Being in a relationship is difficult, and it’s even more difficult when there is infidelity involved.
For people that are victims of adultery, their self-esteem can really take a beating, leading to feelings of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and even difficulty with future relationships.
This type of situation can lead people to feel alone. If you’re someone who has been cheated on, you might feel as if you’re the only person experiencing infidelity.
On the contrary, many people are victims of adultery.
In fact, 20% of men and 13% of women admit to having cheated in a relationship.
An independent study even showed that a little over 46% of people in relationships admitted they had affairs.
Statistics show that, clearly, affairs and adultery are common issues that affect many relationships.
As such, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and many other people have been victims of adultery, with no signs of this trend slowing down.
Why Do People Cheat?
It can be difficult to understand why people cheat. After all, don’t people enter relationships because they want to be monogamous?
If people are monogamous, why do they end up cheating on their significant other?
Just like you can have problems in a relationship, you can also have problems as an individual person, causing feelings and emotions that can lead to affairs.
A study showed that people that cheated did so mainly because of:
- Anger against their partner
- Lack of self-esteem
- Lack of love for their partner
- Low commitment or commitment issues
- A need for a variety of people besides their partner
- Feeling as if they were being neglected in a relationship
- Sexual desire, as in finding another person sexually attractive and needing to fulfill that attraction
- Situation or circumstance that presented itself and they took advantage of it, such as at a bar or party or outside of work
As you can see from this list, there are lots of reasons why people cheat, and none of them is your fault.
For instance, if your partner feels a need for variety and lacks self-esteem, these are issues that cannot possibly be fixed by you alone.
In these instances, it’s best to know that your partner can benefit from therapy, and if you both are willing, couples therapy might be a good option.
However, there’s no reason to stick around with someone who cheats.
From the list above, and from the statistics, it’s clear that this is a phenomenon that affects many relationships, but that doesn’t mean you will have to face it time and time again.
Some people, after a lot of growing and maturing, realize that cheating and infidelity just aren’t the answer.
Why Do Men Cheat More Than Women?
From earlier studies, we know that men will cheat, on average, around 20% of the time in a relationship, whereas women will only cheat around 13% of the time.
This isn’t a terribly huge gap, but it does show that men will oftentimes cheat more than women in a relationship. Why could this be?
Is it because men don’t consider some acts to be cheating, or is it another reason?
On study in 2013 found that this gap in affair rates might be contributed to differences in sexual impulses.
The study suggests that men often times have stronger sexual impulses than women do.
This means that women will not act on their sexual urges or cheat if the opportunity presents itself (see list of reasons why people cheat), but their male counterparts might.
Although the statistics show that men are inclined to cheat more than women, this should not suggest that women get a free pass when it comes to cheating!
Both men and women who are victims of infidelity deserve to have their feelings validated.
Just because a woman has cheated on a man, even with someone of the same gender, this doesn’t mean it hurts any less for a man.
In fact, studies show that men also experience feelings of betrayal when a woman carries a physical relationship with another person (i.e., there was sexual contact involved), while women are more upset when a man has cheated on them emotionally, even with or without sexual contact.
Are There Differences in Cheating with Age?
In addition to differences between men and women cheating, there are also differences in the rate people cheat related to their age.
On average, around 20% of couples in their 50s and 60s who are married have cheated on their spouse, whereas only 14% of younger married couples reported infidelity in the relationship.
Although rates of cheating are somewhat similar in general, this is one of the first studies that has shown a quite drastic difference in the number of people that cheat with their partner as it relates to age.
Why is it that older people cheat?
- Lack of love – For people in their 50s or 60s, getting married might have been necessary in order to prevent shame, for instance, if a woman was pregnant out of wedlock. In addition, older couples might have gotten married out of financial necessity. However, there was never a true foundation of love when these couples got married, which might explain why many older couples now find themselves yearning for lost love.
- Mid-life crisis – During someone’s 50s and 60s, a mid-life crisis might affect their judgment, leading to infidelity due to needing to feel young, new feelings again. In fact, studies have shown that one of the reasons men cheat more is because they want to experience newer feelings as well. This midlife crisis combined with the need to experience new feelings might contribute to infidelity as well.
- Stagnant relationship – For people that are in their 50s and 60s, couples might have grown accustomed to each other, with the relationship growing stagnant. When a relationship grows stagnant, this can lead to couples needing to go outside of the relationship in order to gain a new understanding of themselves. Sadly, this can lead to infidelity and the eventual dissolving of a marriage that has spanned decades.
What to Do After Someone Cheats
From countless studies, we know that women and men both cheat and that you might come face to face with infidelity in a relationship at some point.
It’s important to know that your feelings are completely valid. If you’ve been cheated on, it’s normal to experience feelings of:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, there are several steps you can take to find relief:
Talk to a therapist
This is perhaps the best option for healing. If you find yourself experiencing extremely distressing symptoms of PTSD after infidelity, these feelings might not be able to go away on their own.
In addition, heightened feelings of anxiety and depression following infidelity must be addressed so you can continue to cope and live a healthy, happy life following infidelity.
A therapist will be able to help you sort through your emotions.
They will also be able to help you find the best ways to trust others again, helping you develop healthy relationships later on in life.
Talk to your friends
If you and your partner have mutual friends, this might be a bit difficult for you to do.
Nevertheless, you have a right to come clean about a break-up or the infidelity of your partner.
If your partner has cheated, there’s no reason you need to hide this from your mutual friends.
Your friends might even offer support, showing they care by helping you move past the relationship.
Feelings of anxiety and PTSD symptoms can be overwhelming. They cause the body to go into a heightened state of prolonged stress.
In these instances, it’s best to practice self-care techniques to help you soothe after infidelity.
Practice going on long walks or even exercising to help you release feelings of anger and aggression.
Exercise is also a great way to boost serotonin levels, helping you feel happy and energetic.
It is also a great way to reduce cortisol levels, which are attributed to high-stress situations.
Find a hobby that you love, such as knitting or reading, and journal to allow yourself to get rid of those feelings of betrayal.
Self-care goes a long way in helping you love yourself again.
Seek emergency care if necessary
For people that have been in relationships that have spanned years or even decades, the act of infidelity might prove to be extremely distressing, causing feelings of hopelessness.
If you have thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself after infidelity, reach out to medical services or call 9-1-1 for help. You can also dial the suicide hotline at (800) 273-8255.
What Percentage of Couples Stay Together After Infidelity?
We’ve shared with you the statistics of couples that cheat. How many of those actually stay together?
Well, surveys have shown that around 31% of couples ultimately stay together after infidelity. However, not all of them last forever.
If you’re planning on staying together with your partner who has cheated, you should consider couples counseling or individual therapy to help you sort out your emotions.
Counseling gives you a non-judgmental and objective view of the situation, possibly helping you understand your partner’s feelings more so than trying to figure it all out alone.
Forgiveness also plays a big role in the future of your relationship. If you are unable to forgive your partner, the relationship will never succeed.
It’s best to count your losses and begin to get the help of a lawyer to help you in the future of your relationship.
Almost half of all relationships (46%) will be susceptible to extramarital affairs or cheating. Of those relationships, men are more likely to cheat than women.
If you’re the victim of infidelity, know that there is help available with the support of your friends and family, counseling, and self-care!