14 Surprising Facts about Marriage, Affairs & Divorce

Excerpted from

In her book, Dr. Holly Hein explores infidelity and teaches how to cope with its aftermath. By understanding the motivations behind the affair, betrayed spouses can learn to heal and rebuild their relationships.

  • Nearly 70% of all married men and 60% of married women have had affairs. That’s two out of every three marriages.
  • Every ten to thirteen seconds someone gets divorced.
  • 50% of women and 33% of men remain angry for ten years after a divorce.
  • Women have more trouble starting new relationships than divorced men do.
  • More than 90% of divorces in long-standing marriages involve infidelities some time during the marriage.
  • More than 50% may be involved in a current affair, yet only 25% cite an affair as an actual reason for divorce.
  • 80% of those who divorce during an affair regret the decision.
  • Over 75% who marry partners in an affair eventually divorce.
  • The divorce rate and ratio of infidelity are much higher among marriage partners in an affair.
  • The average affair lasts two to four years.
  • If an affair becomes public it is doomed.
  • If an affair replaces the marriage, it is subject to the same emotional stresses as the marriage but is twice as likely to fracture.
  • An affair prevents binding ties from being formed. Eventually it has nowhere to go. Sooner or later it will suffocate in secrecy.
  • Affairs die for the same reason as marriage, lack of intimacy.

Do you think it's possible to forgive -- and forget -- after an affair? Find out what everyone else thinks, then share your opinion here!

From the book Sexual Detours. Copyright 2000 by Holly Hein. Reprinted by arrangement with St. Martin’s Press, LLC, New York, NY Available wherever books are sold.

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