Over 90% of people say infidelity is wrong (Smith, 1994). However, the cheating statistics in 2023 paint us in a quite hypocritical light.
According to those cheating statistics, infidelity is highly common: most of us do it whether in open relationships, marriages, or sexually exclusive relationships!
Infidelity is widely shamed – in some countries even dealt with punishments – yet, the percentage of people who cheat is still high.
“Would someone – who cheated on a person who loves them – admit cheating to a researcher?”
A person who’d be able to lie and cheat on their loving partner wouldn’t be very easy to predict whether they’d confess to a researcher or not.
Hence the data shown by surveys, studies, and research aren’t 100% accurate.
Infidelity statistics: Is cheating more common today?
Infidelity or cheating is being unfaithful through an action that betrays your partner’s trust; Depending on individual perception, infidelity can be considered flirting, kissing, connecting emotionally in a romantic sense, texting, sexting, sex, etc.
*As to what is considered to be infidelity it depends on the individual’s perspective, hence the data and the statistics’ likeability to not be 100% accurate.
|People who cheat on their partner||Relationships that experience infidelity||Divorces that are filed due to infidelity||People who cheat in open relationships (USA)|
A paper published by Fincham suggests that there’s a visible increase in rates of infidelity involving all age groups – the increase is specific between 1991 and 2006.
The same publication suggests that 20-25% of all marriages experience infidelity.
On the other hand, studies by Affairs of the Heart – Global Investigations, show that 18-20% of marriages experience infidelity.
The same studies suggest that 79% of the wives and around 62% of the husbands who assume that their spouses are involved in infidelity are right.
Despite the assumptions and suspicions, infidelity is quite frequent among us, and the statistics completely back this up.
Here’s how many people cheat!
|– 44% of people cheat on their partner – Study made on unmarried men and women who were romantically involved in a monogamous relationship.Source: PMC|
|– About 30–40% of relationships (unmarried) experience infidelity; while 18–20% of relationships (married) experience infidelity.Source: Wikipedia|
|– In Western countries, infidelity is the cause of between 25 and 50% of divorces.Source: Kelly & Conley, 1987|
|– Emotional affairs are more frequent than any other type of infidelity. Around 90% of women and around 77% of men worldwide admit to having committed an emotional affair.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 70% of all Americans engage in at least some type of infidelity.Source: Survey by Marriage and Divorce|
|– 20 to 40% of married American men and 20 to 25% of married American women (heterosexual marriages) will have an affair at some point in their lives.Source: TedIdeas|
|– One in five English people had an affair at some point in their lives.Source: YouGov|
|– One in five American people admit to having been unfaithful to their partner.Source: YouGov|
|– 46% of English people admitted to having affairs (monogamous relationships).Source: Health Testing Centers (Number of people in the survey: 441)|
|– 36% of people in the UK have admitted to engaging in infidelity.Source: Statista|
|– In the USA: 19% of the individuals involved in open relationships admitted sexual cheating without their partner’s consent.Source: YouGov|
Which gender? Who cheats more, men or women?
The cheating statistics show that both husbands and wives cheat in heterosexual marriages. Both men and women cheat on their partners, but who cheats more?
Back in 2016, Fincham stated that men were identified as more likely to cheat than women.
For years, it has been reported that the percentage of men who cheat is higher than that of women who cheat on their partners. Statistically, men cheat more than women.
However, things have been shifting in many areas and aspects of modern human life.
WHICH GENDER CHEATS MORE IN 2023?
|Extramarital sex||Emotional infidelity||One night stands||Cybersex infidelity||Cheating in a current relationship|
Depending on the type of infidelity, men and women seem to be cheating about the same, at least according to studies and surveys.
