Sorry, But Cheating Statistics Are Lying — The Real Truth

Why cheating shouldn't be normalized.

Woman in front of statistics axelbueckert, khunkorn | Canva 

Everywhere we turn, articles on the internet constantly suggest that infidelity is an epidemic in our country

Some internet pundits even suggest that over 50 percent of people in a marriage cheat, while others state the rate is as high as 70 percent for men. This notion is completely ludicrous. 

Infidelity rates, among men at least, in the USA have not increased in over 20 years.

Moreover, the best available evidence from our own three decades of marriage research, as well as the findings of other well-respected marriage researchers in the country, concludes that 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women are unfaithful every year.


W. Bradford Wilcox, Ph.D., Director of the highly respected Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, notes that 22 percent of men who have ever been married and 14 percent of women who have ever been married, had an extra-marital affair throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, in more than 32 years of marriage research on all seven continents of the world, we have rarely observed couples that successfully and authentically rebuilt their relationship following infidelity. By definition, those who engage in infidelity are dishonest, disloyal, and absent of moral fortitude within the relationship. 


Please make no mistake about it, cheating on a spouse is the ultimate form of betrayal. It destroys trust, which is at the very core of any loving relationship.

RELATED: The Most Surprising Reason People Cheat, According To Research

There are no excuses for infidelity.

Infidelity is a deal breaker — the first time, the second time, or any time it occurs. Cheating on the one you "love" is the most unpardonable of all sins. When a spouse or lover violates the "core of trust" or the "bond of faith" in the relationship, the very foundation of that relationship has likely been destroyed. 

Rebuilding the trust after an affair is an, almost, insurmountable obstacle. Over the years, we've interviewed a lot of people who are deeply in love. We've interviewed thousands of couples that repeated the vows, "Until death do us part." — These aren't just words!




RELATED: 3 Tiny Ways To Affair-Proof Any Marriage

Successfully loving someone for a lifetime does not occur by accident. Falling truly in love is also not an accident. Sustaining genuine love requires doing simple things, day in and day out, in your relationship with the one you say you love. In other words, you cannot betray the one you love and expect your marriage or relationship to continue to survive and thrive. 

It's our considered opinion, based on conducting thousands of interviews with successfully married couples in over 40 countries, that marriages aren't entirely devoid of character.




RELATED: 25 Experts Explain What Choices Make A Marriage Work Long-Term

Being honest and trustworthy is at the heart of all the best loving relationships we have studied.

These couples trust each other with their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Infidelity in a marriage is an unrecoverable act for most who choose to engage in such actions. But let's face it, having so many internet pundits OVERSTATE the exaggerated extent of infidelity serves NO useful purpose. If anything it (falsely) normalizes the behavior when there is nothing normal (or okay) about it. It's time folks who write about marriage start speaking the truth. It's that simple.


RELATED: The Truth About How Cheaters Think

Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz are renowned love and marriage experts and multiple award-winning authors. Their best-selling book, Building A Love That Lasts, provides readers with insightful and practical tips from thousands of happily married couples.