Although most romantic relationships presume monogamy, infidelity is quite common.
Infidelity statistics suggest that unmarried couples have a substantially higher risk of infidelity than married couples.
- About 44% of unmarried and 18% of married couples experience infidelity.
- Up to 50% of all divorces in the U.S. are primarily caused by extramarital affairs.
- The average married woman has her first affair 7 years into marriage.
- The majority of affairs start with friends (37%) or people at work (30%).
- 1 in 4 partners use dating apps for infidelity, 40% engage in cybersex.
- 37% of people (1/3) in top management positions engage in infidelity.
- Most cheaters regret the act, but only 1 in 4 confesses.
- Cheaters are 300% more likely to cheat again in their next relationships.
- Financially dependent men are 15% more likely to cheat their spouses.
1. About 44% of unmarried and 18% of married couples experience infidelity.
According to statistics on infidelity published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (2017), about 44% of unmarried Americans engage in infidelity. (1)
|Report engaging in infidelity||44%|
|Report having a partner previously engaged in infidelity||30%|
|Report that they suspected a partner of engaging in infidelity||18%|
About 30% of the infidelity study participants reported having a partner previously engaged in infidelity and 18% of study participants reported that they suspected a partner of engaging in infidelity.
The research suggests that unmarried relationships tend to have higher infidelity rates than married couples and higher-educated participants are less likely to engage in infidelity.
About 17.64% of married Americans engage in extramarital sex.
According to extramarital affairs statistics published in the Current Research Journal of Social Sciences (2020), about 17.64% of married Americans engage in extramarital sex. (2)
The extramarital study suggests that about 22.90% of married males and 13.82% of married females engaged in extramarital sex.
The data was based on the General Social Survey between 1991 and 2018.
The study confirms the commonly referred gender hypothesis, which suggests men cheat more than women.
The suggested reasoning was based on the evolutionary thesis that men have a lower investment than women in their biological offspring.
The study also found the highest likelihood of 21.46% for extramarital sex among ages 55-65 and 20.68% among ages 41-54.
2. Up to 50% of all divorces in the U.S. are primarily caused by extramarital affairs.
According to divorce after infidelity statistics published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, approximately 25-50% of all divorces in the U.S. are primarily caused by extramarital affairs. (3)
|Adultery as the primary cause of divorce||25-50%|
|More than one extramarital sexual contact||42%|
|First marriages that end in divorce||50%|
The divorce study also found that aspects most strongly related to marital outcome are neuroticism of the husband, neuroticism of the wife, and impulse control of the husband.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association found that 42% of all divorces report more than one extramarital sexual contact during their marriages. (4)
Also, approximately 50% of all first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.
|Have you ever considered getting a|
divorce or separation?
|Do you think that having kids is a reason why|
haven’t you pursued divorce or separation?
*Second question doesn’t total 100% as only the top answers are listed.
According to Ashley Madison statistics on cheating, 72.7% of women who have engaged in extramarital affairs have considered divorce. (5)
About 43% of unfaithful women in the U.S. say they haven’t pursued divorce because of children.
3. The average married woman has her first affair 7 years into marriage.
According to Ashley Madison affair statistics, the average married woman in the U.S. has her first affair 7 years into marriage. 5)
|Unfaithful Women||Married Years|
|Had your first affair||7.2 yrs.|
|Noticed a decline in sexual quality||5.4 yrs.|
|Noticed a decline in sexual frequency||5.1 yrs.|
The data also found that 5 years into marriage, an unfaithful partner first notices a decline in sexual frequency and in sexual quality.
Both of which are factors that might drive the partner towards infidelity.
The top reasons for infidelity among women are loneliness, adventure, and lack of sex.
According to Ashley Madison cheating statistics, about 30.3% of married American women cheat because they are lonely or bored in their marriage. (5)
|Rank||Reasons for Adultery||Percentages|
|#1||Lonely/bored in my marriage||30.3%|
|#2||More satisfying/adventurous sex||14.7%|
|#3||Spouse lost sex drive/suffers chronic illness||15.0%|
|#4||Spouse cheated first||8.8%|
|#5||Make up for missed sexual experiences||6.7%|
|#6||Allows me to be someone else||6.0%|
|#7||Can’t communicate with spouse||6.9%|
|#8||Sex more frequently||7.4%|
|#9||It is dangerous/fun||4.2%|
About 14.7% of married American women cheat because they are looking for more adventurous sex, 15% because of lack of sex, and 8.8% because spouses cheated first.
4. The majority of affairs start with friends (37%) or people at work (30%).
According to Superdrug Online Doctor statistics on cheating, the majority of affairs start with friends (37%) and people at work (30%). (6)
|How Cheating Starts||Men||Women|
|They were a friend||32.9%||40.6%|
|Out and about||21.8%||17.5%|
|In a bar||19.5%||12.4%|
|On social media||7.3%||7.1%|
|On a dating app||14.9%||4.7%|
|On a business trip||6.9%||4.2%|
|On a cheating-specific site||3.0%||0.2%|
Most men have an affair with their existing friends (32.9%) or will meet the person at work (26.6%), or by doing everyday activities (21.8%).
Most women have an affair with their existing friends (40.6%) or will meet the person at work (33.3%) or by doing everyday activities (17.5%).
The cheating data also suggests that men are significantly more likely to seek out an affair on a dating app (14.9%) or cheating-specific site (3%) compared to women (4.7% and 0.2%).
5. 1 in 4 partners use dating apps for infidelity, 40% engage in cybersex.