The statistics show clearly whether boyfriends or girlfriends cheat more:
|– 20-25% of men and 10-15% of women worldwide have engaged in a sex affair outside their marriage. Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– 23% and 19% of women reported cheating during their current relationship. Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– 90% of women and 77% of men admit to committing emotional infidelity. Estimating that women cheat more than men when it comes to emotional infidelity. Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 72% of men and 53% of women admit cheating through one-night stands. Estimating that men cheat more than women through one-night stands. Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 40% of women and 30% of men admit to having cheated through cybersex. Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 20% of men, 13% of women admit to having cheated sexually on their spouse (married) – a gender difference that’s consistent from 2000 to 2016. Source: General Social Survey (13,030 participants worldwide)|
|– In the USA: 2% of men and only 1% of women paid for or received payment for sex.Source: GSS|
|– In the USA: 25% of men and 15% of women cheat on their spouses. Source: NYTimes: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy|
|– 37% of American men and 17% of American women in dating and relationships cheated sexually on their partner.Source: The National Health and Social Life Survey|
|– 16% of American men and 8% of American women who were living with their partner cheated sexually on their partner. Source: The National Health and Social Life Survey|
|– In the UK 20% of men and 19% of women in the UK have engaged in infidelity at least once.Source: YouGov|
|– 60% of single men have tried wooing someone who’s taken.Source: Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher|
|– About 53% of single women admit they’ve tried to get another person to leave a committed relationship for them.Source: Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher|
According to the statistics, men still cheat more than women in many of the wide aspects of infidelity including (but not limited to) sexual affairs.
About the source [Truth About Deception]
What makes a partner cheat? A longing for fulfillment or just an affair that “meant nothing to me”?
As adultery is considered to be one of the most unforgivable things you can do to someone you love, the ones who do it seem to have specific drives, motives, and individual traits.
At times it’s a longing for sexual fulfillment or emotional fulfillment, at its worst: a habit one has a hard time getting rid of.
Here’s what the statistics say on why people cheat:
|– Nearly 35% of women and 26% of men have cheated on their spouse because they were bored with the sex life.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 73% of women and 48% of men reported cheating because of the problems that were part of their relationships.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– Neuroticism, history of cheating, high number of previous sex partners, insecure attachment style and other individual characteristics seem to be associated with infidelity.Source: Fincham.info|
|– Drinking problems, alcohol addiction, and illegal drug use are also associated with infidelity.Source: Fincham.info|
|– 72% of cheating men reported low relationship happiness, while 47% of them didn’t.Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– 62% of cheating women reported low relationship happiness, while 40% of them didn’t.Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– Low sexual satisfaction seems to be related with extradyadic behavior in men only; with 69% of cheating men reporting low sexual satisfaction.Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– 74% of cheating men reported low sexual compatibility with their partner.Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– It’s shown that having a high number of coworkers of the opposite sex increases the odds of – and is related to – infidelity among men.Source: Fincham.info|
|– Extramarital sex seems to be highly correlated with dissatisfaction with the marriage.Source: Brown, 1991; Vaughn, 1986|
|– Reporting a happy marriage is less likely to happen in those who involve in infidelity.Source: Healthy Marriage Info|
|– A high sexual drive in individuals can signal a higher chance of sexual cheating.Source: Treas and Giesen, 2000|
|– Extraversion, high neuroticism and psychoticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness increase the odds for a person with such traits to engage in infidelity.Source: Barta & Kiene, 2005; Buss & Shackleford, 1997; Whisman et al., 2007|
|– The number of people who engage in infidelity that consider religion very important is lower (5.6%) than those who don’t (39%).Source: Kinsey Institute|
|– 30% of women and 15% of men have cheated to get even with their spouse.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– Married women are about 25% more likely than men to say they cheated because of marital problems.Source: Helen Fisher|
|– 57% of women who cheat are in love with their lover.Source: Helen Fisher|
|– 56% of men who cheat say they’re happily married.Source: Helen Fisher|
|– UK: 56% of men and 34% of women who cheated on their partners said that their relationship with their partner was a happy one.Source: Shirley Glass|
Getting caught or confessing? How soon after infidelity?
The statistics have shown us that infidelity in marriages, in relationships (open or not) is very common.
