Here are the results of the survey we published last week.  I can’t really say that there were any Earth-shattering surprises, though I still feel that the results are interesting and we can possibly make some further assumptions or takeaways from the results.

We’d be interested in hearing any comments you might have regarding the survey results.

From the following results I think you can get a fairly good idea of those that visit this site and their situations:

 

Sex:

Male – 11.8%

Female – 88.2%

 

Age:

18-24 – 0.6%

25-34 – 15.3%

35-49 – 53.4%

50-62 – 28.8%

63 and over – 1.8%

 

How long have you been married or in a relationship?

0-5 years – 6.2%

6 -10 years – 15.4%

11-15 years – 17.3%

16-20 years – 19.1%

21-25 years – 16.0%

25 + years – 26.5%

(I was a bit surprised at the number who have over 25 years together.)

 

Current relationship status:

Not married – 3.7%

Still married – 79.7%

Separated – 11.7%

Divorced (or have filed) – 4.9%

(This tells me that most want to try to save their marriages and recover from the affair.)

 

Are you the cheater of the betrayed?

Cheater – 11.2%

Betrayed – 88.8%

(No surprises here)

 

Was the affair emotional, physical or both?

Emotional affair – 57.4%

Physical affair – 3.1%

Emotional and physical – 39.5%

 

Is the affair over?

Yes – 65.4%

No – 14.8%

Not sure – 19.8%

 

In general, why do you think the affair happened? (more than one answer could be checked)

Needs not being met – 58.6%

The opportunity presented itself – 45.7%

Lack of boundaries – 24.7%

Character flaw of the cheater – 30.2%

Mid-life crisis – 38.3%

Other – 21.6%

 

Some of the “other” reasons are:

  • Boredom
  • Stress of 4 month hospitalization of child followed by months of extensive care
  • He can’t articulate why, so I’m guessing….
  • He says he liked the attention
  • Old girlfriend – Facebook
  • First loves
  • All of the above
  • Resentments over many unresolved issues.
  • Angry at me and start of ED
  • She was bored and needed to be entertained. That we could try again later. Never mentioned anything to that matter until she left and filed.. didn’t know about EA at that time, until a month later. She said that they were ‘JUST’ Friends, and that she refused to seek help..
  • Old first love initiated contact and made it easy
  • Spouse not in touch with his emotions, entered affair out of curiosity and to feel good, depression.
  • Stress at work and death of parent
  • Cheater’s low self-esteem issues
  • Met up with old flame
  • I was diagnosed with cancer; husband felt that he had no support and was unable to communicate with me.
  • Affair just happened
  • OW (other woman) had a crush
  • We were having a bad patch and he worked with her and got close and enjoyed the fantasy and something ‘different’.
  • “Seven year itch”
  • He “wanted” to have it.
  • Death of his father and history of alcoholism, it all came to crisis mode.
  • Temporary insanity
  • Nostalgia
  • Financial stress, escape
  • Needs not being met, but he failed to confide in me what he felt was wrong, he chose to confide in the OW instead.
  • Childhood trauma caused low self esteem for cheeter
  • Ignorance of severity of the damages, believed that it was a wrong but “acceptable” solution to the troubled marriage
  • Unresolved FOO issues (not sure what FOO means)
  • Other person was predatory
  • MS diagnosis and mental issues
  • Not really sure…

 

Have you seen or spoken to a counselor?

Yes – 66.7%

No – 33.3%

 

If you have seen (talked to) a counselor, are you still in counseling?

Yes – 46.2%

No – 53.8%

 

If you are (were) in counseling, is (was) it as a couple or alone?

Alone – 72.4%

As a couple – 62.9%

(it appears that many went to counseling alone and as a couple)

 

If you have not seen or talked to a counselor, why not? (More than one answer possible)

My spouse/partner refuses to go – 25.8%

I (we) don’t feel the need to or are not ready yet – 28.8%

Lack of money to pay for it – 18.2%

Other – 39.4%

 

Some of the “other” reasons were:

