Infidelity Statistics 2022: Cheating in Relationships Exposed

By Sebastian

Updated December 2, 2022  

Cheating is taboo.

Yet people do it anyway.

And if there’s anything people enjoy more than doing it, it’s talking about it.

Gossip is how it’s often discussed, in hushed whispers with unspoken rules about keeping things confidential.

Let’s shed light on this topic that’s mired in hearsay with facts and figures.

And the numbers don’t lie.

Infidelity is a hard reality people in relationships have to reckon with.

How common is cheating?

44% of both unmarried men and women cheat.

20% of married couples in the US are likely to have experienced adultery, compared to 70% of unmarried couples. 

One in five Brits has had at least one affair. 

In the UK, 20% of men and 19% of women have cheated at least once.

Emotional cheating is common

  • 35% of women have had an emotional affair
  • 45% of men have had an emotional affair

Which Gender Cheats More in 2022?

Unmarried people are almost twice as likely to cheat compared to married couples. 

  • 60% of single men have tried to get people in other relationships to cheat with them
  • 53% of single women have tried the same

In the US, men are more likely than women to cheat on their spouses. 

  • 23% of married men have had sex with someone other than their spouse.
  • 12% of married women have had sex with someone other than their spouse.

How often do cheaters cheat?

How often do British adults cheat?

  • 50% of Brits who confessed to cheating stopped after the first affair. 
  • 20% of Brits who confessed to cheating had three or more affairs. 
  • 8% of Brits who confessed to cheating had five or more affairs.

42% of divorced Americans cheated more than once

53.4% of married women and 66.8% of married men who have cheated did so more than once.

60% to 68% of Europeans and Americans have cheated only once, while 32% to 40% have cheated more than once. The breakdown between men and women from both regions is as follows: 

Cheated only once

  • 65.6% of European women
  • 59.8% of European men
  • 59.9% of American women
  • 68.2% of American men

Cheated more than once

  • 34.4% of European women
  • 40.2% of European men
  • 40.1% of American women
  • 31.8% of American men

Most affairs don’t last long.

  • 25% of affairs are over within a week 
  • 65% are over within six months

Statistics On Cheaters Cheating Again

Once a cheater always a cheater?

Not necessarily. But cheaters are definitely a lot more likely to cheat again in their next relationship.

45% of cheaters who admit adultery in their past relationship cheat in their next relationship.

Cheaters are 3.5 times more likely to cheat again.

Who do people cheat with?

43.7% of married women and 22.3% of married men who cheat do so with someone their spouse knows.

36% of men and women have cheated with a coworker.

53% of married men and women admitted cheating with their ex.

17% of those who cheat have cheated with a brother-in-law or sister-in-law

Who do British cheaters cheat with?

  • 43% cheated with a friend
  • 38% cheated with a coworker
  • 18% cheated with a stranger
  • 12% cheated with an ex
  • 8% cheated with a neighbor 
  • 3% cheated with a partner’s relative

Only 3% of cheating men married the person they had an affair with.

The divorce rate of those who marry the person they had an affair with goes as high as 75%

How do people get started with cheating?

Cheaters find people to cheat with in various situations

Cheated with a friend

  • 40.6% of women
  • 32.9% of men

Cheated at work

  • 33.3% of women
  • 28.6% of men

Going out in general 

  • 17.5% of women
  • 21.8% of men

Met someone in a bar

  1. 12.4% of women
  2. 19.5% of men

Met someone on social media

  1. 7.1% of women
  2. 7.3% of men

Met someone on a dating app

  • 4.7% of women
  • 14.9% of men

Met someone on a business trip or vacation

  • 4.2% of women
  • 6.9% of men

Met someone at school

  • 0.7% of women
  • 0.3% of men

Met someone on a site dedicated to cheating

  • 0.2% of women
  • 3% of men

Why do people cheat?

Men cheat because of sexual dissatisfaction, while women cheat because of emotional dissatisfaction

  • 44% of men cheat for more sex
  • 40% of men cheat for more sexual variety
  • 40% of women cheat for more emotional attention
  • 33% of women cheat to know if they are still attractive
  • 11% of women cheat as revenge

Here are the top five reasons Americans and Europeans cheat by gender. 