Since it’s considered to be morally wrong by many of us, how many of those who practice infidelity confess? How many get caught, and how do they get caught?
|– Around 48% of women who cheated reported that their partner found the truth about it.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 39% of men who cheated reported that their partner found out about it.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 21% of the cheaters are caught because of the partner’s investigation due to suspicion that their partner is cheating.Source: Truth About Deception (number of people in the survey: 25,829)|
|– Nearly 57% of the cheaters willingly confess to their spouses that they’ve cheated on them.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 8.3% of the cheaters confessed to their spouses about cheating when asked/accused.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 8% of the cheaters have been caught cheating accidentally by their spouse.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 4.5% of the cheaters have been caught cheating by third parties.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 52.4% of cheaters in relationships confess within a week.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– 30% of the married women knew of their spouse’s infidelity, while for married men the number is higher and it stands at 46%Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– 47.9% of people in marriages said that they’d confess within 6 months or longerSource: Health Testing Centers|
|– 29.2% of those in marriages said they’d confess within a weekSource: Health Testing Centers|
|– 20.4% of those within a relationship who admitted to the sameSource: Health Testing Centers|
|– USA: The reason to admit the cheating – confessing – is guilt for 47% of the people.Source: Health Testing Center|
|– In the USA: Around 48% of people admitted their infidelity to someone else, but never admitted to their partner.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 47% of people confessed to their partner in the first week of cheating.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 26% of people confessed to their partner in the first month of their affair.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 25% of people took 6 months or more to confess their affair to their partner.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 53% of the cheaters who got an STI through cheating, had confessed to their partner about it.Source: Health Testing Centers|
Age – How is infidelity associated with a cheater’s age?
As surprising as it may sound, the adultery statistics are also related to age.
The happily ever after is on the edge once the individuals in the marriage reach 65!
Here’s how marriages and relationships handle the issue of infidelity through their age:
|– Couples under 30 seem to be more prone to be affected by infidelity.Source: TAD|
|– In heterosexual marriages, in most cases, men cheat on their wives with someone younger than their wives.Source: TAD|
|– In the USA: 11% of the people aged 18-34 admit to having cheated on their partner.Source: NORC|
|– In the USA: 17% of the people aged 35-64 admit to having cheated on their partner.Source: NORC|
|– In the USA: 18% of the people aged 65+ admit to having cheated on their partner.Source: NORC|
|– In the USA: 25% of men and 10% of women aged 65 have cheated on their partner.Source: NORC|
|– In the USA: 12.9% of women and 15.9% of men aged 18-24 have cheated.Source: National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago|
The place & the person – Where and with whom does the infidelity/cheating take part?
Cheating statistics show that cheating is practiced mostly at work (with a coworker), on business trips, with someone that the partner knows, and with a friend who for a moment gets closer than usual.
It seems that if a partner befriends their partner’s family can decrease the odds of cheating by 26% (Judith Treas & Deirdre Giesen, 2000).
Research, studies, polls, and surveys show how the place and the person are associated with a people’s extradyadic behavior:
|– Nearly 44% of women and 22% of men have cheated with someone their spouse knows.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 62% of men and 57% of women admitted to engaging in infidelity on a business trip.Source: Gleeden (surveyed 8,000 people)|
|– 36% of men and women admit committing infidelity with a co-worker (spending more time with the co-worker than with their spouse).Source: Associated Press Journal of Marital and Family Therapy|
|– 17% of those committing infidelity, do so with a brother-in-law or sister-in-law (emotional or sexual infidelity).Source: BrandonGaille|
|– In the USA: 40% of women and nearly 33% of men who admitted to having cheated on their partner said that they cheated with a friend.Source: A study on 2,000 people|
|– In the USA: 33% of women and 28% of men who admitted to having cheated on their partner said that they cheated at work.Source: A study on 2,000 people|
|– In the USA: 12% of women and 19% of men who admitted to having cheated on their partner said that they cheated with someone they’ve met at a bar.Source: A study on 2,000 people|
|– In the UK: 43% of the individuals who cheated, did so with a friend.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 38% of the individuals who cheated, did so with a coworker.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 18% of the individuals who cheated, did so with someone they didn’t know.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 12% of the individuals who cheated, did so with an ex.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 8% of the individuals who cheated, did so with a neighbor.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 3% of the individuals who cheated, did so with a partner’s relative.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 5% of women kissed their father-in-law — partner’s father.Source: Scribbler|
|– In the UK: 0.71% of women had an affair with their father-in-law.Source: Scribbler|
Time – How long does the cheating last? & Do cheaters cheat again?
The ‘honeymoon’ phase in a relationship, according to science, lasts for around 6 months or slightly more.