  • Time
  • Counselor wouldn’t keep seeing us, because my husband wasn’t committed to the process – though he said he was, she knew he wasn’t.
  • We have worked it out on our own, our marriage has never been better. We both love each other and want our marriage to work.
  • I don’t need it
  • Felt more comfortable with self help and this site….Worked through some serious issues on our own
  • He lives with OW and is not interested – she is everything now
  • Just finished moving. I’m trying to make an appointment now.
  • Live in a small town – wouldn’t want anyone to know – counselors are local
  • I think they are nosey busybodies who are no help at all, they can’t change anything. My H would have gone if I wanted.
  • Partner will never go and I’m not sure I can fix this by myself, plus I’m scared it will mean I have to confront issues I’m not ready for.
  • Didn’t help
  • Partner is in counseling
  • I’m still trying to get through this on my own.
  • Cheating spouse is going alone to deal with root cause
  • Spouse doesn’t feel he had an affair because it wasn’t physical
  • I am a private person.
  • My husband will not go to couples counseling.
  • I went alone the first time with my H’s understanding we’d go as a couple if I felt comfortable and I felt he didn’t “get it” so why go back? This was a “small blip” in a 25 yr relationship, I should just get over because my H “was sorry”….oh please!!!
  • In a country where good counseling is not available, we research and counsel ourselves.
  • Lack of good therapists
  • Not sure how to find a counselor – no referrals available.
  • Note: no longer in couples counseling while he focuses on how FOO issues cause issue in our relationship.
  • Don’t know how to find a good one
  • Just discovered the affair. We are going to have individual as well as couple counseling.
  • Didn’t really feel like it would help.

 

Note:  For those of you who are unsure about how to find a therapist, you might want to check out the following posts:

“Questions to Ask a Therapist”

“Should You Go to Couples Counseling?”

If there is a lack of therapists in your area, or you live in a small town and require more privacy, you might want to try out online or phone counseling by clicking this link:   Talk With a Counselor Now , which offers live 24-hour help with a counselor by phone or online.

    37 replies to "Our Latest Survey Results"

    • Broken

      I was a little shocked at the high percentage of affairs for people who have been together 25 plus years. I wonder why? You would think at that point life would be a little more stable. I am in that catagory but didn’t realize it was in the majority. Sad. I wonder what the age of the OW is for most in this age group.

      • dalamyg01

        I was also shocked by it, but I think if people were more open and honest with their feelings and recognize that we are ever-changing beings, then there might be more room for understanding. I also think the longer you are with someone, the more possessive one might feel towards them (especially since society strictly dictates we only be with one other person).

        If people are honest with each other, I think there is enough love for everyone to go around…but everyone has to have a voice in the decision! No lying or deceitfulness, but just discussing what our hearts feel and negotiating an answer among all involved.

    • Alone

      I guess we don’t know what percent of the cheaters are male versus female? Seems like mainly female cheaters that hang around this site. Maybe that means something? Wonder what all the male cheaters do? I guess they don’t want to talk or think about it.

      Anyway, Doug thanks for posting as a reformed cheater. It helps, a lot!

      Hope you have a great day.

      • Michael

        Alone,
        I don’t think it’s a gender thing. I believe it’s more of a personalty thing that some cheating wives post. My wife will not visit the site unless, like so many times before, I send her a link. And like every time before she will not talk about what I sent her. So it’s hard to say if she even fully reads it. I think it goes to show just who is more determined to repair the damage they caused.

        You have posted something on here a couple of times and I keep wanting to ask you about it. You said you will not contact he OP because you believe that it will be the end of your marriage.
        I think that it a terrible way to feel. Although I understand why you feel that, you were told that in no uncertain terms. I never gave my wife those terms.

        Maybe the way I handled it was not the best way I could have.
        When my wife told me, it wasn’t clear just what was going on.
        She was confused. She told me she was just talking to him on the phone. Only to find out much later that the day she told me was just a few day after the second time she spent most of the day with him.
        So the first couple of weeks I had no idea what was really going on. It was when I texted him that I knew what kind of person he was. But I did come to the conclusion that I couldn’t atop what was happening and had to let it run it’s coarse.
        After that I unblocked his number and asked her to at least let me know when they talked and what she planned on doing. I gave her the option of separating, she didn’t want to and vowed (vowed, not like the ones she gave just 2 years before weren’ enough ) that she wasn’t talkin to him anymore.
        Later on as more evidence was found and her lies were pulled from her a few at a time, each time I felt upset and let it go. Even now as she promises to do things, she doesn’t and I let it go.
        And unfortunately I still don’t know when it ended, if it ended, whether or not my gut is right on knowing she slept with him. And she still won’t talk about it because it makes HER feel bad.

