Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

I`m always seeing this 2.5% number for successful marriage born from infidelity.

Can anyone cite any study for this number?
My Google-Fu must be sucking tonight as I can`t find anything out there.

I did find this site that states marriages born of affairs have a 25% shot of making it which sounds a bit more reasonable to me.

About Affairs » Blog Archive » Can Relationships That Start as Affairs Succeed…Revisited

There is one respondent in that thread who twists that 25% into 2.5% with a disrespect for mathematical objectivity I haven`t seen since Copernicus unravelled the epicycles.

Quote:
I read somewhere that only 10% of people entering an affair end up leaving their spouses. The percentage you quoted is based on those who actually ended up getting married from an affair relationship, so all of them belong to that 10%. Even if everyone who left their spouse ended up marrying their affair partner, only 25% of that 10% will stay married. Which to me translates into – if you are entering an affair relationship, there is only 2.5% chance (25 x 0.1)you will end up marrying and staying married to your affair partner. Maybe that’s why 25% sounds high to you, 2.5% is a better number.
LMAO…ohh that was funny!!

I`d just like to know what the odds are in truth and would appreciate any input.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

No matter what the statistical odds are, I wonder how a person whose relationship started as an affair could ever trust that their partner would be any more faithful to them than they were to their previous partner.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Originally Posted by I'mAllIn View Post
No matter what the statistical odds are, I wonder how a person whose relationship started as an affair could ever trust that their partner would be any more faithful to them than they were to their previous partner.
That`s the thing though.

I`ve not trusted a partner concerning infidelity since my very first girlfriend so for me I`m not capable of that level of trust.

I`m not capable of that level of trust for anyone concerning anything.

I realize that people grow and mature and change during the course of their lives.
I am not the same person I was in my twenties (forties now) and there are many things I did then I would never do now.
There are also many things I do now I would never do then.

I have cheated, I have been faithful.

Considering the sheer numbers in most estimates of people who have had affairs 60-70% can you really completely trust anyone to be faithful at all regardless?

I find the point kind of weak.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

I've heard the number is 7%.

Beyond the issue of trusting each other, there is much baggage remaining from the recent previous relationship. Triggers exist everywhere with that level of emotional tension (leaving a marriage, entering a new relationship) and explosions are bound to happen.

Additionally, there is outside pressure to accelerate a natural relationship progression based on the sever weight of the decisions involved. Talk about putting ALL hopes on ONE relationship. You better hope you have it right or you get to live with egg on your face.

I know this because I'm part of the 93%.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

But where are you getting those numbers from Janie?
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Originally Posted by tacoma View Post
That`s the thing though.

I`ve not trusted a partner concerning infidelity since my very first girlfriend so for me I`m not capable of that level of trust.

I`m not capable of that level of trust for anyone concerning anything.

I realize that people grow and mature and change during the course of their lives.
I am not the same person I was in my twenties (forties now) and there are many things I did then I would never do now.
There are also many things I do now I would never do then.

I have cheated, I have been faithful.

Considering the sheer numbers in most estimates of people who have had affairs 60-70% can you really completely trust anyone to be faithful at all regardless?

I find the point kind of weak.
I guess I come from a completely different place than you do. I've been faithful to my husband for 21 years. I know it's possible. I know others who have been faithful, who didn't find if all that difficult, in fact. So for me I think it's entirely possible to trust your spouse if you make a wise choice to begin with and nurture the relationship. Not easy, but possible.
BUT, if two cheaters try to build a relationship together I think too many things are stacked against them.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

I've only heard it mentioned in conversation. Don't know about the original source.

Sorry.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Originally Posted by I'mAllIn View Post
I guess I come from a completely different place than you do. I've been faithful to my husband for 21 years. I know it's possible.
I never said it wasn`t possible as it obviously is.

However, this forum is riddled with marriages that went 20-30-40 years with no infidelity and then WOOPS there it is!
So to believe longevity equates to security is not a good axiom to buy into.

I didn`t say I`m incapable of trusting, I said I`m incapable of completely trusting anyone not to cheat because it`s been shown to me that anyone can...anyone under the right circumstances.


Quote:
BUT, if two cheaters try to build a relationship together I think too many things are stacked against them.
Well I`m living proof that`s a fallacy but what I`m looking for is some objective evidence to support that assertion.

I believe the assertion is wrong headed based on numbers alone.

If the common numbers cited above are correct then 70% of people cheat at one time or another.
Odds are that a vast majority of relationships involve at least one if not two cheaters.(odds are most relationships would involve two cheaters.)
The fact is that the vast majority of marriages do not fail.
So past cheating is at best a poor barometer when considering the success of a marriage.

There are obviously other more important factors involved in the longevity of marriage.

Last edited by tacoma; 01-10-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

Well, my marriage started as an affair and we've been married almost 8 years. I'll accept full responsibility for my part in it, I was the married one. I got married because I was pregnant and was heavily pressured to do so, yes, I know I made the decision to go through with it, but I waited until I was 36 weeks before saying I do. I loved my husband but wasn't in love with him and had never been. There was never any passion there period. You can't force love or passion. We were just much better friends.

Enter my current hubby, he quickly became my best friend and an EA began. We spent a lot of time together around my ex who was also his friend. For me, the feelings were undeniable and we did not engage in a PA until 5I months later. We never hid or snuck around during the EA, ex was there the entire time he was just oblivious to what was right in front if him.

Ex left for basic in beginning of June, PA started in July. We were best friends and we've remained that way. I told my ex the truth and answered all of his questions honestly. I felt that I owed it to him to tell him the truth and not let him find out from someone else. Fast forward, we're doing really great. We have our problems, but not because of the affair.