The studies show a correlation between the honeymoon phase and affairs, suggesting that most affairs are short-term and don’t last longer than 6 months.
Research from the Zur Institute concluded that most affairs are short-term and don’t go beyond that “falling-in-love” phase.
These are statistics of repeated infidelity, meaning affair statistics that show that infidelity is often not just an “it happened once” thing.
Though the affairs don’t last long, cheating seems to be repeatedly happening for weeks, even months:
|– Nearly 67% of men and 53% of women have reported cheating more than once on their spouse.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 65% of the affairs end within 6 months.Source: WECT News|
|– 25% of the affairs last less than a week.Source: WECT News|
|– 10% of the affairs are long-term affairs.Source: WECT News|
|– 45% of the people who admit cheating on their partner in their first relationship, cheated in their second relationship too.Source: Psychology Today|
|– Individuals who cheated in the past are more prone to cheating in upcoming relationships with 3 times more likeability.Source: the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior|
|– In the UK: Only half of the people who’d admitted cheating stopped at one affair.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 20% of the people who’d admitted cheating had three or more affairs.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 8% of the people who’d admitted cheating had done so 5 or more times.Source: YouGov|
|– In the USA: 42% of the people who’d been divorced admitted to having engaged in more than one affair.Source: The APA|
Income & education – What does it have to do with cheating?
Income and education are yet other factors that have an influence on the fate of a relationship or marriage regarding infidelity.
Here’s what income and education have to do with the people involved in adultery:
|– 26% of people with middle-upper/upper income have reported engaging in infidelity.Source: Kristen P. Mark, Erick Janssen, Robin R. Milhausen, 2011|
|– 37% of people with middle income have reported cheating on their partners.Source: Kristen P. Mark, Erick Janssen, Robin R. Milhausen, 2011|
|– 45% of those who cheated on their partners reported having attended college/tech.Source: Kristen P. Mark, Erick Janssen, Robin R. Milhausen, 2011|
|– 38% of cheaters have reported to still be attending college.Source: Kristen P. Mark, Erick Janssen, Robin R. Milhausen, 2011|
|– The wealthy are more likely to engage in infidelity.Source: WashingtonPost|
|– 15% of people who cheat in America have a High school degree or less.Source: General Social Survey|
|– 18% of people who cheat in America have started college education (most didn’t finish it).Source: General Social Survey|
|– 16% of people who cheat in America have completed college or higher education.Source: General Social Survey|
|– Only one of the spouses working – and the other being a stay-at-home spouse – is also related to increased infidelity.Source: Fincham.info|
|– In the USA:15% of men who depend on their spouses for financial income, will cheat.Source: ASA|
|– In the USA: One earning less than the other within married heterosexual partners (age: 18-32) are more prone to infidelity.Source: American Sociological Association, researcher Christin L. Munsch|
|– In the USA: 15% of the men who earned less than their wives (depending on their wives in this area) have engaged in infidelity.Source: American Sociological Association, researcher Christin L. Munsch|
|– In the USA: 5% of the women who were not dependent on their husbands for their income engaged in infidelity.Source: American Sociological Association, researcher Christin L. Munsch|
Cheating statistics by race, countries & culture: Which country is the most unfaithful?
The infidelity statistics worldwide don’t have good news for us. The cheating husbands and wives are revealed in numbers through the infidelity statistics by country and race.
In a study made by Fincham.info, only 6.6% of respondents who admitted cheating were non-white, 89% were white, and 4% were Hispanic/Latino.
Studies show that in American women the marital infidelity prevalence is 26% to 70%, while in American men it is 33% to 75% (Aivess and Esmith, 2007-2010).
90% of Americans view infidelity as immoral, and 65% as unforgivable (Gallup).
