The Age People Are Most Likely To Cheat

Who knew?

woman cheating with man Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Nothing ruins a relationship more than cheating and infidelity. Even if the person who cheated is eventually forgiven by their partner or spouse, there will always be feelings of doubt and mistrust.

The broken relationship may be repaired, but the cracks left by this ultimate betrayal will always continue to linger.

Because you can't have a healthy relationship without trust. You just can't.

RELATED: Women Are Most Likely To Cheat On Their Husbands At This Age


When you're in a relationship, you always worry about being cheated on. Or, worse, you may worry that you might end up becoming a cheater!

There are many articles that talk about the signs of cheating, why people decide to cheat, and whether forgiveness is deserved or not after cheating. However, a 2016 study decided to look at cheating and infidelity from another entirely different angle.

At what age are people the most likely to decide to cheat on their partner?

RELATED: "Why I Cheated' — 5 Brave People Reveal The Real Reason They Strayed

Conducted by the dating website for married people, Illicit Encounters (how ironic), researchers found that people are twice as likely to cheat at the age of 39, and are more likely to have affairs during the last year of a decade.


Researchers Adam L. Alter from New York University, and Hal E. Hershfield from the University of California, conducted six studies in 2014 to determine adult behavior during the "9-end stages."

They counted 8,077,820 male users on Illicit Encounters and compared it to the 952,176 male users whose ages ended with a 9. They found that "there were 18 percent more 9-enders registered than there would be if the site's users represented a completely random sample of ages."

RELATED: Why Do People Cheat On People They Love?

Interestingly, the 9-enders reported that they were worried about aging and wondered if their life had any meaning. Researchers concluded that this led them to a mid-life crisis to find meaning in their life, thus, leading to affairs.


The website's spokesperson said, "Our research shows that some people cheat to get their partner’s attention. If their partner’s a workaholic or unavailable to them, being caught with someone else is a way of saying: ‘Hey, if you love me, pay attention to me! 'Payback cheating' is also common.

If you’ve cheated in the past or done something else to hurt your partner, they might retaliate to get even."

However, this study should be taken with a grain of salt, as Illicit Encounters may be biased towards themselves since they financially funded the study. In addition, no outside experts examined the study and it was not peer-reviewed.


But whether people cheat at age 39 (or any age ending in 9, for that matter) or not, and for whatever reason like a mid-life crisis, it doesn't change the fact that they still chose to cheat and ruin their relationship. 

RELATED: What Really Happened The Year I Cheated On My Husband

Caithlin Pena is an editor for YourTango who enjoys books, movies, and writes about astrology and lifestyle topics.