        For those who dont know my story, yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of the day she started her affair.

        • Holding On

          Wow Michael,
          It would be so difficult to just let your spouse do what they wanted and not really “know” what is going on. That must drive your mind crazy. Doesn’t it?? What is it that lets you “let it go”? Is it just wanting her in your life? The history? Kids? She doesn’t want to separate or divorce, but what are your feelings on this? Are you alright with her having a relationship with him if it is on the up and up and you know about it? Or are you not okay with that, but you are allowing her to do it to not rock the boat?

          I think it was great of you to try to allow her time to figure things out, but it seems like at 2 years you are still living in a limbo state and you have legitimate needs and expectations of what kind of marriage you would like to have. You, as a spouse, should know what contact she has and you have a right to know if this EA has turned into a PA.

          I think this would be a great conversation starter to have…”It’s the anniversary of when this relationship with _____ started. So I have been thinking a lot about the past and how I handled things when I found out…” Tell her you wonder if you did the right thing in that confusing time and with more facts coming later. Maybe have a list of things you as a spouse can expect. That she is totally and completely faithful to you. That you want the truth about the A and what happened. It would be difficult to forgive and move on from something you don’t even know happened or if it is still continuing.

          Sorry for any unwanted advice, sometimes it is so easy to tell someone they should ______. I feel horrible that you are in such a wondering state at 2 years from the start of the A. Sounds like a hard anniversary. I’m sorry.

    • Alone

      Oh, forgot to post to Broken. Your question is interesting. You would think in most of these cases the OW would be younger than the man. As a female cheater, I guess I’m a little odd in that regard. The OM and I are the same age. Maybe the age of the OW also plays into what kind of affair it is? Anyway, just a thought.

    • DJ

      I have been married to my husband for 29 years. We had been married for 22 when he started his affair and it lasted for six years. My therapist said it’s often tied to midlife crisis, though most men never admit to that.

      We always hear about the middle-aged man finding a much younger woman, and that may often be the case, but I’ve been reading about the great rise in rekindled romances with high school sweethearts. This was the case with my husband. He is four years older than me. His OW was his first love and his high school classmate, so she is older than me, too. And she looks it.

    • Sue85

      Thanks Doug for posting the survey results.

      I was interested in the thoughts concerning the mid-life crisis topic. Throughout my EA I repeatedly asked myself why was I behaving in such a way that went against my values, beliefs, and morals. I googled “mid-life crisis”….read many, many articles on the topic….and took every single check-list out there to see if I was experiencing one. And to my surprise (according to the definitions and check-lists) I didn’t fall into that category.
      I was just interested in others’ thoughts on the mid-life crisis thing…..

    • changedforever

      Sounds like a good future topic: Mid life crises, affair types & their related statistics. I am 6 years younger than my H…and his OW was/is 20 yrs younger than me (we’ve been together longer than the OW’s been alive.)

    • ifeelsodumb

      My H’s OW is an old GF, so she’s just a few years younger…..but I look younger than her!! HA!! Sweet justice!!! ;D

    • ifeelsodumb

      Oh, and yes, we’d been married almost 25 yrs when he started the EA… we celebrated our 25th anniversary about 9 weeks after the EA started…breaks my heart that I can never look back and celebrate that milestone with any good memories…

      • changedforever

        Must be something about the 25 year anniv mark…same thing happened to us. The EA/PA segued right thru September…and into early October. Our anniv was the 6th and he was with her on that day for his lunchtime…and that evening until our daughter called him to come home (back to reality!) for anniv cake….that day is so soiled now. That following Saturday…2 days later when everytthing was discovered, I threw all the Silver Anniv cards & gifts & flowers into the trah…which is where our marriage was at that time…
        After everything came to light over the months that followed, I surmised that we had possibly 19 years of marriage that weren’t soiled…that I know of…

        • ifeelsodumb

          I guess I should be grateful that my H didn’t get all sentimental for our anniversary then….we did go out to a VERY nice restaurant…then went home for a romantic evening…He did get me some nice jewelry for Christmas…haven’t worn it once….the necklace is a heart…rigggghhhttt!!! Guess I should put it on Ebay…lol! Treat myself to a pedicure and massage with the money, lol!!!

