We’re sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the results of our most recent reader survey that we conducted a couple of weeks ago. So we’re gonna present that to you here in this lonnnggg post.
First of all, we wish to thank everyone who took time out of their busy day to take part in the survey. With 38 questions, it may have seemed a bit daunting. We do appreciate your time.
Anyways, we’re not going to address every question, but will touch on the ones we thought you’d be most interested in.
Even so, this recap is a long one. There were several questions and you all contributed lots of additional thoughts, suggestions, fears and frustrations.
One thing to note before we get into it…You may notice that some percentages might seem a little off. That is, when you add them up they may equal more or less than 100%.
Apparently, some of you were so excited to take this thing you answered some questions more than once…Or, you got a little bored and may have skipped a question or two. No problem. It’s not like this is some super exact thing that will wind up in some scientific journal somewhere.
So without further adieu, let’s dive in…
Please feel free to add your takeaways and comments in the section below the post.
Emotional Affair Journey Reader Demographics
Over 90% of readers are age 35-62. The vast majority though are 50-62.
Readership remains right about at 86% female.
CS or BS:
Since we conducted this survey last, the percentage of unfaithful spouses (CS) has nearly doubled. It’s still not very high though which is to be expected.
How long have you been married?
A whopping 55% of you have been married over 25 years! Last time it was only 40%
Current marital status:
Over 83% still married. Is there a correlation between the length of a couples marriage and whether or not they stay married after an affair? Or does it have more to do with your determination and will to fight for the marriage?
Type of affair:
Is the Affair Over?
More than a quarter of you are either unsure if the affair is over or you know that it is not.
How long ago was D-day?
Nearly 72% of you have been struggling with this for over a year and 56% over 2 years!
Why do you think the affair happened?
This question allowed for multiple answers and it would appear that many of you think there were multiple reasons for the affair – or you just don’t know for sure.
This question also allowed for some “Other” reasons. Here are some of what you mentioned and/or reasons in general:
- “Unsure. He said he was stupid.”
- Disconnection in relationship.
- 2nd child born; postpartum moods/hostility
- “His boundaries and mine were totally different”
- Beginning stages of menopause & depression.
- “Nice guy who can’t say no to overbearing women.”
- Drug use
- Sexual addiction
- All of the above
- “Past pains from broken home and molestation that were never dealt with and he did not know how to communicate or touch the pain.”
- Too much ego and selfishness around career.
- “Perfect storm of circumstances and filthy whore”
- Unhappy in relationship
- Rekindled high school sweethearts or past loves
- Stress of special needs child
- Passive/aggressive personality and felt that he wasn’t being paid enough attention
- “My husband was often not willing to get in touch with his own feelings and needs and did not express what he needed.”
- “I will probably never know”
Talking About the Affair
The next few questions dealt with talking about the affair.
Talking with your spouse…
The results indicate that only 32.43% of you talked “A lot” with your spouse about the affair while 76.35% of you talked very little or some, but not enough about the situation. Meanwhile, 78.68% of you wanted to know everything – including all the details.
What was surprising to us is that 32.88% of those who talked about the affair did so for less than 6 months. Could there be a correlation between this and the fact that so many of you are still struggling 2 years after D-day?
Perhaps one correlation and assumption we can make for this was that 26.09% said their CS refused to talk about the affair beyond the basics and 55.07% only told some of the information after much pressure to do so.
Talking with a counselor…
There were 72.97%% of you who spoke with a counselor and of that group, 31.5% did so alone and only 40.18% are still in counseling. 55.75% of you have seen more than one counselor.
The rate at which you felt counseling was helpful or not was a mixed bag…
26.13% felt that counseling was mostly frustrating and not helpful, while 42.34% thought it was helpful, but not as much as you would have liked. Just 34.23% thought counseling was very helpful.
For those who have not seen or talked to a counselor, here are the main reasons they have not:
Other reasons (summarized) for not seeking counseling…
- One spouse doesn’t think it’s needed or doesn’t want to talk about it anymore
- The issue has been resolved
- Difficulty with access to qualified counselors/therapy
- Counseling wasn’t working because of lack of honesty and commitment to the counseling process by one of the partners
- Insurance issues
- Feelings that counseling would not be helpful
Dealing with Infidelity
The next group of questions dealt with how you’re dealing with infidelity at present. Yes, the majority of you are still feeling the pain.
