extramarital relationships that had gone on for a long time — years in some cases.
Sometimes the wife knows, but is reluctant to confront or acknowledge the situation, Schulman said. Sometimes the wife is even relieved, depending on her own sexual needs and providing she maintains her social and economic status. While these arrangements are common in Europe, Schulman said, they have been rare in America.
«However, as women increase their self-respect and self-esteem and move toward equality in marital relationships, they have become less willing to tolerate the infidelity,» Schulman said. «They are more likely to want a negotiated understanding that will protect them from unpleasant surprises such as some woman calling them on the phone, or a story in a tabloid.»
Often, Schulman said, the wife will stipulate certain arrangements for herself — financial, social appearances, even sexual arrangements.
What this all means, Schulman said, is that our morals have become a little slippery.
Fidelity, it seems, has always been more of an American ideal than a reality. Back in the 1950s, sexual behavior expert Alfred Charles Kinsey found about half of all married men and a quarter of all married women had at least one extramarital affair by age 60. By the 1980s, author Maggie Scarf found 60 percent to 65 percent of all married men have cheated at least once, as have 45 percent to 55 percent of married women.
Though infidelity is common, psychologist Kevin Raymond pointed out, it is still unacceptable in American society.
«So the dynamics of infidelity are the same for both sexes — shame and guilt,» Raymond said. «If the partners can handle that, the marriage can continue, but a lot of people will just end a marriage rather than deal with these highly emotionally charged issues.»
A marriage that survives infidelity — or any trauma, for that matter — is bound to change, therapists say. For instance, communication usually improves as partners learn to relate to one another. They also must become more realistic about marriage.
«An affair can jolt you into reality that there are bumps in the road,» Vrechek said. «One of the things you do in therapy is help people take care of themselves so they are not devastated by what life gives them.»
Learning to do this can be painful work, Canterbury-Counts said.
«While marriage is made up of two individuals, each of us also has a shadow, an aspect of our psychology that we don’t want to look at,» he said.
An example might be the man who lives an ordinary life, but lusts for the Jezebel type of woman.
«He is terribly afraid of that within himself, because it doesn’t measure up to the woman he married,» the therapist explained. «He pushes it back in the shadows and then one day he ends up having a fling with someone like that.»
This is the man who remorsefully confesses, «I don’t know what made me do it.»
In truth, Canterbury-Counts said, the man really does not know. He certainly doesn’t understand that it is not the instinct that is evil, but the action.
«He has to learn he can come to grips with it without having to act it out,» Canterbury-Counts said.
Ultimately, therapists say, marriages that survive extramarital affairs are those with partners who accept that nobody is perfect.
These are the couples who come to therapy and say: We have no idea of whether we can salvage this, but we want to try.
by Bhavesh Jinadra by CNB
7 Tips For Handling Infidelity & Learning How To Heal
Infidelity has existed since the dawn of relationships, and it’s something that has persisted—or even worsened—in the time of Covid.
It’s arguable that few things in a relationship—if any—are worse than experiencing infidelity. It may be incredibly hard for you to forgive that person, and that would be a perfectly normal reaction.
You might be asking yourself questions such as: “How could they throw it all away for a fling?” or “Didn’t the years you spent together mean anything to them?”
While it can be difficult to recover from infidelity, it can often be done. Read on for seven helpful tips on how to learn and heal from your experience with infidelity.
Tip #1: Don’t Get So Emotional That Your Partner Shuts Down
Surviving Infidelity Is Possible — You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
The first thing you’re likely to want to do when you find out your partner cheated on you is to react. You may want to scream, cry, throw a chair at your partner, and generally lash out. But you may also want to know all the sordid details about what happened, and it’s better to find everything out now than keep re-hashing the situation down the road.
Of course, if you’re reading this, it may very well be too late to control the emotions that have already been unleashed at the time of learning the infidelity. However, if you suspect your partner is cheating on you, but this has yet to be confirmed, then there is still time for you to decide how you will react to the news once it is confirmed.
Reacting violently to what is admittedly the worst news any partner can tell another is a surefire way to cause your partner to shut down and refrain from giving you the absolute truth.
Tip #2: Accept The Fact That Triggers May Come Up, And That’s Okay
If you choose to work things out with your partner, it is important to understand that you may still feel some trauma due to their infidelity. This is normal!
