25+ Eye-Opening Facts and Stats About Cheating

Fact-checked

Infidelity is an unpleasant topic of conversation, but facts about cheaters reveal that the act is more common than you would think. Even though each person has their own opinion on what constitutes cheating, many in a romantic relationship have unfortunately been faced with cheating in one way or another; they have cheated or been cheated on, or they suspected their partner was going behind their back. If the topic of cheating intrigues you, read the following facts we’ve compiled to learn more!

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Fascinating Facts About Cheaters

  • 57% of men and 54% of women have been unfaithful to their partners.
  • Female infidelity has risen by 40% over the past 20 years.
  • 36% of British citizens have cheated on their partner.
  • Men are more likely to cheat before milestone birthdays.
  • People that are economically dependent on their spouse are more likely to have an affair.
  • The largest number of affairs occur between coworkers.
  • ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater’ is based on reality.
  • The percentage of relationships that work after cheating is very small – only 16%.

Tell-Tale Numbers

Before we dive into why, when, and with whom people cheat, we need to look at the overall numbers to see how frequent cheating is.

#1 Around 57% of men and 54% of women have been unfaithful at least once

(Global Investigations)

More than half of men and women have cheated on a partner at some point in their lives. But who cheats more – men or women? The rates for infidelity are almost equal; infidelity occurs in a little over half of all partners regardless of gender.

#2 A surprising 45% of men and 35% of women have had an emotional affair

(Independent)

Emotional affairs are becoming more common than physical ones. 45% of men and 35% of women admit to engaging in a non-physical relationship with another person without their significant other’s knowledge.

#3 Women are 40% more likely to cheat now than 20 years ago

(Amy North)

Do women cheat more than men? While the answer is no, technically women cheat more now than ever before; the chances of a woman cheating is 40% higher than just 20 years ago!

#4 Only 3% of all mammals are monogamous, and humans are among them

(Factinate)

Monogamy is not natural in the animal kingdom! Only 3% of mammals form monogamous relationships, with humans being one of the rare creatures that bond for life – or at least for a part of it.

#5 At least 36% of UK adults have cheated on their partner

(Mirror.co.uk)

The UK is 9th on the list of most unfaithful countries in the world. Even though the British aren’t considered to be particularly passionate, it turns out that 36% of all Brits have cheated on their partner at some point in their relationship

#6 Exactly 39.2% of males and 48% of females are caught cheating

(Fatherly)

Once an affair is discovered, the relationship usually ends; many are actually relieved when they are finally caught and consider this to be one of the best ways to break up! Out of everyone that has had an affair, 39.2% of men were caught by their partner, as opposed to 48% of women. This shows that the percentage of affairs that get caught is higher among women.

Who and When?

Timing is important when it comes to whether someone chooses to cheat; it can also determine with whom they’ll have an affair. Let’s see how! 

#7 Older people are more likely to cheat

(ShortList)

Although it’s thought that younger people cheat more, research has shown that it’s the opposite! People over 55 are more likely to cheat; those under 50 are generally more faithful

#8 People that like rock music are more likely to be unfaithful 

(List25)

Cheating statistics show that people that enjoy rock music are more likely to commit adultery! A study conducted among the British shows that 42% of people that cheated liked rock music, while people that like rap (2%), gospel (3%), and classical music (7%) are least likely to cheat

#9 Men are more likely to cheat before milestone birthdays

(Independent)

As milestone birthdays near (30, 40, 50, etc.) men are more likely to cheat on their significant others. When a man’s age ends with 9, he is more likely to have an extramarital affair; the same is true for women, but the numbers are significantly lower.

#10 Women are more likely to cheat while ovulating

(List25)

What percentage of women cheat and when? More than half of women (54%) have cheated at least once, most commonly while ovulating. The female body is inclined to mate during ovulation. During this time of the month, women can be more attracted to others besides their partner and are more likely to stray from their union.

#11 People that are economically dependent on their spouses are more likely to have affairs

(Independent)

Someone completely dependent on their spouse for financial support is more likely to be unfaithful; this especially true for men that earn less than their partner. However, if men earn significantly more, they are also more likely to cheat. If you were wondering why people cheat, here’s one big indicator.

#12 The most popular day to cheat is Wednesday

(List25)

Regardless of whether it’s a one-night stand or ongoing, the most popular day for affairs is Wednesday, specifically Wednesday afternoons. Cheating almost always takes place in the late afternoon or evening since the strength to resist temptation is weaker. 

#13 Two years into marriage is the most likely time for an affair

(Factinate)

Factual evidence on marriages shows that the most likely time for someone to cheat is two years into their marriage. At this point, romance can start to fade which may lead people to seek thrill elsewhere. How long does a marriage last after infidelity? Statistics show that 53% of couples divorce within 5 years.

#14 Seven-year itches are real

(Sex & Psychology)

Researchers have confirmed that the seven-year itch is real; men and women are more likely to start this cheating around the 7th year of marriage. After this, the chances of cheating decrease with women, while for men it rises again around the 20-year mark

Why and With Whom?