European Women

  • My partner stopped paying attention to me
  • The other person was really hot
  • I was having doubts about my relationship
  • The other person was really there for me
  • I needed to feel sexy

American Women

  • My partner stopped paying attention to me
  • The other person was really there for me
  • I was having doubts about my relationship
  • The other person was really hot
  • I was bored

European Men

  • The other person was really hot
  • The other person was really there for me
  • My partner and I weren’t having sex
  • I was bored
  • My partner stopped paying attention to me

American Men

  • The other person was really hot
  • People were hitting on me
  • I was having doubts about my relationship
  • My partner and I weren’t having sex
  • My partner stopped paying attention to me

73.6% of married women and 48.1% of married men have cheated because of relationship problems. 34.6% of married women and 26% of married men who have cheated did so because they were bored with their sex lives.

30.3% of married women and 15.2% of married men who have cheated did so to get even with their partner.

According to a study on infidelity that used machine learning, the most common signs that would lead to cheating are:

For online cheating 

  • Desire to perform a sexual act that hasn’t been done with a partner, such as anal sex
  • The longer a relationship goes
  • Personal sexual desire

For in-person cheating 

  • Low relationship satisfaction 
  • Low romantic love 
  • Personal sexual desire

What do people think of cheating?

Asia and Africa represent the top 10 countries where people believe adultery is unacceptable. 

  • Turkey 94% 
  • Palestinian territories 94% 
  • Egypt 93% 
  • Jordan 93% 
  • Indonesia 93% 
  • Lebanon 92% 
  • Pakistan 92% 
  • Philippines 90% 
  • Tunisia 90% 
  • Malaysia 90%

Europe is much more forgiving about cheating. There are five countries in Europe that are part of the top 10 countries that find cheating acceptable.

In France, people are relatively split about their views on adultery. 47% believe it is unacceptable, while 40% don’t consider it a moral issue. 

Adultery is a crime in the Philippines. 

In the US, over 90% believe infidelity is wrong, while only less than 3% believe it is not wrong.

99% of Americans expect their spouse to be faithful.

One in five Americans have been unfaithful.

74% of men and 68% of women would cheat if they were guaranteed that they wouldn’t get caught

Only 5% of people believe that their partner has cheated or will cheat on them

98% of men and 80% of women have frequent fantasies about someone other than their partner.

Over 90% of people would want to know if they’ve been cheated on.

88% of women are more concerned about their partner emotionally cheating than physically cheating. 

What counts as cheating?

How do Americans and Europeans define cheating?

Vaginal intercourse

  • 81.4% of European men
  • 85.6% of European women
  • 97% of American men
  • 99% of American women

Oral intercourse

  • 78.2% of European men
  • 83.8% of European women
  • 96.6% of American men
  • 97.6% of American women

Anal intercourse

  • 76.2% of European men
  • 81.9% of European women
  • 95.3% of American men
  • 98.1% of American women

Kissing

  • 66.5% of European men
  • 78.4% of European women
  • 80.7% of American men
  • 88.5% of American women

Heavy Petting

  • 62.0% of European men
  • 72.2% of European women
  • 75.3% of American men
  • 88.5% of American women

Spooning

  • 35% of European men
  • 44.1% of European women
  • 62.7% of American men
  • 70.8% of American women

Cuddling

  • 29.8% of European men
  • 42.8% of European women
  • 67.5% of American men
  • 62.7% of American women

Getting emotionally close

  • 32% of European men
  • 46.6% of European women
  • 52.9% of American men
  • 70.8% of American women

Sleeping in the same bed

  • 34.7% of European men
  • 41.9% of European women
  • 51.2% of American men
  • 62.2% of American women

Hand-holding

  • 24.8% of European men
  • 33.1% of European women
  • 46.4% of American men
  • 52.6% of American women

Going out as friends

  • 18.6% of European men 
  • 23.4% of European women
  • 29.2% of American men
  • 43.5% of American women

About 70% of couples have not defined what cheating is for them

Personal background of cheaters

 18% of adults that didn’t grow up in intact families have had an extramarital affair, compared to 15% that grew up with both biological parents.

19% of people who attend religious services once a year or less have reported cheating, compared to 14% of people who attend religious services once a week or several times a month/year.

Ashley Madison, the online dating platform focused on affairs, shows that 60% of its members are Republicans and 40% are Democrats. 

18% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans have reported cheating.

 College-educated adults are just as likely as those who only finished high school to have an extramarital affair.

  • 16% of adults who graduated college have cheated on their spouse
  • 15% of adults who graduated high school have cheated on their spouse

Cheating is more common among people who have specific types of vasopressin and oxytocin receptor genes.