Until the pain can heal, and you can fully forgive your partner for their mistakes, it’s only natural that something may come up out of the blue and remind you of those darker times. Recovering from infidelity is not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done.
Tip #3: Remember That You’re Not Alone
When dealing with infidelity, it may feel like you are the only person in the world to have ever been hurt this badly, but that’s not true at all. There are forums for people who have faced or are facing infidelity that you can visit. There, you can commiserate and compare with others who are also coping with infidelity.
These forums are wonderful insofar as helping you heal from infidelity because you can vent, scream, and cry to total strangers who know nothing about you and your partner.
You can be sure that there will be no one there to point out your partner’s good points when that’s the last thing you want to hear. Fewer people will try to convince you to stick together—even if moving on would be best for you. Instead, you’re more likely to feel more empowered to do what’s best for you and your wellbeing after receiving advice from others.
Tip #4: Don’t Allow Others’ Judgments To Affect Your Next Steps
The first thing most people will tell you when you catch your partner cheating is to dump them and move on. But it’s not so easy to do that when you have a long-term relationship, which may include a home and children you both love. You may both want to stay in the same home, and you may believe it is in your children’s best interests to work through your issues as a family.
If this is you, then it may be helpful to know the percentage of marriages that survive infidelity. One-third of all marriages reportedly survive an affair without any counseling or other professional help. The numbers, however, are better for those who do seek the advice of a licensed counselor or therapist. So, insofar as how many marriages survive infidelity statistics, it all depends on the parties’ choices.
Can a marriage survive infidelity? It absolutely can, provided the parties have decided to proceed as adults and not stay together as a way to torture the guilty party. You may have to decide for yourself how to forgive infidelity in such a way as to let it go and move on, but if this is the path you and your partner have decided for your relationship, then yes, it can be done.
Tip #5: Don’t Be A Pushover
Once you have decided to stay with your partner, be clear that you aren’t going to wake up the next morning thinking that everything is fine and back to normal. You have a lot to come to terms with, and while you are open to the idea of forgiveness, you are not going to forgive so easily. Don’t let the affair run your life, but don’t pretend like it never happened either.
It takes a long time to build trust and an even longer time to rebuild the trust that has been lost. You need time to heal, and you may lash out in anger from time to time or lapse into temporary periods of sadness as you overcome this major hurdle in your relationship. But if your partner is truly sorry, then they should be able to give you as much space and time as you need to help make things right again.
Tip #6: Don’t Rush Forgiveness
When it comes to an affair, you may forgive, but you’ll never forget. Something that painful stays with you a long time, so it stands to reason that it can take you a long while to forgive someone for hurting you so deeply. Don’t feel bad or guilty if you feel like you still can’t forgive your partner months after the affair. Time heals all wounds, but it can take more time to heal some wounds than others.
When you forgive your partner, this is a sign that you are ready to move on and put all the pain and sadness behind you to start fresh. No one will fault you for feeling like you aren’t quite ready to do that right away. You can only really say you forgive someone if you are ready and willing to let go of your negative feelings toward them, and when you feel your partner has done enough to get back in your good graces and re-earn your trust.
Tip #7: If You Feel Like You Need Help, Ask
Surviving Infidelity Is Possible — You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
You may think you’ll be able to handle this situation on your own, but the fact remains that whether you decide to break up or stay together, infidelity is one difficult hurdle to clear. This is especially true if you are married and/or have children.
If you feel overwhelmed by what your partner has done and feel like it would help to talk to someone, consider speaking with a licensed mental health professional like those available through ReGain. They’ll be able to walk you through the next steps and help you navigate this difficult time. Even if all you need to do is vent, our counselors are standing by ready to help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does infidelity pain ever go away?
According to research, it takes an average of 18 months to two years to heal from the pain of infidelity. Surviving infidelity isn’t easy, but it is possible. Understanding the pain won’t go away overnight but that it can and will in good time is helpful when surviving infidelity.
What percentage of marriages survive infidelity?
Four in ten marriages are challenged by infidelity, with half of those marriages surviving infidelity. Getting counseling after a husband or wife had an affair can improve the chances of a marriage surviving fidelity.
Can a spouse really ever forgive infidelity?
