Once upon a time, people stayed in unhappy marriages because it simply wasn’t acceptable to leave — marriage was often viewed as a contract between families and, even if it wasn’t, it was definitely a business arrangement that people couldn’t easily depart.
With the advent of no-fault divorce, however, many of the barriers to ending an unhappy marriage vanished. Why, then, do people bother staying in a marriage if they aren’t going to be faithful?
This is what current researchers know about cheaters:
- Twenty-two percent of married men and 14 percent of married women cheat.
- Most affairs happen at the two-year point after marriage.
- Over a third of those affairs happen with a co-worker.
- Seventeen percent of affairs happen with an in-law.
- One out of every 10 affairs begins online.
Perhaps most telling, researchers have found that someone who cheats once on their spouse is 350 times likely to cheat (again) compared to someone that hasn’t cheated — which means that if you were the “other woman” or “other man” in your spouse’s previous marriage, you may now find yourself playing the role of the deceived spouse now.
Exactly why spouses cheat instead of just ending the marriage and move on is a complicated question with several answers. One telling statistic is the fact that 14 percent of women and 9 percent of men admit that they began their affairs to get revenge on a spouse who had already cheated on them. Revenge was more important than taking the risk of being alone or drastically alerting their lives.
Other reasons for cheating are what many people might expect:
- Sexual incompatibility with his or her spouse
- Sexual addiction
- A desire for emotional comfort
- A need for validation that the cheater is attractive or desirable
- The desire for fantasy relationships (without all of the humdrum or trouble of real life being involved)
Whatever the reason, you don’t have to endure the pain of being in a loveless marriage where you can no longer trust your spouse to be faithful. If your spouse’s infidelity has permanently damaged your relationship, a family law attorney can help. For more information about how our firm can help you, please visit our webpages on the topic.