When the economy is down, unsatisfied married couples go on the "down low" instead of divorcing.
Married couples of the world, we've got good news and bad news for ya. Let's start with the positive: Despite some slight fluctuations, the divorce rate has remained pretty stable for the last 50 years, even in light of a down economy. Now, the bad: Although the divorce rate is down, infidelity is up.
Experts say that poor economic situations cause tension in marriages, which ultimately leads to cheating. However, despite the infidelity, couples are staying together — likely to avoid the financial woes associated with divorce and the division of assets.
Cheating has also become easier, thanks to dating websites like AshleyMadison.com. The "discreet" site lets married people seek out other married people for secret affairs. 'Divorce Sales': Shop Your Heart Out While Getting Over Your Ex
According to the CEO of the site, Noel Biderman, users openly admit that their marriage is over and they're just riding out the economic storm.
"We're not a recession-proof business, we're a recession-growth business," says Biderman. "Everyone looks for a temporary way to feel better about themselves. People were basically confessing in their profile that 'The marriage is really over — we're just waiting for the market to recover. Who wants to pay $40,000 for a divorce when you can pay $49 for an affair?!"
It makes us wonder whether both partners actually know that the marriage is over. Or is that just something you say when you sign up for AshleyMadison.com to make yourself feel better? 10 Signs A Woman Is Cheating: Do They Ring True To You?
The traffic patterns of the site suggest that it may not be a "my marriage is over" habit as much as an "I'm frustrated" one. Most users log in on Monday mornings, presumably after a weekend of their spouse nagging them to pick up their socks. Interestingly, activity spikes around Valentine's Day, Father's Day and Mother's Day.
If the "weathering the storm" analysis is correct, we may see a rise in the divorce rate once the economy recovers. Until then, sites like AshleyMadison exist to aid the unhappily married population in acts of infidelity. And as Europe's economy plunges, Biderman says his site is doing well in the Spanish market and others as well.