Facts About Affairs

Woman holding broken heart

By Dr. Melissa Estavillo

When an affairs occurs in our relationships, we are left with so many question. Why did this happen? Was this my fault? Do marriages recover from affairs? Will this happen again? Can we ever get back to the way we were? Well before we tackle the big affair questions, let’s start with a few of the facts!

1. Why do people have affairs?

– They fall in love with the fantasy of what it would be like with someone else to escape the distress that they do not know how to fix.

– They have not been able to or have not allowed their partner to meet their need for connection, so they turn to someone else.

-They have not developed the stills to experience true happiness, so they substitute this need for excitement. New things are often exciting…for a while.

2. How do Americans feel about affairs?

– Over 80% of Americans stated that they do not condone affairs

3. How many relationships experience infidelity?

– Some studies show that up to 60% of relationships have one partner who has had an affair

4. Do men have affairs more often than woman?

-No, men and women report cheating on their spouse or partner at the same rate.

5. What percentage of people report having an “open marriage.”

-Between 1-2% of couples report having an “open relationship.”

6. Do affairs always lead to divorce?

-While many divorces occur due to infidelity in the relationship, many couples choose to stay married despite this occurrence.

7. What percentage of couples seek counseling due to an affair?

-Around 50% of couples in counseling are coming in due to an affair.

8. What percentage of couples in counseling stay together?

-Using Emotion Focused Therapy, 75% of couples recover from their distress. And 80% of those couples report continued recovery and bonding 6 months after therapy has ended.