Do you still dwell on the affair(s)
The majority of you are still feeling the pain everyday at 65.5% while 31% think about it from time-to-time and just 4.1% feel that you’ve put it in perspective and have moved on.
Sense of forgiveness or resolution?
58% of you feel that you have forgiven but 40.6% still have lots of anger and resentment towards the cheater. 7.2% have been able to let it go.
Have you healed?
As far as healing from an affair goes…60.4% feel somewhat healed but will always carry the scar of the betrayal. 32.6% are still in great pain, while 13.2% have mostly healed and feel they have grown in many ways.
As always, trust is a big issue. Only 8.4% feel their spouse is trustworthy. 52.7% are still very guarded and 41.2% have been able to rebuild trust to some extent but are still somewhat cautious. Having said that, 44.6% feel that your relationship is better than before the affair.
For those of you who have divorced, 80% said that you have not been able to build trust enough to develop another intimate relationship and are still very anxious about being vulnerable or being hurt again. 16.7% have developed another relationship but hold back somewhat, and no one reported having developed a new and trusting intimate relationship.
What are you currently struggling with most after the affair?
For only the second time ever in our surveys, rebuilding trust is not the number one struggle. It came in second though (at 66.2%) to dealing with painful thoughts, triggers and memories of the affair (74.5%)
Other struggles (summarized) and/or mentioned:
- Cheating spouse unable to say he/she’s sorry and/or take any responsibility
- The hurt caused by the affair
- Demise of the marriage
- “Beyond trust – allowing myself to be vulnerable and “ready” for a new relationship. Raising three teenagers on my own w/o any help from ex. He essentially abandoned his responsibilities to marry affair partner.”
- The cheater not getting professional help
- The cheater not being honest
- “Lack of trust of the affair partner and her reappearing”
- Understanding the mind and actions of a cheater
- “His inability to see 15 months of daily texting, phone calls and sending pictures of his penis is more than ‘just friends’.”
- Always feeling guarded
- “Whether to confront AP or tell her spouse”
- “Getting over the core betrayal and lies and re-contact after healing had begun.”
- “I know my relationship with this other man is wrong, but I’m just not ready to have him completely out of my life.”
What is the biggest fear for you right now when it comes to your relationship?
By far, the most often fear cited (in various ways) was the fear that the cheating spouse will have another affair.
Here are some others…
- “That my love for my wife will continue to diminish due to her refusal to talk about her affair”
- Walking on eggshells
- Verbal, emotional and physical abuse
- “That I won’t be able to move on and repair the damage I caused.”
- False reconciliation
- Contact starting up again
- Not being able to move past this
- “Not getting past the tormenting thoughts”
- That my partner is not being honest
- To be abandoned
- “My biggest fear is the well being of my three children not knowing what a healthy relationship between parents is like. 🙁 And me not being able to fully let myself go in another relationship.”
- Continued dishonesty/lying by the unfaithful spouse
- Lack of serious healing efforts by the CS
- Rebuilding intimacy
- “That he won’t end the affair, and that we won’t reunite.”
- Lack of trust
- “That I have had enough of this marriage”
- “He has made it obvious he doesn’t care about my experience. It is always about “him” – his feelings and thoughts. I have to accept living the rest of my life without love and understanding.”
- “Unfaithful wife doesn’t get it, still in denial, disrespectful, prone to repeat.”
- “He isn’t the person I thought I married”
- “That I will never stop having images and that she will get tired of me wanting to work through these images.”
- CS understanding what they’ve done and the pain they’ve caused
- CS not getting over their affair partner
- “That one day I will have had enough and end it, or find someone else and leave”
- “We are 3 1/2 years post-D Day and I still feel a sadness and a loss that I think will always be with me as my new normal.”
- That the affair is still going on
- “The thought that this will always be a part of me for the rest of my life. Whether I finally get to acceptance or will remain resentful and bitter.”
- “DOUBT! I doubt if I am or ever will be good enough for someone!”
- Uncertainty about the future
- That things will revert back to how they were before the affair – getting in a rut.
