Is Cheating As Widespread As We Previously Believed?

Is cheating really as widespread as we think it is?


Everyone knows someone who had an unfaithful husband or wife. But that’s only one, may be two, individuals. However, if we are to believe the hype, infidelity is so widespread, that half of the people you know are currently cheating on their spouses. But is that really true? According to Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, the answer is no.


With regard to the issue of affairs, Smith says that “there are probably more scientifically worthless ‘facts’ on extramarital relations than on any other facet of human behavior.” But why is that? Why do some survey results show that 70 percent of women cheat, while others claim that only 4 percent are unfaithful?


According to Smith, one of the factors is age. The number of Americans who have ever had an affair averages about 13 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds, but increases to 20 percent among those in their mid-life. After that, he says, the level seems to even out. But this data was collected a few years ago and if there’s one thing we can all agree on about the period of time that we all live in, it’s that things change fast!


With each passing year, technology makes more and more of the world accessible to us. While being able to grocery shop online from the comfort of your couch may be helpful, not everything we’ve gained as a result of tech development is quite so magnanimous. Or healthy. At least from a marital perspective.


While Smith seems to think that cheating happens far less often than most people believe it does, not everyone agrees with his assessment of the facts. According to a survey results assessment done by the Wall Street Journal, there has been a steady increase in the number of people who are unfaithful to their spouses.


According to researchers David M. Buss and Todd K. Shackelford, whose study on infidelity was published in the Journal of Research in Personality, estimates reveal that 30% to 60% of all married individuals in the U.S. will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. But this is exactly the kind of supposition that Smith is refuting. So who’s right, and who’s shooting way out of the park?


Chances are, due to the secretive nature of cheating, accurate statistics will probably never be available. This means that we may never know the truth. If, however, you discover that your spouse is a member of that unquantifiable group of unfaithful spouses and you are considering a divorce, call us today at . We can help you during this difficult time.