          • Tricia

            You go girly!!!! my pathetic CS sent me carnations in the shape of a heart for our anniversary. He had an other anniversary just a few days later when he turn his EA into a full PA.

            • ifeelsodumb

              Sheesh!! Their selfishness knows no boundaries, does it? Hey, I forgot to add….he also bought me some nice headphones and something else…can’t remember what it was, so it must not have been very memorable…lol!! Anyway, I didn’t get them Christmas morning…I got them that night…AFTER I tripped over them in the garage….on the ground!! He had asked our son to wrap them for him, and somehow they got left on the garage floor…must have fell out of the bag!
              The sad thing is, on Christmas morning, he obviously never remembered that he bought them, since after I opened my gifts, he didn’t even realize I didn’t open those!! His poor, stupid “fog” ladled brain just wasn’t working correctly I guess!! Or maybe he was talking to HER while out shopping for ME…and didn’t even remember what he bought!

        • Notoverit

          Yeah, mine was the 30th anniversary. He was deep into the EA but took me to a five-star hotel, gave me jewelry and took me to a fabulous restaurant. Geez, wonder if I could pawn the jewelry? Seriously, that destroyed the nice memories and I told him so. I told him to work on making it up to me. I think I am getting a trip to Europe out of it LOL. But he is trying. That is what is important. It means I am NOW worth it.

    • Patsy50

      I am married 40 yrs. My husbands EA woman was half his age – 33 yrs, whom he worked with. The EA made him feel young again and boosted his ego that a much younger woman was flirting with him.

    • InTrouble

      Psychologists dispute the concept of a “mid-life crisis” as there is no empirical evidence for them. (Hard to believe I know.)

      I don’t think relative age has anything to do with anything. My OM is 14 years younger than me. That’s part of the reason we have the odd relationship that we have. I would never consider “ending up with” a guy that young. And actually, when I think about it, he does not make me feel young. If anything, he makes me realize what different stages of life we are in.

      • Sue85

        In Trouble,
        Hi there. Can I ask you a question? You said your OM doesn’t make you feel young. How does he make you feel? If an EA is about ‘how the other person makes you feel’ then I am curious as to how he makes you feel. Thanks!!

    • Elizabeth

      Intresting,we all think our story is unique,my partner’s EA was with someone his own age,i am 5 years wiser! we have been together for 17 years,married for only 3 weeks when he started his EA,we have two of the most fantastic wains,who loved addored and showed him on a daily basis.I dont think you can put it into a survey,as minds thoughts and feelings are impulsive,a knee jerk reaction,as most good poeple on this site,how many partners said”i didn’t wake up one morning and think i was going to have a EA and bring havoc on my life and destroy the life of my family”.My story is still young,and still raw and iam still evolving.would the results of the survey change,if there was more meat on the bone?

    • InTrouble

      Sue85 – We are close. We have certain things in common. It is also a very chemistry-driven relationship. It’s not a new relationship, so it has evolved like all relationships do.

    • Alone

      Sue85 –

      I also kind of felt like I went through a mid-life crisis. Right as the EA was starting I had an event that happened which will forever shape my life. And the results of this event not only pushed the OM and I closer together, but also changed how I viewed the rest of my life. Anyway, my sister tells me (she’s divorced, and her husband cheated on her multiple times) that if this event had not happened, this affair would not have happened. I believe she is 100% accurate. Sue85 – I can’t remember, are you married? How is your husband doing with all of this? Or does he know?

      InTrouble – Interesting that you are older than the OM. I guess the bottom line is, if there is an attraction or connection, it could happen to anyone, if we let it. As for me, I will NEVER have another affair. It’s been a road straight through hell for me.

      • Sue85

        Alone,
        Yes, I am married…..almost 18 years. And no, my husband doesn’t know about my EA…which lasted 15 months. I ended the EA almost 3 months ago. The OM and I semi-tried to end things many times saying what we were doing was wrong and we didn’t want to hurt our spouses and families etc. and then we’d go a week or so without contact and then he’d send me a text and I’d get sucked back in. The difference 3 months ago was I sent him an email and just came right out and asked him to please not text me anymore….and he has honored that request.