Studies have shown that in most countries and cultures, infidelity is considered to be one of the wrongest things one can do.
|Countries where an affair is unacceptable are:|
Source: Pew Research Center
|The most unfaithful countries are reported to be:|
|Country||Percentage of individuals engaging in infidelity (%)|
|INFIDELITY STATISTICS BY RACE|
|– 22% of black people reported cheating on their partner.Source: DeseretNews|
|– 16% of white people reported cheating on their partner.Source: DeseretNews|
|– 13% of Hispanic people reported cheating on their partner.Source: DeseretNews|
|– In the USA infidelity is an offense crime in 17 states.Source: Wikipedia|
|– In the Philippines, adultery is a crime.Source: Wikipedia|
|– 91% of Americans believe that an affair is morally wrong. In fact, the study shows that Americans believe that having an affair is more wrong morally than cloning humans.Source: Gallup|
LGBTQ+ and cheating in America
Cheating is present in same-sex relationships too.
Although the relationships and marriages in the LGBTQ+ community seem to be more prone to be open and/or polyamorous, infidelity is strongly present just as much as it is in heterosexual relationships/marriages.
Here’s how common infidelity is among the LGBTQ+ community in America:
|– 18% of bisexual individuals reported cheating on their partner.Source: National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior|
|– 14% of homosexual men reported cheating on their partner.Source: National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior|
|– 6% of homosexual women reported cheating on their partner.Source: National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior|
|– 12% of bisexual women reported cheating on their partner.Source: National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior|
Internet infidelity – Everything about virtual cheating
Statistics show that cheating websites such as Ashley Madison contribute to high numbers of infidelity cases.
Cheating websites, dating apps, and porn sites make adultery very practical to those with such intentions.
According to statistics, the most common practice of internet infidelity is through phone contact, explicit sex talks online, real-time sex online, etc.
The worst part of this sad truth is that a high percentage of those who practice such ways of infidelity are addicted to them. Here are the precise numbers:
|– 42% of Tinder users aren’t single.Source: DatingZest|
|– 9% of people are not addicted (but practice) and 38% are addicted to cheating through explicit sex talk online.Source: Netaddiction|
|– 20-33% of people use the internet for sexual reasons and 65% of those people have had sex with their internet partner.Source: Fincham.info|
|– 12% of people are not addicted (but practice) and 37% are addicted to cheating through masturbation online.Source: Netaddiction|
|– 14% of people are not addicted (but practice) and 42% are addicted to having an online affair.Source: Netaddiction|
|– 18% of people are not addicted (but practice) and 50% are addicted to cheating through phone contact.Source: Netaddiction|
|– 13% of people are not addicted (but practice) and 31% are addicted to cheating through real-time sex.Source: Netaddiction|
|– Last year 17% of people in all dating apps were there so they could cheat.Source: YouGovNYpost|
Marriages and relationships after cheating – A new possibility or complete destruction?
A publication by Research Gate on infidelity shows that infidelity can cause a lot of damage to both partners within the relationship.
Some of those damages include but aren’t limited to
- emotional dysregulation,
- extreme anger, shame, sadness, jealousy, betrayal, shame, and rage.
The publication states that it’s highly common for victims of infidelity to start manifesting depressive symptoms.
More specific research included in the publication showed that women who got cheated on by their husbands were six times more likely to be diagnosed with a major depressive episode.
Some marriages and relationships manage to survive the destructive consequences of infidelity, however, others don’t.
The statistics on how relationships handle infidelity reveal:
|– 2%-3% of children are a result of infidelity (some are raised by “fathers” that have no clue they’re not their biological fathers).Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 76% of people who found out that their partner is having a secret contact have tried to work the relationship out.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 72% of people who found out their partner is cheating on them decided to try to work things out.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 20% of people who found out their partner is cheating on them decided to break up.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– 7.5% of the couples worked out the problem of infidelity and recovered trust in the relationship.Source: Truth About Deception|
|– If the partner who engaged in infidelity resists answering questions asked by their partner, the relationship is 59% less likely to survive.Source: Survey by Peggy Vaughan (1,083 people)|
|– In the USA: More than 50% of people in relationships say that they would break up or divorce if they found out their partner was cheating.Source: Gallup|
|– In the USA: 54% of those confessing to their partner about their affair ended up being broken up with.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 15% of those confessing to their partner about their affair are still together.Source: Health Testing Centers|
|– In the USA: 17% of divorces happen due to adultery.Source: Right Lawyers|
|– In the UK: 14% of people who got cheated on took their partner back.Source: YouGov|
|– In the UK: 75% of people who got cheated on didn’t take their partner back.Source: YouGov|