Yes, a spouse can forgive infidelity when a husband or wife had an affair, but it usually doesn’t come easily. In the process of surviving infidelity, forgiveness normally occurs toward the end. The betrayal of infidelity is not an overnight fix, but surviving infidelity is very much a possibility.
Why is infidelity so painful to the betrayed spouse?
Infidelity is painful to the betrayed spouse because marriage is part of the core on which everything in our lives is built, which makes the road to surviving infidelity long and painful. When that core is shaken, it affects everything we know about life and can cause disorientation and confusion, making surviving infidelity a tough challenge.
Do you really love someone if you cheat on them?
Infidelity can happen in even the happiest of marriages at times, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the spouse doesn’t love their partner. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make surviving infidelity any easier. Infidelity in happy marriages is usually triggered in a few key ways:
- A self-exploration-The spouse may be seeking a new sense of self or longing to explore never experienced or repressed parts of themselves. They long to temporarily escape who they are without actually permanently breaking away from who they are. In this instance, they aren’t looking for another person; they are looking for themselves.
- Forbidden behavior-Some people who cheat on their spouse do so out of the thrill of sneaking around and risking getting caught.
- Feeling trapped-In some cases, the spouse may feel trapped by marriage and family life and the curiosities about what could have been or what could be taken over. They may wonder what would have happened if things had worked out with the one who got away or with a former relationship or are seeking a reprieve from the confines of family life.
Why do people cheat on people they love?
Three areas can influence the likeliness of infidelity. Unfortunately, none of them make surviving infidelity an easy process, regardless of the reason:
- Relationship reasons-People who cheat are often in marriages rife with conflict and dissatisfaction. Couples struggling in their marriage are at an increased risk of infidelity as a spouse may look outside the marriage to have their needs met. Also, the more dissimilar partners are in personality, education, and other factors can also contribute to the likeliness of infidelity.
- Situational reasons-spouses who have work environments or are in situations with many other people are at an increased risk for infidelity and those who live in heavily populated areas. Major life events can also be a cause for infidelity. A spouse or married couple dealing with depression, the loss of a loved one, financial crisis, substance abuse, and more can also contribute to why a spouse may stray from their partner.
- Individual reasons-Men are typically more prone to cheating due to high levels of testosterone and the increased need for sex. Other factors, including political and religious affiliation and one’s personality, can influence infidelity. Those who hold certain religious beliefs or political affiliations may be less likely to commit adultery.
What are the stages of healing from infidelity?
How do I get past infidelity triggers?
What are the long term effects of being cheated on?
How long is infidelity trauma?
- Previous Article
The Most Surprising Marriage After Infidelity Statistics And Trends in 2023
Infidelity is a difficult and painful experience for couples to go through, but it doesn’t have to be the end of their relationship. In this blog post, we will explore some statistics about marriage after infidelity in order to gain insight into how common cheating is among married couples and what the chances are that marriages can survive an affair. We’ll look at data on who cheats more often (men or women), where affairs typically begin, whether college-educated individuals are more likely to cheat, as well as other factors such as divorce rates and success rates of counseling following an affair. By understanding these statistics better, we may be able to help those affected by infidelity find hope for rebuilding their relationships.
The Most Important Statistics
30% of extramarital affairs begin at work.
This statistic is a stark reminder of the potential for infidelity to begin in the workplace. It highlights the importance of being aware of the risks of developing an emotional connection with a colleague, and the potential consequences of such a connection. It also serves as a warning to couples to be mindful of their partner’s interactions with coworkers, and to be open and honest with each other about any feelings that may arise.
Men are more likely to cheat, with 20% admitting to adultery compared to 13% of women.
This statistic is a powerful indicator of the prevalence of infidelity in marriages, particularly among men. It highlights the fact that men are more likely to be unfaithful in a relationship, and that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. It also serves as a reminder that infidelity is not a gender-specific issue, and that both men and women can be affected by it. This statistic is an important part of the conversation about marriage after infidelity, and it should be taken into account when discussing the issue.
Marriage After Infidelity Statistics Overview
57% of marriages that experience infidelity end in divorce.
This statistic is a stark reminder of the potential consequences of infidelity in a marriage. It highlights the fact that, even if a couple is able to work through the hurt and betrayal of an affair, the odds are still stacked against them. It serves as a warning to couples that, if they are not willing to put in the hard work to rebuild trust and repair the relationship, the chances of staying together are slim.
