Sometimes, an affair ends when one (or both) of the partners decides that the affair has become more trouble than it is worth. They may then choose to break the affair off. In some instances, the affair is somehow discovered by the betrayed spouse, and this may bring a halt to the relationship.
Those in the relationship who started from an affair may eventually feel less satisfied, less invested, and less committed to the happiness of the other person. Furthermore, people who cheated on a spouse or partner will often seek to cheat again. On average, affairs usually end within 6 months to 2 years.
Part of what makes an affair's relationship work is the secrecy and excitement of keeping it a secret. Once the betrayed spouse finds out, the affair loses a lot of its appeal. The new partner doesn't seem as enticing when it isn't a secret anymore. So, affairs usually fizzle out after the affair find the light of day.
According to WebMD, the “in love” stage of an affair lasts 6 to 18 months, on average. And around 75% of marriages that start as affairs end in divorce. Considering only 5 to 7% of affair relationships lead to marriage, that's a grim statistic for couples hoping their affairs will last forever.
How Many Couples Stay Together After an Affair? In one study, researchers found that with instances of secret infidelity, only about 20% of couples were still married after 5 years. However, for couples who revealed infidelity, that percentage jumped to 57%.
Women in their 60s report the highest rate of infidelity (16%), but the share goes down sharply among women in their 70s and 80s. By comparison, the infidelity rate among men in their 70s is the highest (26%), and it remains high among men ages 80 and older (24%).
How long extramarital affairs last varies: about 50% may last between the period of one month to a year affair, long term affairs may last long-term, for about 15 months or more, and about 30% of affairs last about two years and beyond.
Johns Hopkins University. "Married people who cheat don't often regret it: Infidelity survey reveals little remorse, high rates of satisfaction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2023.
In some cases, it stems from unmet needs in a relationship. Issues like lack of communication, boredom, and personal insecurities can fester when they're not fully addressed. If one partner feels like they're never listened to or respected in their primary relationship, they may look for that in another person.
Some families have been able to move past infidelity with time and therapy. To move on, this takes active work on both partners to work on the root cause of the infidelity. Working through it is not suitable for every couple, but those willing can heal.
Why do people cheat? A wide variety of factors can bring out some type of affair. A study of 495 people revealed eight key reasons: anger, low self-esteem, lack of love, low commitment, need for variety, neglect, sexual desire, and circumstance.
Yes, it is possible for someone to fall in love with an affair partner, although it can be a complicated and emotionally fraught experience. These relationships have trust issues due to how they began. In order to make the relationships work, the couple needs to work diligently at trust.
Our interest develops into an obsession: We can't stop thinking about the other person even if we try to concentrate on other things. We daydream and fantasize about the other person constantly. The relationship causes euphoria -- an intense "high" or feeling of joy and well-being.
[v] It is widely recognized that one of the most powerful factors in rebuilding a marriage after an affair is forgiveness. [vi] Individuals willing to forgive a partner's betrayal can rebuild intimacy through grace. Some couples work through infidelity by exploring the meaning behind the moves.
If you're considering staying after infidelity, it's probably because you still love your partner and you want to be with them. And this is perfectly okay! There's nothing wrong with you. You may share life events, children, memories, special moments, etc.
Extramarital affairs rarely last a lifetime, but when they do, it is because of secrecy and sacrifice and a real loving connection. These are not easy affairs to maintain, and the longer they go on, the harder it will be for everyone involved.
People who cheat are likely impulsive and destructive at decision making. Instead of thinking about you and what happens to the relationship after cheating, they go based on what they want right now. Impulsiveness can be seen in other areas of the relationship, too. So keep an eye out.
"We tend to think that people cheat because they're unhappy in their relationships. And that certainly can be true, but the reality is more complicated," explained Marin. "It's important we recognize there are plenty of people in perfectly happy relationships who also cheat."
A man can cheat and still love his wife.
The roller coaster of emotions that follows the discovery of his infidelity can be excruciating for both of you. It is entirely normal to experience intense emotional pain in response to infidelity. You may feel like running away or want to know everything about the other woman.
They experience crushing guilt
The thought of someone finding out what he has done makes it hard for him to focus on his work and distracts him from time with his family. Deep regret is with him all the time, and he may even stop (or try to stop many times) the affair due to his feelings of remorse.
Poor self control, selfishness, anger, boredom, and attention-seeking are the most common reasons a person is unfaithful in their relationship.
Prevalence: Extramarital Affairs/Infidelities are common. Most estimates indicate that around 60% of men and 45% of women are willing to report that an affair has occurred sometime in their marriage and it suggests that 70% of all marriages experience an affair.
Surprisingly, these full-blown affairs almost never start at a bar or club. Instead, they usually begin in much more wholesome environments: The workplace. The workplace is where most affairs begin.
Affairs are addictive and there is a reason why, when someone gets involved and makes those choices, it is hard to get out,” she explained. “It is because you get chemically addicted, there are dopamine hits that happen in your brain that makes them addicted to this person.”