According to the Truth About Deception online infidelity statistics (2023), 21% of men and 25.7% of women use online dating apps/sites for infidelity. (7)
|Have used an online service to cheat||21.0%||25.7%|
|Have engaged in cybersex||30.6%||40.0%|
Interestingly enough, about 30.6% of men and 40% of women engage in cybersex.
The data suggests that women are significantly more inclined towards online infidelity than men.
Truth About Deception maintains the world’s largest anonymous live poll for cheaters (updated daily) and has almost 100,000 respondents.
4 in 10 Tinder users are either married or in a relationship.
According to statistics on online cheating published in Computers in Human Behavior, 42% of U.S. Tinder users are either married or in a relationship. (8)
|Tinder Users in the U.S.||Tinder Users Worldwide|
|42% committed/married||18-25% committed/married|
Globally, about 18-25% of Tinder users are in a committed relationship while using Tinder.
The data also suggests that over 50% of Tinder users who were in a relationship also had an offline encounter with other Tinder users.
6. 37% of people (1/3) in top management positions engage in infidelity.
According to adultery statistics published in the Journal of Sex Research, 37% of people in top management positions engage in infidelity. (9)
|Occupational Power||Casual Sex||Infidelity|
About 24% of people in middle management, 9% of low management, and 9% of non-management positions engage in infidelity.
The study found that power does increase infidelity. The more occupational power a person has, the more likely they are to be unfaithful.
7. Most cheaters regret the act, but only 1 in 4 confesses.
According to Superdrug Online Doctor infidelity statistics in the U.S., the majority (64.4%) of cheaters regret engaging in infidelity. (6)
About 71% of men and 57.8% of women in the U.S. regret cheating on their partners. Interestingly enough, more men regret cheating than women.
|Partner didn’t find out||56.8%||56.5%|
|Partner found out||21.6%||19.8%|
|I told partner||21.6%||23.7%|
About 57% of unfaithful partners in the U.S. say their past partners never found out about their infidelity.
Only 21.6% of unfaithful men and 23.7% of unfaithful women confess to their partners about their infidelity.
|Within a week||46.9%||48.0%|
|Within a month||27.4%||26.0%|
|6 months or longer||25.7%||26.0%|
According to health Testing Centers cheating data, 46.9% of men and 48% of women confess their infidelity within a week. (10)
About 27.4% of men and 26% of women confess their infidelity within a month.
8. Cheaters are 300% more likely to cheat again in their next relationships.
According to repeated infidelity statistics published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, individuals who have cheated are 300% more likely to cheat again in their next relationships compared to non-cheaters. (1)
|Those who have cheated report cheating again|
in their next relationships
|Those whose partner had previously cheated report|
the same behavior in their next relationships
|Those who suspected their previous partner of cheating|
report the same suspicion in their next relationships
The data suggested that prior infidelity emerged as an important risk factor for infidelity in the next relationships, including for partners who were cheated on.
Individuals whose partners had cheated them in their previous relationships are 2 times more likely (200%) to report the same behavior in their next relationships.
Individuals who suspected cheating by their partner in their previous relationships are 4 times more likely (400%) to report the same suspicion in their next relationships.
9. Financially dependent men are 15% more likely to cheat their spouses.
According to an American Sociological Association infidelity study, both men and women are more likely to cheat on their spouses the more economically dependent they are on them. (11)
|Chance of Cheating||15%||5%|
The study found that, in an average year, there’s a 15% chance that men and 5% that women will cheat on their partners if they are completely economically dependent on them.
Noticeably, the likelihood of infidelity among men (15%) is three times larger than for women (5%).
The study suggests that men are least likely to cheat when they bring home 70% of a couple’s total income. After 70 percent, however, men become increasingly more likely to stray.
Women are least likely to engage in infidelity when they make 100% of a couple’s total income.
- Knopp K, Scott S, Ritchie L, Rhoades GK, Markman HJ, Stanley SM. Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Serial Infidelity Across Subsequent Relationships. Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Nov;46(8):2301-2311. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-1018-1. Epub 2017 Aug 7. PMID: 28785917; PMCID: PMC5709195. Link
- Djamba, Yanyi & Kimuna, Sitawa. (2020). Racial and Gender Differences in Extramarital Sex in the United States in the Last Three Decades. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 3. 06-18. 10.12944/CRJSSH.3.1.03. Link
- Mark KP, Janssen E, Milhausen RR. Infidelity in heterosexual couples: demographic, interpersonal, and personality-related predictors of extradyadic sex. Arch Sex Behav. 2011 Oct;40(5):971-82. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9771-z. Epub 2011 Jun 11. PMID: 21667234. Link
- Marín, R. A., Christensen, A., & Atkins, D. C. (2014). Infidelity and behavioral couple therapy: Relationship outcomes over 5 years following therapy. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(1), 1–12. Link
- Ashley Madison. 2019. Female Infidelity Statistics. Link
- Superdrug Online Doctor. 2023. Cheaters on Cheating. Link
- Truth About Deception. 2023. Cheating Spouse Survey Results. Link
- Elisabeth Timmermans, Elien De Caluwé, Cassandra Alexopoulos. Why are you cheating on tinder? Exploring users’ motives and (dark) personality traits, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 89, 2018, Pages 129-139, ISSN 0747-5632. Link
- Statista. 2015. Power increases infidelity. Link
- Health Testing Centers. 2022. Exploring How Honest People Are About Their Infidelity. Link
- American Sociological Association (ASA). 2015. People more likely to cheat as they become more economically dependent on their spouses. Link