- “My biggest fear is that my children will continue carrying on the cycle of depression and broken relationships set forth by their mother, and her mother/grandparents, etc.”
- Constant thoughts of the affair
- “Just knowing that my life will never be the same – I’ll never think of my husband as the person who has my back.”
- “A feeling of loneliness – that what I’ve worked hard for all my life can be taken from me in an instant. ”
- That I allow thoughts of the past to overwhelm me and taint the present, which is actually pretty good
- That I may never be free from the fear and can find me way back to being a secure, strong, grounded person, which in turn, sometimes feels like I’m keeping us from completely healing.”
- “That he is not back for the right reasons and only here out of obligation”
- “That it will always hurt this much.”
- “Should I stay or go? Will he do this again? Is he a narcissist?”
- Affair triggers affecting recovery
- “That my wife will never come clean with the length and details of her affair. We can never move forward towards healing. I can’t forgive what I don’t know.”
- “That my spouse will not be open to rebuilding the emotional relationship with me that she destroyed during the affair.”
- “The effect on my kids. If it wasn’t for them, I would be gone.”
- “That we will never be happy because of me”
- Lack or loss of loving feelings by the BS due to their spouse’s affair
- The affair has destroyed the BS self esteem
- No fears!
What are your biggest frustrations when it comes to dealing with the affair?
Many of the fears listed above were also mentioned as frustrations, as could be imagined. Not talking about the affair and getting the affair details were mentioned most.
Here are a few that were a bit different:
- No empathy from CS.
- Dishonesty and not talking about affair while in counseling
- No regret, responsibility or remorse from CS
- Not knowing why he/she did it
- “That I now have to take anxiety/depression medication”
- “Feeling unable to ask questions or say something when I have triggers”
- “Why he didn’t come to me with his problems”
- “His lack of character and his inability to change himself”
- “It feels like my problem to overcome & he’s waiting for me to get over it”
- Poor communication
- Frustration with how the CS doesn’t see the negative aspects or how flawed the affair partner was/is.
- Knowing the CS is capable of such lies and deceit
- Not receiving a sincere apology
- Want to move on, but get stuck
- Loss of innocence
- The thoughts of wanting to exact revenge on their CS’ affair partner
- “Unfaithful husband’s lack of boundaries that would make me feel safe.”
- “How hard it is for my husband to discuss it or go back “there”. He feels so much pain, shame and regret…”
- Continued anger and resentment
- Apprehension and nervousness by the BS regarding the OW/OM and whether they will stay away
- BS being blamed for the affair
- “My partner is defensive and puts less energy into our healing than he put into the affair.”
- Protecting the affair partner
- “Realizing that my husband actually believed he loved this woman and gave her the love and emotional support that he had denied me for years.”
- “The intimate nature – both physical and emotional – of their relationship. I’m very humiliated and ashamed and embarrassed. I feel like I was played for a fool and my pride is crushed.”
- The feeling that the cheaters suffered absolutely no consequences and life just returns to normal for them
- Being controlled
- People assume I must have done something wrong, when I wasn’t the one that cheated.
Which type of media do you like to utilize most when researching or learning about infidelity and/or relationships?
Consistent with our last survey, yet still a little surprising, is your choice of media type when researching or learning about infidelity or relationships. We’d be interested in hearing why video and audio are disliked so much. We’re guessing it’s because it’s more discreet and private to read versus listening or watching audio or video.
How often do you visit our site?
We got a ton of topic suggestions, which we thank you for. There are certainly some very good suggestions and we will attempt to address as many of them as we can in the coming months.
Many suggestions are quite specific to individual circumstances and we’ve addressed them perhaps in a more general fashion, or from our own experiences. Many of them relate to the fears and frustrations that were listed earlier in the survey.
Even still, many of the topics have been addressed already and some several times from various viewpoints and angles.
I realize it’s a pain in the ass and can take a lot of time to hunt and peck around trying to find an article on a particular subject. So a suggestion would be that if you have a topic in mind or something that’s really eating at your brain and you want to read something about it, you might want to try to perform a site-search by typing in some keywords to see what comes up.
Below is a screenshot of the search box that resides in the upper right portion of the sidebar. You may not always get a precise hit but it might be worth a try if you have something you wish to search for.