        In the previous (half-hearted) attempts we repeatedly said that 2 people hurting was much better than 8 or more….meaning that the 2 of us hurting over the loss of ‘us’ is much better than the hurt we would cause if our families found out. And like I’ve mentioned before….by reading all the posts from this site, I know I was right in the decision to end things with him. I really had no idea the magnitude of hurt that an EA can cause a BS….because (like I previously said), in my mind…”it was just an EA (as opposed to a PA)”

    • Alone

      Hi Michael,

      When D-Day happened, my H was perfectly clear that my marriage will end immediately if I contact the OM. He is 110% clear about that. I think the message my H is really sending to me with this no contact rule is this – if I contact the OM I am “choosing the OM over my H”. Does that makes sense? So the way I see it, I have only one last chance with my H. He will not tolerate another D-Day. Even though I am still in the fog, even though maybe I am still confused about what I want, if I contact the OM, then my marriage is no longer an option. My H knows I “fell in love” with this OP. He has tried to give me time to work through those feelings. It’s not been easy on him or me. It really sucks that cheaters have to “grieve the affair partner”. It’s really not fair to the BS and it has really hurt my H that I’ve had to process those feelings. At the same time while I am going through this “grieving process” my H is intentionally with holding affection and emotional closeness from me. Our marriage counselor said that this is my H trying to protect himself. He is very guarded about our relationship and marriage. As he puts it, he doesn’t want to dive in and then get hurt again. I completely understand that, so I am giving him his space. The problem is though that this makes it hard for me to reconnect to him.

      Michael, you are such a good person! Don’t beat yourself up about whether or not you handled the situation correctly or not. I think each case is different. And if you weren’t clear on what went on, well how are you supposed to know exactly what to do? the difference between you and my H is that is was VERY clear what was going on. He knew exactly what to do and gave me the ultimatum.

      My H didn’t give me the option of separating. I was kicked out of the house immediately. Looking back, I was also still confused about what I wanted. I actually told my H the other day, maybe we should have separated for a while longer, maybe he should have kicked me out longer so I could have got my head on a little straighter. He only let me come back home because of the children. I didn’t come home to open arms and the welcome mat at the front door. My H is not a bad person, he was just rightfully furious with me and very hurt. He had a right to express his anger. This is needed for proper healing.

      My H also believes that the OM and I might have slept together, that perhaps we made a pact to never tell if we did. That’s simply not true, but hard to convince him otherwise.

      Michael, I just wish there was some way to make this better for you. Just know this – you are a good person and no one can ever say that you don’t love your wife and didn’t give your marriage your absolute all. That is really something to hang your hat on, I hope you realize that…

      • D

        Patience, Alone. Here’s the ugly truth of the matter: you both have to grieve and it’s going to take a long time before enough trust is restored for you both to feel comfortable.

        You are both going to have to swallow your pride, both going to have to overcome shame, both going to have to experience anger and pain, and you’re both going to have to reach out for the other on equal footing. It’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your life and there are no guarantees it will all come out right for your efforts. But if you’re honest and courageous, you will both come out as better people, more sure of yourselves, more in touch with your feelings, and maybe that will help you connect on a much deeper level than you ever thought possible. I’m not religious so this is the closest I’ve ever come to blind faith. This is a lot harder than believing in God, as far as I’m concerned.

        One bit of advice I would offer (and I know how unsolicited it is), don’t wallow in self-pity. Don’t waste too much time grieving your OM. If you’ve decided to be with your husband and work on your marriage, then do it with all your heart. He’s going to have to honor his anger, but if you’re there for him it will make all the difference.

    • dazedandconfused

      Linda, FOO is “family of origin”

    • Elizabeth

      you see the thing is,i have just had a wonderful weekend.We were talking Laughing,holding hands ect,but my head keeps jumping back to before the EA,we were like this, everything was good,we just got Married,and then 3 weeks later he was telling the OW how much he loved her!