  • 62% of men with these genes have cheated
  • 40% of women with these genes have cheated

Men with higher IQs are less likely to cheat on their wives. 

How much does age factor into cheating?

The gender divide for married couples in the US when it comes to cheating varies across age groups:

18-29 years old

  • 11% of married women have cheated
  • 10% of married men have cheated

30-39 years old

  • 11% of married women have cheated
  • 14% of married men have cheated

40-49 years old

  • 13% of married women have cheated
  • 15% of married men have cheated

50-59 years old

  • 15% of married women have cheated
  • 23% of married men have cheated

60-69 years old

  • 16% of married women have cheated
  • 24% of married men have cheated

70-79 years old

  • 13% of married women have cheated
  • 26% of married men have cheated

80+ years old

  • 6% of married women have cheated
  • 24% of married men have cheated

Married couples who are 30 years old and younger as well as those who are 70 years old and older are less likely to divorce even after experiencing infidelity

Cheating and Marriage

Married people who cheat have rated their marriages as happy or very happy

  • 56% of married men who cheat are satisfied with their marriage
  • 34% of married women who cheat are satisfied with their marriage

Married men are 25% more likely than married women to have one-night stands.

Married women are 15% more likely than married men to have emotional affairs

79% of wives who think their husbands are cheating turn out to be correct, while 62% of husbands who think their wives are cheating turn out to be correct.

Cheaters are less likely to stay married.

  • 40% of cheaters who have married are divorced or separated
  • 17% of those who were faithful are divorced or separated
  • 50% of cheaters are still married
  • 76% of those who are faithful are still married

Men who cheat are more likely than women to still be married

  • 61% of men who cheated on their spouse are still married
  • 44% of women who cheated on their spouse are still married

41% of marriages where adultery happens have one or both partners confess their infidelity.

88.8% of couples say infidelity is a major factor in getting a divorce.

49.7% of married women who cheat have thought about leaving their spouse because of the affair compared to 19.8% of married men who cheat.

Do cheaters who get divorced remarry?

61% of men who cheated have remarried, while only 44% of women who cheated have remarried. 

50% of cheaters are currently remarried, while 76% of divorcees who never cheated are currently remarried. 

Cheating in the LGBTQ+ Community

In a survey focused on cheating between same-sex couples, 70% of respondents are male.

18% of bisexual individuals have reported cheating. 

14% of homosexual men have reported cheating.

6% of homosexual women have reported cheating.

6% of those who are gender nonconforming have reported cheating.

33% of men and 22% of women said they would be more tolerant if their partners would cheat with the same sex. 

Cheating Online

80% are addicted to online affairs.

8% of cheating men and 3% of cheating women have started an affair online. 

90% who started cheating online developed cybersex addiction where they would start a new affair right after the previous one ended.

40% of married women and 30.6% of married men who cheated did so via cybersex.

42% of Tinder users are in relationships

17% of dating app users were there to cheat during lockdown

11% of millennials say they use apps to cheat

Cheating and Work

According to Ashley Madison, certain professions are more likely to have cheaters, with a stark gender divide in trade and medicine.

Trade workers

  • 29% of men in the profession cheat
  • 4% of women in the profession cheat

Medicine/nursing

  • 23% of women in the profession cheat
  • 5% of men in the profession cheat

Entrepreneurs 

  • 11% of women in the profession cheat
  • 11% of men in the profession cheat

IT

  • 12% of men in the profession cheat
  • 8% of women in the profession cheat

Retail and hospitality

  • 9% of women in the profession cheat 
  • 8% of men in the profession cheat

People cheat in the office and on business trips.

Cheated on a business trip

  • 62% of men 
  • 57% of women

Cheated with a co-worker on a business trip

  • 53% of men 
  • 27% of women

Cheated in the office

  • 24% of men 
  • 14% of women

Cheating and Money

 Heterosexual individuals who are financially dependent on their partner are more likely to cheat.

  • 5% chance of women cheating on their husbands if they are completely financially dependent
  • 15% chance of men cheating on their wives if they are completely financially dependent

The more men earn relative to their spouse, the less likely they are to cheat, until they start making up more than 70% of the couples total income. Going past that 70% threshold increases the likelihood of men to cheat.

The cost of an average extramarital affair is $2,664

How do cheaters get caught?

21.5% of cheaters get caught by their partner investigating their suspicions.

