Summary of the 2017 Reader Survey

 

We’re sure you’re just chomping at the bit to see the results of our most recent annual survey!  OK, well maybe not so much.  But the results had a few surprises when compared to last year’s survey.

First of all, we wish to thank everyone who took time out of their busy day to take part in the survey. We scaled the survey back this year a bit from 38 questions to 17.  And even still, it may have seemed a bit daunting, so we do appreciate your time.

Please feel free to add your takeaways and comments in the section below the post.

So here goes!

 

Site Demographics

Gender

This year we had the highest percentage of males ever – at 24.29%!  This beat last year’s record of 21.66%.  In previous years, we rarely were over 10-15%.  

 

 

Age

The average age took a slight uptick as well, with the 53-59 age group now being the slight majority over the 46-52 group.  What was noticeable was that the younger age groups took a significant jump from where they were last year.  Is infidelity hitting marriages at an earlier age?

 

Betrayed or Unfaithful?

This year the percentage of unfaithful took a percentage point drop to just under 5% of respondents.

 

How long in a marriage or relationship?

One again, the largest percentage of you have been married a long time – over 25 years. And 56.46% of you have been together over 20 years!

 

Are you married or not?

Nearly 80% of you are still married.  All the other categories remained just about the same, though the ‘Not Married’ group went up by 2 percentage points.

 

Affair Details

What type of affair was it?

The percentage of emotional affairs only dove by about 5% and was transferred to the ‘both emotional and physical’ affair category.  Physical affair only and ‘not really sure’ remained about the same.  It’s a shame that almost 10% of you don’t know!

 

How long ago was the affair discovered?

Over 60% of you are at least a year out from D-day.  The highest percentage being longer than 2 years.  These two categories actually reflect about a 10% decline, as those of you who are less than a year from D-day had about a 10% increase.

 

Is the affair over?

Seeing some consistency with last year with over 32% of you either not sure that the affair is over, or you know that it is not. 

 

Reasons for the Affair

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 the possible reasons in general for the affair, taken from your comments in the survey:

  • Liked new & different attention and it was an ego trip for him, even though he got it at home. She came on to him, he was drinking and they both pursued it.
  • Major stress due to financial & business
  • Childhood crush that was never explored
  • H [husband] wanted to live in bachelor pad. (And he does!)
  • Affair partner won me over with his affection and attention
  • She said she loved the attention
  • Selfish
  • Death of our son
  • Lack of communication and understanding
  • Aggressive affair partner
  • Not sure.  Still trying to figure it out.
  • Wanted sex with someone else
  • Pattern of cheater being silent about needs and disregarding spouses needs
  • Narcissistic traits
  • Childhood trauma
  • Poor communication
  • History of acting out.  The affair was just another example of acting out.
  • Never loved me
  • History of addiction
  • Sex and love addiction
  • Recent unemployment
  • Serial cheater
  • Open relationship gone wrong
  • Suffered from depression
  • My husband was jealous of the attention I gave our children and not him. He thought he found someone to fill that void.
  • He felt bad about himself getting older.  It was an ego boost
  • Did not feel needed in our relationship
  • Financial failures in business being projected onto me
  • I was going through a difficult job change and my negativity with that situation caused my wife to find solace/peace with a co-worker
  • Spouse became involved in Science of Mind New Age spirituality
  • Old girlfriend wanting to reconnect
  • Wants to escape responsibility of being a crappy husband and father
  • Internet and longtime Porn addiction
  • Antidepressants
  • Husband was not dealing with alcohol problem
  • History of child abuse, that came out later in relationship
  • Lost love
  • Married too young
  • Not his first EA and loved the ego boost
  • In hindsight, all of the above

 

What are you currently struggling with?

Leading the way by a large margin is ‘Dealing with painful thoughts, triggers and memories of the affair’ with 75% of respondents.  A distant second is rebuilding trust, followed by forgiveness.

 

Here are some additional struggles that were mentioned:

