Hey there, Steve here and welcome to this week’s private eye post where I’m going to report on a recent large-scale survey of Australians conducted by Relationships Australia on cheating.
Over 1800 people took part in this survey and the results line-up with my experience investigating cases of cheating spouses.
Disclaimer: This information is for general educational purposes only and may not apply to all situations — everyone is unique after all. For help with an individual situation, please contact us —the first call is free, and we may just be able to put your mind at rest!
#1 What Constitutes Cheating?
There are large differences between how each of us thinks what constitutes infidelity.
Survey respondents reported that all types of infidelity are equally bad (men 41%; women 58%). A substantial minority of men (33%) and women (21%) reported that sexual infidelity was the most destructive type of infidelity, and about 20% of both men and women said emotional infidelity was the most destructive.
In my experience, it’s actually fairly easy to identify what is and isn’t cheating in ANY relationship. If you’re hiding what you’re doing from your spouse, and you wouldn’t want them to find out, then it’s cheating!
#2 Why Do People Cheat?
Over half of both men and women said they thought the main cause of cheating was an emotional disconnection within the relationship.
Coming in a distant second is feeling unappreciated at home.
In much smaller numbers, the other top 3 reasons included pornography, the internet, and sexual dissatisfaction.
In my experience, this bears out a lot of truth.
I commonly hear phrases such as “we’ve grown apart” when speaking with clients. So, if you don’t want your spouse to stray, the easiest way to prevent them from doing so is to work on the emotional bonds in your relationship.
#3 Who Is Most Likely To Cheat?
Both men and women reported that men were by far the most likely to be unfaithful. Then in descending order were: people with a family history of infidelity, young people, people with a high number of previous sexual partners, and finally older people.
In my experience, some of these numbers are wrong.
For starters, both men and women are equally likely to cheat but the misconception is always men are more likely suspects.
I see more cases of slightly older people but I think that has to do with the relationship.
For example, we’re much more likely to be called to investigate marriages where children are involved compared with a six-month relationship. This naturally skews my investigations away from younger generations.
We do find people are repeat offenders – if they’ve been unfaithful in one relationship they’re much more likely to cheat in their next one.
#4 Cheating Statistics
I thought I’d wrap up with some cheating statistics that corroborate my findings.
The statistic — 60% of affairs begin at work
My experience — I would’ve expected this to be even higher!
The statistic — Up to 60% of all spouses will take part in some form of infidelity at least once during their marriage.
My experience — Cheating is much more common than people think.
The statistic — 56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages.
My experience — When men get “found out” they are usually genuinely sorry and upset they went down the rabbit hole. Most are surprised by their own actions at the beginning of the affair.
The statistic — The average length of an extra-marital affair: 2 years.
My experience — It’s disturbing to most people just how long their spouse’s affair has been going on. Usually, the signs are there and in hindsight most people realise when it all started.
One I can’t comment on based on my experience is this last one. But it’s certainly an enlightening number — about 70% of both men and women say that they would have an affair if they knew that they wouldn’t be caught.
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Until next week,