This will be posted article number 918, so chances are fairly good that if you have something you’re searching for that is infidelity related, it’s here.
Finally, there were numerous topic suggestions that were mentioned in our last survey so often that we created very specific learning modules for you to tap into.
These same topics were mentioned frequently again. Topics like – rebuilding self-esteem, what the CS can do help in the healing process, how to control the obsessive thoughts of the affair, etc. – Granted, the modules we created are not free, but they’ll provide you with the stuff you’re looking for at a very reasonable cost.
Any other suggestions for us regarding anything else – site design, format, etc.?
Many people simply just thanked us and said there were no real changes necessary. However, there were some folks who had some constructive criticism and/or ideas.
We thought we’d address them here since we have no way of knowing who made the comment so that we could have replied directly.
Make it easier to see whole screen on mobile phones. Our site is responsive which means it should adjust to the size of whatever device you are viewing from. In fact, I just did a check on this the other day and it’s working fine.
On a mobile phone the site has to shrink and rearrange considerably for everything to show. We also use a plugin that pulls out some of the stuff and rearranges it and gives it a different look and feel, but it should make it easier to read without having to manually adjust the screen size. I have an older IPhone and it looks just fine but you have to make sure you have the site setting on your phone set to mobile and not desktop.
I would like to see ability to interact without having to pay. I’m assuming this person is referring to the forum that we have in the Higher Healing area. Otherwise, the blog’s comment section is the place to interact.
I’ve looked for plugins in the past that would allow for direct messaging and chatting, but they weren’t really a good fit as they used up too much site resources, which is something our host frowns upon.
Previously we had a forum on the site and nobody used it. Instead, the comment section continued to be the place to interact. I’m always on the lookout for new stuff and if there is anything that comes along that would work, we’re open to giving it a try.
I wish there was a Men Only forum!!!! Something to consider for sure and we’ll try to figure something out similar to the situation above.
I like the email format and links within the posts are very helpful, but sometimes it is hard to find a particular article I need as a reminder. Perhaps the search function I mentioned earlier might help. Otherwise, if you’re trying to find something and are stuck, feel free to shoot us an email.
I would like to see transcripts of the audio and video material. I like transcripts myself as well. They are a bit of a luxury and we provide them for some audios, but it’s a little cost prohibitive to do that for all of them.
The transcription services (that we’ve found) usually charge about $1+/minute, so you can probably see how the costs could get out of hand when there are about 300 audios and videos on the site. Maybe some day though!
I miss not being able to stay logged in from visit to visit. That feature was lost with your latest change. Hmmm. I maybe wrong but I’m pretty sure our update wasn’t the cause for that. Personally, I’m always logged in even if I close down the site web page. The only time I have to re-login is if I have to re-start my computer. I’m no expert, but I think it might have more to do with your browser and your cookies. I might be wrong though. Regardless, sorry for any inconvenience!
Page breaks on material that has a lot of action. Good idea. By action, I assume you mean comments. I haven’t searched for any tools that might help with page breaks for comments, but will put that on my to-do list.
For some reason I’m not getting notifications when you have a new blog post. I have to actually come to the blog and look, which is OK but I used to get an email. That’s not something we’ve ever done manually but there is a way to get those notifications. You can accomplish it through the RSS feed which you would have to subscribe to.
If you go to our home page click the orange button in the lower right hand corner (see screenshot below) and then go to where it says “Subscribe Now”, you can have that notification again. Or, you can just click here and do it the easy way: “Get Emotional Affair Journey delivered by email.”
Make it easier to know where the new comments or info might be so that we don’t have to scan each blog article for new comments. There was no real easy solution for this one, especially if you haven’t been on the site for awhile or it’s been an extremely busy day for comments. But if you look at the box in the right sidebar (see screenshot below) you will see 3 tabs: Popular, Latest and Comments. Click the comments tab and the most recent 8 comments will appear. Click on a comment and it will take you to that comment.
And our personal favorite… “You’re perfect! Thank you.” And so are you guys!
We realize this post has a lot of stuff in it and it is incredibly long, but hopefully it’s been educational, if nothing else. Remember if you have questions, problems, suggestions or thoughts you want to share with us in private, you can always shoot us an email.
Please leave your comments about anything below. Thanks!