  • Wanting the special love that I felt for him before the affair and I can’t get that back, so it’s a void marriage without much feelings. I just can’t get over it, even though it’s been 30 yrs.
  • The hatred I have for her
  • Exhaustion from pain; constantly trying not to react negatively
  • We have worked through your book, and he seems to be truly sorry about the affair, but I have asked him to do specific things that I need, in order to know he is truly repentant, and he is dragging his feet.
  • Being completely shut out by affair partner
  • I’m struggling to put the last 30 years of my life into perspective. I know now that what I thought my life was, really was not.
  • He won’t keep her out of his life and he won’t stop lying
  • Anger
  • Life being on hold while CS makes up his mind
  • Trusting myself
  • Wondering why
  • Almost 4 months since d-day I find myself repressing my questions/concerns since the last few discussions we have had have gotten us nowhere. I feel my wife is withholding details and claiming “I don’t know” as to avoid any further conflict.
  • Wondering if he will do it again? Not sure he understands his emotional pattern. Not sure I do either
  • Continued lying
  • Complete healing so that I can go to another relationship without trust issues
  • Spouse has downgraded her affair to ‘over sharing’ and denies it was an emotional affair. I can’t forgive her if she now denies wrongdoing
  • He’s not trying hard enough
  • The apparent ease of her disconnection and no emotion shown. Not once did she say she was unhappy and this blindsided me.
  • She continues to text dirty messages to guys and thinks it’s ok.
  • Still have not gotten the total truth of the affair
  • Opening myself to loving and being loved again
  • My wife wants to sweep it under the rug and doesn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t understand why I’m so upset.
  • Rebuilding and loving/respecting myself to take responsibility for my life
  • My wife is choosing a life with the other person
  • Denials
  • Understanding how this could happen
  • Too many unanswered questions
  • Trying to find a balance with our marriage, family, work and dedicating time to work on us
  • Single parenting
  • The affair involved my husband and my sister
  • Uncertainty
  • Feelings of unworthy, rejection, emptiness, loneliness…the list goes on
  • Nightmares every single night since d-day
  • That my husband could even do this to me, us
  • Living in a love triangle
  • Establishing a new life that has more of my vision of the future

 

What is the biggest fear for you right now when it comes to your relationship?

Again, lots of answers for this question.  In fact, there were pages and pages of responses. By far the fears most often mentioned were: An affair happening again, the inability to rebuild trust and not being able to move past the betrayal. Here is a sampling of other fears that were mentioned:

  • That my partner will do this again
  • That I might just get in the car and drive away as I don’t care about life anymore. I am living a life of a lie as I don’t feel there is anything left but don’t want to hurt our grown children and grandchildren. Not sure how much longer I can do this act.
  • The ability to stay and fight for our relationship.
  • That I won’t know everything. Not that he isn’t willing to talk to me, he is, it’s just that he shared things with her, and I wasn’t a part of it.   
  • That due to the circumstances around the affair, the only feelings I have now are hate and loathing. I just cannot get over the betrayal, affair and abandonment.
  • That I will always be sad
  • Really no fears – if it happens again, I now have an action plan towards divorce. I am at peace with this decision.
  • Divorce
  • I won’t be able to forgive my wife and won’t stop thinking of what she did … it’s draining and not how I want to live
  • She doesn’t show me the desire she had for her affair partners. She wanted them but she does not have it in her to want me as much or at all.
  • Craving of deep emotional connections sometimes my husband cannot give.
  • His deceitful ways. Being lied to or betrayed and not knowing about it again.
  • That my husband hasn’t looked at the reason the affair happened. That he still blames me.
  • That I will never be able to fully move past this.
  • That the affair partner will re-enter into my husband’s life and he will re-discover his feelings/develop feelings for her again.
  • He is going to continue to lie & bullshit me until something bad happens
  • My kids
  • No fears for I have faced each and every one
  • I don’t believe I have any now. If he chooses to stray again or leaves I will be fine.  I will land on my feet

 

What has been the most helpful in your healing and recovery process?

Blogs, books and counseling lead the way, though it appears that many of you are trying a multitude of different things.

 

Some other things that were mentioned:

  • Working through your ‘healing from an affair’ book. I think my husband can connect to it because it’s written from a cheating husband’s perspective.
  • Tapping
  • The emails from Doug and Linda and a couple other web resources
  • This site. It let me know that I’m not alone or crazy
  • Marriagetoday.com and this site.
  • Just accepting that my partner is not perfect. I thought she was.
  • Support groups
  • Jesus
  • I’ve been reading here and a few other places, plus online searches, etc. for months. Now my CS is with me reading and trying to do work and heal, and we just recently became members…this site is our place for info and it’s wonderful!
  • Reading anything I could find.
  • Marriage Fitness
  • I am beyond grateful to Linda & Doug, Dr Huizenga & Lee Baucom online resources.
  • Speaking with Doug and Linda
  • Reading the Bible, prayer, going to church have been the MOST helpful.
  • Time and St. John’s wort
  • Developing a closer relationship with God.
  • Staying busy with other activities; focusing on my children
  • The Work of Byron Katie; and your regular words of wisdom
  • Nothing seems to be working.
  • Total separation, no contact
  • Just spending time together as much as possible.
  • Individual counseling
  • My prayer life and personal relationship with Christ has been transformed
  • One friend, otherwise we haven’t told anyone. That friend had an affair and we have become very close since my d- day.  Her d- day was before mine.  We really keep each other grounded.   
  • Reading posts and articles from others who have been in similar situation
  • Action not talk
  • Facebook support sites

 

Favorite type of media

Once again, reading is the overwhelming favorite.  Can someone tell us why hardly anyone’s favorite is video??  Just wondering.  When we’re researching things online we don’t like video that much either. Especially if it’s on a delicate topic such as this – and if the video auto-plays. 

