How many times have you heard people say “it will never happen to us”? Maybe you have even said it yourself. It is widely thought that affairs only occur in bad or unhealthy relationships, but that too is a myth. Sadly, no one is immune to infidelity.

Monogamous relationships are what most people say they believe in and look for partners with the same beliefs and values. But having these beliefs and values does not prevent large numbers of people from having extramarital affairs, because many people don’t intend to have the affair in the first place.

Research has shown that affairs happen:

  1. In both healthy and unhealthy relationships
  2. More so in couples who had brief courtships
  3. More so in ages 20’s and 40’s
  4. When one or both partners work long hours
  5. With co-workers in the workplace
  6. With a friend or family member

It therefore appears that even the most unlikely couple is not immune from infidelity occurring in their relationship and the subsequent disruption to their lives and the lives of those they care about. Affairs happen to all kinds of people, in all walks of life.

Conservative estimates are that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. Taking into account that affairs happen not only in marital relationships but “committed” relationships as well, there is compelling evidence that the incidence of infidelity is increasing.

Understanding the prevalence of affairs within our society helps gives us a more realistic perspective when trying to understand why our partner has strayed. Having an understanding of just how many others are in or have been in the same situation can sometimes alleviate feelings of isolation or failure.