Is it really cheating if someone isn’t engaging in sex? That’s a question that many couples face every day. Emotional affairs happen when someone may fantasize about being with someone else they know and have those fantasies mutually returned. Sometimes the fantasies are played out through kissing, touching, but without actual intercourse. It’s sometimes seen has harmless romantic longing, but an emotional affair can be rather damaging.
Facts About Emotional Affairs
1. An additional 20% of married couples are dealing with emotional affairs above the statistics for physical infidelity. About 35 percent of wives and 45 percent of husbands report having emotional affairs, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.
2. 22% of men and 13% of women have cheated in their lifetimes, whether they were married or not.
3. Up to 60% of all marriages will deal with at least one form of infidelity over the lifetime of their marriage.
4. When couples are under the age of 30, they are at the highest risk of experiencing an emotional affair.
5. About 3% of children that are born today are as a result of infidelity, which often starts as an emotional affair.
6. Unless it is admitted, the vast majority of emotional affairs are never disclosed to a spouse. Most of the time it is because emotional cheating isn’t seen as “real” cheating.
7. Although men are more likely to have an affair, women are more likely to have a long-lasting emotional connection because of the affair.
8. In a recent survey, 88% of women said that they cared more about emotional infidelity than physical infidelity. That’s 2x higher than men when asked the same question.
9. 56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages.
10. More than 60% of affairs start at work. Most people will have an emotional affair with someone that they know.
11. It is not uncommon for a marriage to experience more physical intimacy when one party is engaging in an emotional affair.
12. People who have been either divorced or separated at least once are 2x more likely to have an emotional affair than those who have not been divorced or separated,
13. 48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated.
14. 2 out of 3 men feel guilty about having an emotional affair.
15. Only 8% of men say that their primary motivation for having an affair was that they were sexually dissatisfied.
16. 68% of cheaters never dreamed they’d be unfaithful and almost all of them wished they hadn’t done it.
17. Just 12% of men say that the person who is the target of their emotional affair is more attractive than their wife.
18. Even when physical infidelity occurs, 3 out of 4 men spend at least a month develop an emotional connection before having sex for the first time.
19. Only 34% of women who had affairs were happy or very happy in their marriage.
20. There is a direct correlation to the amount of money a spouse makes to their likelihood of having an emotional affair. Men and women who bring home a majority of the household’s money are more likely to cheat than those who do not.
When it comes to sexual affairs, the statistics are rather surprising enough. 1 in 4 American men in a national poll admitted to having at least one affair while being married. About 1 in 7 American women admitted to having an affair while married as well. Although infidelity isn’t the leading cause of divorce [irreconcilable differences is the #1 listed cause], it is one of the leading issues that can rock a marriage.
If that many couples are already dealing physical infidelity, what are the statistics on emotional infidelity going to be?
Why Are Emotional Affairs So Devastating?
As the facts show, most people wind up having sex not because they’re looking for something physically satisfying. They’re doing it because they want to cause a hurtful mistake. Physical infidelity is hurtful, but for a vast majority of women, emotional infidelity is even worse. It means their spouse has checked out of the marriage.
There are many places where blame can be cast. The internet makes it pretty easy to emotionally cheat. Long working hours combined with very little alone time for couples creates dissatisfaction. Even boredom, when one spouse is alone all day with the kids while the other is at work, is enough to create a foundation of emotional infidelity.
Each person can choose to stay faithful or choose to have an affair. There is no compromise in having an emotional affair instead of a physical one. Cheating is cheating, no matter what it is called.