    • ifeelsodumb

      Elizabeth,
      Same thing happens with me…I told my H…why can’t these feelings just stay away, we are so good together, until the EA thoughts come busting through again and I feel such incredible sadness…I’m still having a hard time believing this happened to us…

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks for replying,is it because i still selfishly belive this kind of thing happens to other people,and why does, and i use the word Crime seems to” pay” Is my brain or self survival instinct not allowing me to forget?

        • ifeelsodumb

          I think it’s because our trust is so shattered, we have a hard time grasping what has happened to us, so we are in survival mode…

    • ClearEyes

      I’m not that surprised by the survey results. It parallels my situation….50+ years old, married over 25 years….

      My H’s OW was a co-worker – but she has since taken a different job – and is 6 years younger than I am. We had been married 28 years (plus 2 days) on D-day. They had been kind of cultivating their relationship for a couple of years, but it didn’t take a turn to an actual EA until about 6 months before d-day when her father passed away….and then took another turn about 3 weeks before d-day. That’s when she confessed her love for him and they kissed….right before we went on a 2 week vacation.
      H and OW spent “our” vacation emailing and calling each other whenever possible. Even on our anniversary…..
      Two days later I found out due to a message H left open on the computer by accident. Then I checked cell phone records. Ugh.
      I told him if she was what he needed to be happy then he could just go be with her. Everyone deserves to have joy in their life. But he couldn’t have me. Period.
      He said he would end it, that he loved me and didn’t want to lose me. Asked me to not leave him and he would take care of it.
      They saw each other at work every day – early on they would confess their “love” for each other but acknowledge that they couldn’t continue their close relationship and neither of them had any intention of leaving their family. Then they thought they could scale back the relationship and go back to just being friends….but that didn’t work. She begged him to “just not tell your wife – what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her”.
      Thankfully he didn’t do that. Finally, he asked her to just leave him alone. She took another job. She works in the same building, just different company – but H says there has been no contact. he has seen her (she still has lunch occasionally with people from the office) but he says they have not spoken, emailed, or called – nothing.
      About a month ago, H told me that he wasn’t sure when it happened, but he realized he was totally over her.
      It’s been a little over a year since d-day and we’re trying to figure things out. We had our 29th anniversary – didn’t exactly celebrate…too many memories from the last one – but H asked me to consider renewing our vows for our 30th.
      I’m thinking about it.

    • Alone

      D- thanks for this very good advice.

    • Broken

      I personally dont believe in the midlife crisis excuse or the something bad happened in my life excuse or the stupidity excuse (thats one of my husbands) or the it just happened excuse or I was in a fog excuse or for that matter any excuse. We all have free will and we all go through great times and horrible times in our lives. It is how we deal with the bad times that define us as human beings. It is a measure of our character when we make decisions at those defining moments in our lives. There is no excuse for cheating on your spouse. We freely give of ourselves to our spouse and they make the choice alone to take your heart and soul and all that you give to them and stomp all over it. Can we all move forward….absolutely just leave the excuses behind. When you screw up…admit it. Give your devastated spouse whatever they want and need to heal. Stop playing games. Stop searching for reasons why you screwed up. To me its a total lack of character. That includes my husband. He will never be again what I thought he was and I will never have the same respect I once had for him and quite frankly I will never fully trust him again. I hope it was worth it for him and I hope it was worth it for all of you out there that are still cheating on your spouse.

      • ifeelsodumb

        BRAVO,BRAVO !!! Well said!!

    • Broken

      ifeelsodumb
      I too hate it when things are good and those feelings you speak of interfere. Seems they are always just below the surface. They taint the good times and make the bad times seem worse. I hate it that they are there at all. I have to agree with you…I too beleive we are in survival mode…protecting ourselves forevermore from the pain of the affair.

      Hang in there. Some days I dont want to hang inthere anymore and I look at my husband and smile but in my mind I am thinking …how could you have done this to me??? Like I said I hope it was worth it to him. The stolen moments, the ridiculous text messages and phone calls. What a waste of time and a waste of my life. Sometimes when I am having fun with my kids and our family is all together I also think……was your plan to have her here sitting in my chair because not only would he have lost us and all the memories he would have lost his children too. As it is now he has fallen off their pedestal as well. Such a big cost.

    • Julia

      Just read this post and I was wondering, how many people responded to survey? Thank you, Julia

      • Doug

        Julia, there were 764 responses.

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