 

How often do you visit?

The vast majority of you visit our site weekly or a few times a week, though about 15% visit daily and/or more than once per day.  Welcome to all the first timers!

 

Type of Device

51.59% of you are typically using your smartphone to visit the site.  This percentage just keeps going up!  Last year it was just over 40%.  

 

Reader Suggestions

We got a ton of topic suggestions – more than we could possibly list here.  And for that, we we thank you! 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 of the suggestions are quite specific to individual circumstances and we’ve perhaps addressed them in a more general fashion, or from our own experiences. Many of them relate to the fears and struggles that were listed earlier in the survey.

Even still, many of the topics that were suggested have been addressed already, and some several times from various viewpoints and angles.

I realize it’s a pain in the rear 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.

search

This will be posted article number 1051, 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 surveys so often in the past that in addition to blog articles, we created programs to address them.  These were topics like – rebuilding self-esteem, what the CS can do help in the healing process, how to handle triggers and control the obsessive thoughts of the affair, etc.  

Now granted, these programs aren’t free but they do address these topics quite in depth, and we feel they are priced so that they are affordable.   To check these programs out, just go to our programs page and choose the program that best suits your needs.  

Finally, many of you had some very kind words for us and how our site has been of benefit to you during your journey.  Thank you so much for that feedback as it’s always nice to hear!

Thanks again for everyone who took the time to complete the survey!

Linda & Doug

 

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5 Responses to Summary of the 2017 Reader Survey

  1. Hopeful August 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    I wonder if these results are driven by who would seek out this type of resource. I am not sure if in my 20’s, married for a few years if I would end up here. Of course this could be the way with any survey like this. And I can see where it helps you with how to serve the people coming to your site better.

    I cannot stand watching videos. First of all I feel like I have to have headphones in. If I do that it removes me from my environment. I think it is easier to be discrete with a video. My kids for sure want to watch videos so maybe it is generational. I also just feel like I retain more and it is better to read than to watch. Watching is for entertainment sake.

    • Doug August 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm #

      Hey Hopeful, I’m sure that is part of it since most of our traffic comes from the search engines initially. Regardless of age, people have a problem (their spouse had an emotional affair for instance), they do a Google search and land here.

      I like watching videos in certain situations but I cannot stand when I go to a site and they have those auto-start videos that ‘invade’ my space. I frequently visit the NFL.com site this time of year, as I’m a big football fan, and almost all of their articles have videos that start automatically and I always just pause them right away. The only reason they do it is because there is always an ad that precedes the video on the real topic.

  2. cath September 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    Wow! Great information and shared reflections. I can really relate to almost 100% of it. Thank you. I did take the questionnaire and had sent a comment. We are one of the lucky ones… I say that because we are experiencing a really grounded, happy, thoughtful, fun, and renewed marriage. I don’t know if the work would have been done without the pain, as someone suggested. So. Hated last year, was evidently in denial the first 26 years, and am finally enjoying a fulfilling and connected marriage today. According to my CS, so is he; and it shows. Even my friends and family have noticed a change in us and are even mentioning it. I had told my mom and several months later she told me that my father asked her “What’s with C and R? they look really happy”; this from my dad, who has dated my mom since 8th grade and they have been married for 65 pretty idyllic years. So again, thanks Doug and Linda. Great site. You saved my sanity the first night after DD, when I was screaming inside and couldn’t sleep after a two hour discussion having stumbling upon the first evidence – one of the OW’s naked pictures. Woke me up!

    • Doug September 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

      Hi Cath. Thanks for the comment and it is great to read that you and your husband are turning things around towards a better, renewed marriage. If you are ever so inclined, feel free to share how you did it!

  3. Fideles.fr September 4, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    Hello,

    Thanks for this new really interesting post / survey !

    I talk about your article on my Facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/fidelesfr/

    PS :

    I know, I have no followers but I try to make it my way And wait that french people have more interest in faithful relationships.

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