47.8% of married women and 38.9% of married men who cheat have gotten caught by their partner.

8.3% of cheaters admit their infidelity to their spouses when accused

8% of cheaters have been accidentally caught cheating by their spouse.

4.5% of cheaters have been caught cheating by third parties.

How many Americans and Europeans who cheat get caught

European Women

  • 10.7% were caught
  • 60.4% were not caught
  • 28.9% confessed

American Women

  • 19.8% were caught
  • 56.5% were not caught
  • 23.7% confessed

European Men

  • 16.5% were found out
  • 57.3% were not caught
  • 26.2% confessed

American Men

  • 21.6% were found out were caught
  • 56.8% were not caught
  • 21.6% confessed

60% of Brits have either found out their partner was cheating or aroused suspicion that their partner was cheating through a text message.

Do cheaters admit to cheating?

56.7% of married cheaters admit their infidelity to their spouses.

In a survey about admitting to cheating:

  • 22.1% said they cheated without revealing it to their partner
  • 24% cheated and admitted it to their partner
  • 76% admitted their previous affair to their new partner

In the same survey, respondents were also asked how long they waited before confessing.

52.4% confessed within a week

  • 29.2% were married
  • 46.9% were men
  • 48% were women

26% within a month

  • 22.9% were married

25.7% after six months or longer

  • 47.9% of these were married

Cheaters had different reasons for confessing:

  • 47% felt guilty 
  • 39.8% were unhappy and had to tell their partners
  • 23% were caught by their partners
  • 11% thought they got an STD and had to inform their partners

Cheaters show various levels of honesty when admitting their infidelity.

  • 93% of cheaters who had sex with someone other than their partner admitted it
  • 73% of those who kissed someone other than their partner admitted it
  • 53% of those who contracted an STD from the person they were having an affair with admitted it
  • 38% of those whose affairs led to pregnancy admitted it

What are the consequences of cheating?

 Most relationships where people admitted to cheating led to breakups

  • 54.5% broke up not long after the confession
  • 30% tried to make it work but broke up later
  • 15.6% stuck together at the time of the study

31.4% of men and 28.7% of women who admitted infidelity divorced immediately

61% of people who cheated in marriage and were given a second chance had to follow new rules, compared to 47.5% of those who cheated while unmarried.

The new rules that cheaters who stayed with their partners had to follow are:

  • 55.7% had to allow their partner to look through their phone
  • 48.5% had to avoid certain friends
  • 43.3% had limitations on going out
  • 39.2% had to give their partner access to their social media
  • 30.9% had to end the other relationship

Affairs may not always directly cause breakups, but they are symptomatic of deeper relationship problems

  • 1 in 5 breakups are a direct result of an affair
  • 27% broke up after an affair but not because of it

19.8% of women and 10.3% of men who cheated are still married.

71.9% of people who discovered their partner was cheating tried to fix their relationship

20.5% of people who discovered their partner was cheating broke up

7.5% of couples that experienced cheating repaired their relationship. 

Relationships are 59% less likely to survive if the person who cheated resists answering questions from their partner.

Over 50% of American couples would break up or get a divorce if cheating happened.

17% of divorces in the US are caused by adultery

14% of Brits who were cheated on took their partner back

75% of Brits who were cheated on didn’t take their partner back.

Do people get addicted to cheating?

Cheaters can be addicted to different forms of cheating:

  • 50% are addicted to cheating via phone contact
  • 42% are addicted to having an online affair
  • 38% are addicted to cheating via explicit online chat
  • 37% are addicted to cheating through online masturbation 
  • 31% are addicted to cheating via real-time sex

Do cheaters regret cheating?

The majority of Europeans and Americans who have cheated regret doing so, especially American men.

European Women

  • 58.6% regret cheating
  • 41.4% don’t regret cheating

American Women

  • 57.8% regret cheating
  • 42.2% don’t regret cheating

European Men

  • 56.5% regret cheating
  • 43.5% don’t regret cheating

American Men

  • 71% regret cheating
  • 29% don’t regret cheating
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

About the author 

Sebastian

Sebastian loves analyzing statistics about anything that has to do with the dynamics in a love relationship. He enjoys researching why people behave the way they do (and drinks horrendous amounts of coffee when he's in the zone).

He uses his knowledge to help couples in troubled relationships reconnect with their partners and create a perfectly imperfect relationship.

Dowload my free 14 mistakes ebook 

>
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!