Men who cheat are more likely to be successful and intelligent, with 56% of them having a high IQ.
This statistic is a pertinent reminder that infidelity is not a sign of a lack of intelligence or success. It is important to note that even those who are successful and intelligent can still be tempted to stray from their marriage. This statistic serves to illustrate that infidelity is not a sign of a lack of character, but rather a sign of human nature.
60% of cheaters had no intention of divorcing their spouse before the affair began.
This statistic is significant in the context of Marriage After Infidelity Statistics because it highlights the fact that many people who engage in infidelity do not have any intention of leaving their spouse. This suggests that, while infidelity can be damaging to a marriage, it does not necessarily mean that the marriage is doomed. It is possible for couples to work through the issues and rebuild their relationship.
Only 5% of people who cheat end up marrying their affair partner.
This statistic is a powerful reminder that, while infidelity can have a lasting impact on a marriage, it does not necessarily have to be the end of it. It shows that, even in the face of betrayal, there is still hope for a successful marriage. This statistic can provide comfort to those who have experienced infidelity in their relationship, and can help them to see that there is still a chance for a happy and healthy marriage.
77% of couples report having a stronger marriage after recovering from infidelity.
This statistic is a powerful testament to the resilience of marriage, even in the face of infidelity. It shows that couples can not only survive, but thrive after recovering from infidelity, and that the bond between them can be even stronger than before. This statistic is an encouraging reminder that, with the right effort and dedication, couples can overcome the challenges of infidelity and come out stronger on the other side.
Nearly 10% of people have had affairs within the past year.
This statistic is a stark reminder of the prevalence of infidelity in marriages today. It serves as a reminder that, even in the most seemingly secure relationships, affairs can still occur. This statistic is an important one to consider when discussing the effects of infidelity on marriages, as it provides a tangible example of how common it is.
Emotional infidelity is more threatening to women (69%) than physical infidelity (31%).
This statistic speaks volumes about the impact of infidelity on women, highlighting the greater emotional toll it takes on them compared to men. It is an important reminder that, while physical infidelity can be damaging, it is the emotional betrayal that is often the most devastating. This statistic is a powerful reminder of the importance of communication and trust in a marriage, and how these can be easily broken by infidelity. It is a stark reminder of the need for couples to be open and honest with each other, and to work together to rebuild trust and strengthen their relationship.
The majority of those who have faced infidelity felt more able to deal with their emotions after one year (85%).
This statistic is a powerful testament to the resilience of those who have experienced infidelity in their marriage. It shows that, despite the emotional turmoil that comes with such a betrayal, the majority of those affected are able to find a way to cope and move on after a year. This statistic is a reminder that, while the road to recovery may be long and difficult, it is possible to come out the other side.
Individuals with a college education are more likely to have an affair, with 18% of men and 14% of women admitting to infidelity.
This statistic is a telling indication of the prevalence of infidelity among those with a college education. It highlights the fact that even those with higher levels of education are not immune to the temptation of straying from their marriage. This statistic is an important reminder that marriage is a commitment that requires effort and dedication from both partners, regardless of their educational background.
75% of cheating spouses use text messaging to communicate with their affair partner.
This statistic is a powerful reminder of the prevalence of text messaging in modern infidelity. It highlights the need for couples to be aware of the potential for their partner to use text messaging to communicate with someone else, and to take steps to protect their marriage from the risk of infidelity.
The average length of an extramarital affair is two years.
This statistic is a crucial piece of information when discussing Marriage After Infidelity Statistics, as it provides insight into the longevity of extramarital affairs. Knowing the average length of an affair can help couples understand the potential impact of infidelity on their marriage and how long it may take to heal. It can also help couples make informed decisions about whether to stay together or move on.
Despite the fact that infidelity is a difficult experience for many couples, it does not necessarily mean the end of their marriage. In fact, 53% of marriages in which infidelity has been discovered are able to survive and even thrive after working through the issues together. Additionally, 77% of couples report having a stronger marriage after recovering from an affair. Marriage counseling can be especially helpful in this process as success rates have been estimated at 60-70%. While there may still be challenges ahead for those who choose to stay together following an affair, these statistics show that with hard work and dedication it is possible to rebuild trust and create a healthy relationship once again.