Now that we’ve discussed what percentage of people cheat, let’s discuss why and with whom. Many factors influence cheating; contrary to popular belief, lack of love, sexual desire, compatibility, or being unhappy in a relationship are not the most common reasons for unfaithfulness. Time to look at the facts!

#15 Genetics may influence whether you cheat

(ShortList)

Genes may influence the likelihood of cheating! Oxytocin and vasopressin receptors can vary in each person and may determine how many women cheat as well as men. People with less sensitive receptors are more likely to cheat, as they experience less empathy and trust. 

#16 Women that communicate more with their partners are faithful

(Investigation Hotline)

Faithful women spend more time talking to their partner. When a woman is committed, she may spend 30 to 60 minutes per day talking to her partner, or more. Facts about cheating girlfriends reveal that they spend 5 minutes (or less) seriously speaking to their significant other. If your woman isn’t talking to you, it might be time to face your problems

#17 Females are more likely to cheat due to emotional reasons

(Investigation Hotline)

Women are more likely to be unfaithful for emotional reasons. If they feel rejection or a lack of attachment from their partner, they might turn to someone else for emotional gratification. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to cheat for physical reasons

#18 Women who fake orgasms are more likely to have an affair

(Metro.Style)

Scientific facts about cheating show that women who fake orgasms with their partner are more likely to feel an increased sexual desire for other people; this will allow them to begin an affair easier. 

#19 Most affairs are between coworkers

(List25, YouGov)

A staggering 85% of affairs start in the workplace! Close interactions between coworkers often lead to cheating on significant others. Women are likely to start an affair with a close friend, while men are more emotionally distant; they may cheat with coworkers, neighbours, or complete strangers

#20 People react differently to being cheated on by people of the same sex

(Independent)

How common is cheating with people of the same sex? Although we couldn’t find exact numbers, this is not common among heterosexuals. However, research has found that men are more tolerant if a woman cheats with another woman, while women react more negatively if their partner cheats with the same sex. 

Things You May Want to Know

Before we reach the end, here are a few more interesting facts about cheating you may want to remember.

#21 Cheating increases the risk of STDs

(Metro.com)

When we look at how many people cheat, it’s obvious that cheating is harmful, especially for the sexual health of everyone involved. Most people in committed relationships don’t use condoms, and when people cheat, they don’t use protection either. This leads to sexually transmitted diseases spreading, which is often considered the ultimate betrayal

#22 ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater’ is true

(Sex & Psychology)

Research confirms that people that have been unfaithful before are likely to stray again – three-and-a-half times more to be exact! The percentage of people who cheat is higher among repeat offenders, so if you’re aware that your partner has previously been in an unfaithful relationship, be wary. 

#23 A small percentage of relationships still last after an affair

(Bonobology)

Relationships and marriages can survive an affair, with therapy being very helpful in such cases. However, the numbers are grim – only 16% of relationships continue after an affair. UK statistics on divorce rates show that between 5 and 7% of marriages survive cheating.

#24 Affairs can last up to 6 months after being discovered

(Magnet of Success)

How long do affairs last after they are discovered? Although there’s no exact duration, the 6-month mark is crucial. At this point, people decide whether the affair will turn into something more or they’ll go their separate ways and break up

#25 Men who cheat are more likely to suffer sudden coital death

(Factinate)

Men who are cheating are more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack, also known as sudden coital death. This is usually because while cheating, men are in a heightened physical and emotional state.

#26 The cuddle hormone can prevent cheating

(List25)

When we look at how many people have affairs, the data is obviously concerning. Luckily, there’s a way to prevent your significant other from cheating – cuddle with them! Vasopressin, or the cuddle hormone, helps people form a bond; the stronger the bond, the less likely they cheat. People with low vasopressin levels reported higher levels of dissatisfaction in relationships and lower levels of trust.

#27 Men can produce ‘paranoid sperm’

(Amy North)

If a man suspects that his significant other may be cheating, his body can produce paranoid sperm. This refers to the body producing more ‘fighter sperm’ to stop anyone from inseminating their partner.

Wrap Up

Now that we’ve revealed what percentage of men cheat as opposed to women, we can conclude that cheating is common regardless of gender. People cheat for various reasons, and if they do it once, they’re likely to do it again. Be careful when entering a new relationship; being cheated on is a very unpleasant experience. Good luck!

FAQ

What traits do cheaters have?

Cheaters often have trouble controlling impulses and can display narcissistic tendencies. In some cases, they are dependent on others or have a family history of cheating. They are secretive and avoid communicating with their partners.

How do affairs usually end?

Affairs usually end in one of three ways: divorce and remarriage, divorce and ending the affair, or recommitment to the relationship.

How often do cheaters get caught?

Facts about cheaters show that 63% of cheaters have been caught. If you’re having an affair, the chances of being caught are quite high, so save yourself the trouble and stay committed.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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