I think it's all situational. We turned out great and have been through 4 deployments and our fair share of military training and I can proudly say we've both remained 100%. Is it easy to trust someone else? Well that depends on if they can show you their faithfulness and prove to you that they are loyal.

I don't think there's a one-size fits all answer here.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Originally Posted by LBG View Post
I think it's all situational. We turned out great and have been through 4 deployments and our fair share of military training and I can proudly say we've both remained 100%. Is it easy to trust someone else? Well that depends on if they can show you their faithfulness and prove to you that they are loyal.

I don't think there's a one-size fits all answer here.
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I agree with you completely and that`s kind of the point of this thread.

I`m always seeing this "one size fits all" answer but have never seen where it comes from.

I`m referring to the 2.5-3% of affair marriages succeed statement.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacoma View Post
If the common numbers cited above are correct then 70% of people cheat at one time or another.
Could you please cite on objective, scientific study that suggests 70 percent of people cheat on their spouse?
Because the best study I've seen on the subject - the U. of Chicago's rolling survey on social issues - had tabbed it at about 15 percent of women and 20-25 percent of men.

And by objective, I mean from someone not trying to sell you a book, a program or private eye services.

Or are the figures you cite include unmarried people? If so, what constitutes cheating? If a single guy is dating two women, is he cheating?
Just curious as to how those figures are derived.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Originally Posted by FrankKissel View Post
Could you please cite on objective, scientific study that suggests 70 percent of people cheat on their spouse?
Because the best study I've seen on the subject - the U. of Chicago's rolling survey on social issues - had tabbed it at about 15 percent of women and 20-25 percent of men.

And by objective, I mean from someone not trying to sell you a book, a program or private eye services.

Or are the figures you cite include unmarried people? If so, what constitutes cheating? If a single guy is dating two women, is he cheating?
Just curious as to how those figures are derived.
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That`s kind of the point of this whole OP.

I`ve never seen any stable study to support any of the infidelity numbers tossed around here.

So...

I got the 25% of marriages born of infidelity number from Farnk Pittmans book.
Amazon.com: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (9780393307078): Frank Pittman: Books

I haven`t read it don`t know who Dr.Pittman is beyond his bio at amazon.
I just ran across it while looking for that 2-3% number earlier and it sounded far more realistic than the 2-3% number I hear bandied about.

The 70% of people cheat number is the high end of numerous studies I`ve recently seen reported on the net.

The Monogamy Myth
Amazon.com: The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs (9781557043535): Peggy Vaughan: Books

States 60% of men and 40% of women have cheated or will cheat on their spouses.

The author then goes on to a correlation that isnt` immediately seen but fairly sound once considered.

Quote:
Conservative infedelity statistics estimate that “60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. These figures are even more significant when we consider the total number of marriages involved, since it's unlikely that all the men and women having affairs happen to be married to each other. If even half of the women having affairs (or 20 percent) are married to men not included in the 60 percent having affairs, then at least one partner will have an affair in approximately 80 percent of all marriages. With this many marriages affected, it's unreasonable to think affairs are due only to the failures and shortcomings of individual husbands or wives."
"At least one partner on 80% of all marriages will have an affair."
That`s astounding.

80% damn.

I can`t find the source of that 70% of all people cheat quickly apparently but I believe it referred to all relationships and not just marriage.

I`ll post it if I find it, I`m still kinda searching around for all these numbers.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

Well, again - and please don't take this as a swipe at you - I'm highly skeptical of any figures cited by someone trying to sell me a book with a premise that monogamy is a "myth." Especially when said author doesn't disclose the source of the figure or the methodology at which it was arrived. And especially when the figure is three times larger than one determined via scientific means by one of the nation's top universities. And especially especially when that three-times greater figure is described as "conservative."

I agree that infidelity statistics are inherently unreliable because, after all, unlike a divorce it's not something done in public. But when someone with a clear bias (i.e. the desire to sell books) produces an unsourced number out of wack with one derived by an objective university study, I tend to be cynical.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

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Well, again - and please don't take this as a swipe at you - I'm highly skeptical of any figures cited by someone trying to sell me a book with a premise that monogamy is a "myth."
Oh no no swipe at all.
That`s what I`m doing is trying to find the sources for all these numbers and I`m having very little luck finding anything done with any type of scientific methodology.

I do appreciate the UC lead on their study as I hadn`t found it and now I have a lead to explore that I can actually find.



Quote:
I agree that infidelity statistics are inherently reliable because, after all, unlike a divorce it's not something done in public. But when someone with a clear bias (i.e. the desire to sell books) produces an unsourced number out of wack with one derived by an objective university study, I tend to be cynical.
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I agree infidelity statistic have got to be the least reliable stats in existence due to the very nature of the subject and the social taboos against it.
I can`t imagine what possible controls could be put in place to insure any reliable survey even in a study done by a reliable source,
At least a reliable source would state what controls or lack of were used.
With that in mind I`m off to look for that UC study.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Percentage of successful marriages that start as affairs?

I wish I could help but I couldn't find the information.

I do remember reading somewhere that a marriage that began as an affair had an exceedingly low chance of making 15-20 years. I remember this as low single-digits but can't find the report again.

Personally, I would think there is an aspect of moral caliber in play. It takes a lot of work to make 15-20 years. The idea of sorry, just not in love anymore so I think I will have an affair, versus I need to work on my marriage are not learned differences in my opinion. People will yield to one thought or the other. Some will cave into a fantasy and others will not.

As an example, I think if a man has an affair with a married woman he will likely do it again when someone "better and younger" comes along. I think this is the basis of what the study showed.
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