A lot of people ask me, “How common is infidelity?” The truth is, it’s a lot more common than you might think. To give you an idea, here are some adultery statistics:
• Percentage of marriages where one or both spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional: 41%
• Percentage of men who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 57%
• Percentage of women who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 54%
• Average length of an affair: 2 years
• Percentage of men who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 74%
• Percentage of women who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 68%
If you are reading this article today because you’re suspicious that your spouse or partner might be cheating on you, we have an entire article that was written on how to detect the signs of infidelity that you can read here, but I want to give you a brief overview in this article as well.
Early warning signs of relationship or marital infidelity
If you’re feeling uneasy and have a hunch that your partner might be up to no good behind your back, here are some of the indicators that you should keep an eye out for. A person who is cheating generally will stop confiding in you, and you’ll feel them start to drift away. They will lie often, and about trivial things.
When someone is being unfaithful in a relationship, they’ll suddenly want no sex or a lot of it. You will notice them become secretive about their phone or their messages, and they might even start to change their passwords.
Another interesting thing that sometimes happens is that the person who is cheating will start to accuse their significant other of cheating because it’s a defense mechanism that they’re developing! They’re self-conscious and are fixating on what they’re doing wrong, so they subconsciously try to turn it around on you. You might also notice a change in their spending habits and they might start to acquire sexy new lingerie or new outfits that you don’t really see much of.
A person who is being unfaithful will also be shady about who they’re spending their time with and might even disappear with their phone turned off for an extended period of time. Your intuition will tell you that something is wrong, and you might notice that their friends or coworkers are starting to act differently around you.
I know this is extremely uncomfortable to read, but once again, you CAN bounce back from this. Your relationship can survive cheating, and we are here to help you.
A success story after cheating
One of my clients, Amelia, found out that her boyfriend of seven years, Dawson, had been unfaithful to her. She learned of this when she went through his computer after she started to feel suspicious of his behavior. She found an iMessage thread between him and one of his colleagues at work that made it abundantly clear that they had been having an affair for a few months. Amelia confronted him about it pretty much immediately, and much to her surprise, he came clean. When he confessed, he also told her that he had been unhappy in their relationship (with Amelia) and wanted to find a way to make things right between them again. At first, she told him that it was over between them and that she wanted nothing to do with him. With time, however, she reflected on their relationship and understood that there were issues that weren’t being addressed and that to his credit, he did try to bring them up to her. She would shrug it off or postpone the conversations, and when she realized this, she felt more motivated to give this relationship another try. She was ready to make the necessary changes and that’s when she reached out to us.
Together, we worked on outlining what was causing their romance and their bond to crumble and successfully found a solution to every problem their relationship was facing, broken trust included. I am happy to say that they are now engaged!
So, surviving infidelity is a choice. You’ve got to choose to survive it, choose to forgive your partner and choose to have faith in a healthier future with your partner. The more you do things on a regular basis, the more natural they will begin to feel. So the trick is to choose to actively do these things every day until you no longer have to actively choose. Over time it will become a natural habit of thinking.
A helpful way to do this is to remind yourself of the journey, start to finish, and what you’ve built together. Think about what goals you have accomplished together and the common life projects, because these are powerful anchors to help you survive infidelity.