Originally Posted by Married but Happy View Post
The statistics about fidelity/cheating are tough to pin down. Standard stats say about 23% of men cheat, vs. about 18% of women. Others indicate that at least half of both men and women will cheat at some point. Over 80% are never found out. Much depends on your definition of cheating - is a happy ending massage cheating, or not? Does it take an emotional attachment and/or PIV sex to be cheating? Or - for some - it may simply be watching porn. So, it's all ambiguous without defining terms and picking the right statistical study.
Yes, I think the key to the statistics is the definition. Yes, cheating is a slippery slope. Personally, I would not divorce my wife if she occasionally: watched porn, went to a Chippendale's review, attended a hen-party where a male stripper showed up and got fondled by a bunch of drunk women, played with a vibrator without me, read romance novels, or had a massage that involved her getting some degree of genital stimulation. Do those things obsessively would be a different matter.
On the other hand an emotional affair with no actual sexual contact would devastate me. If she had PIV with another man, I would have to think long and hard about staying in the marriage and ever being able to fully trust her again.
I think we all have our lines that we draw in the sand and that line may change from time to time as we mature, as we understand the frail nature of the human spirit, and as we bond more deeply with our partner.
I mean look at what Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin have put up with and not divorced their husbands.
Also it depends on cultural attitudes. I would wager that some cultures and countries have much lower percentages of cheating. There are lots of studies that show that prostitution use is high in certain countries where it is considered fairly accessible. "...A Spanish Health Ministry survey in 2009 put the percentage of one-time prostitute users at 32 percent...." Spain, the world capital of prostitution? | The Independent