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How Does Infidelity Affect Divorce?

By Beverly Price June 01, 2023 Family

Overall, the American Psychological Association estimates about 20-40% of divorces are due to infidelity. The breach of trust and the dissolution of a once-committed relationship can leave lasting wounds. Nevertheless, it is possible to find healing and forge a path towards a positive future after divorce.

Divorce and Infidelity Statistics

To begin, I’d like to share some eye-opening facts on infidelity:

  • Infidelity is one of the top 10 reasons for divorce, accounting for 11% of cases.
  • Women who are completely dependent on their husbands financially are 50% more likely to cheat than women who work.
  • The overall rate of infidelity among married women has increased by 40% since 1990.
  • People with a college degree are 10% less likely to cheat on their spouse.
  • Emotional affairs are becoming even more prevalent, accounting for about 45% of infidelity cases.
  • Men aged 35 to 44 are three times more likely to commit adultery than women in the same age group.
  • 36% of people cheat with a coworker.
  • 14% of women and 19% of men have cheated while attending a work conference.
  • About 22% of men and 14% of women admitted to having sexual relations outside their marriage while still married.
  • 10% of affairs begin online and 40% of these online relationships turn into real-life affairs.
  • Couples who met online have a higher likelihood of being involved in infidelity compared to couples who met offline.
  • 35% of people who cheat on their partners also report feeling guilty about their infidelity.
  • The primary reasons cited for infidelity were lack of love (44%), variety in sexual partners (44%), neglect (32%), and lack of appreciation or need for attention (31%).

Statistics source:

Now that we’ve got the stats down, we need to move on to the most important part – healing from divorce due to infidelity. Recovering from a marriage marred by infidelity can be an overwhelming and deeply emotional journey. Here are some questions to help you in your journey of healing.

Will You Allow Yourself to Feel Your Emotions?

It is important to acknowledge and accept your feelings, no matter how difficult they may be. Emotions such as anger, sadness, and betrayal are all normal after a divorce. It is essential to process them in a healthy way.

Try to find a healthy outlet such as talking to a therapist, journaling, or confiding in a trusted friend. It is important to give yourself the space and time to heal.

Will You Take Care of Yourself?

Divorce can be a stressful and exhausting process. It is essential to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that make you feel good can help you cope better. Exercise is also an excellent way to release stress and boost your mood. Remember to make time for yourself to relax and recharge.

Will You Avoid Contact with Your Ex-Spouse?

It may be challenging to avoid contact with your ex-spouse, but it is essential to give yourself time and space to heal. Until you are ready to face them again, limit communication to matters that are essential, such as co-parenting arrangements. It is important to prioritize your healing process.

Will You Find a Support System?

Having a support system can make a big difference in your healing process. Reach out to friends, family members, or a support group for people who have gone through a divorce. It is important to surround yourself with people who support and uplift you.

Will You Concentrate on Self-Improvement?

Divorce can be an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. Consider taking up a new hobby, pursuing a career goal, or focusing on self-care. This can help you build confidence and regain a sense of purpose in your life. By focusing on yourself, you can turn this experience into a positive one.

Will You Forgive Yourself and Your Ex-Spouse?

Forgiveness can be a challenging process, but it is an essential step in healing. Forgiving yourself and your ex-spouse can help you move on from the past and focus on the future. It doesn’t mean forgetting what happened, but it means choosing to let go of the anger and resentment. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, not to your ex-spouse. It frees you from the ugly feelings trapped in your head and heart.

Will You Seek Out a Skilled Professional to Help?

When you find that any of these suggestions seem out of your reach, seek out a professional divorce coach who has experience in this area. You will be able to do work in all of these areas to move past the pain and resentment to live a healthier and happier life.

Will You Journal?

Journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and feelings about your divorce, the infidelity, your ex and yourself. It helps you to open up your mind and heart to the truth in a private manner. You will be able to learn things about yourself and the situation that you didn’t anticipate. It is a strong tool for healing.


Healing from a marriage that involved infidelity is a long and challenging process. Remember that healing takes time, and it is important to be patient and gentle with yourself. With the right support and mindset, you can recover from a marriage marred by infidelity and move on to a brighter future.

By focusing on yourself, finding a support system, and taking care of yourself, among other things mentioned above, you can start the process of healing and move forward with your life.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you think infidelity is a top reason for leaving a marriage? What other reasons do you think rank high? What feelings would infidelity spark in you? What is the best way to recover from such an experience?

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I am sorry to report that I have been the “other woman” in a couple of men’s marriages. I was single (after an unsuccessful marriage—nothing to do with infidelity), they were interested in me (not at the same time!), presumed I was available & I was told that their wives never wanted sex anymore.
I was craving attention & affection (in hindsight, I married a very good friend whom I loved but was not “in love” with).
And they gave me this attention & affection I needed. It was fun.
I don’t regret what happened, but as the years have passed, I have thought long & hard about the wives. And how horrible it would have been for each of them if they had discovered their husband’s infidelity. The hurt, the anger, the pain, the breaking of trust, the uncovered lies, etc.
Sure, it was the men who strayed, but maybe I should have just said, thanks, but no thanks—& told them to appreciate what they had at home. Not having sex? Talk about it with her!
After the initial fun, in each case I got tired of all the secrecy, the surreptitious calls & texting (certain times on certain days) & very rarely seeing them on weekends.
I’m not quite sure why I am writing this, it came to mind as I read the above article about infidelity.


Jen. Kudo’s to you for your openness. I know that wasn’t easy. Many of us suffer from “attention craving” needs. Mine led to multiple marriages and divorces. I myself had to dig deep and do a lot of emotional growth work to change. I believe that changing myself and my behavior was the best amends I could make. I think you’ve come a long way by sharing your situation.


I have been the other woman as well…. I loved him and thought we would eventually be together which never happened. In my first marriage I cheated on my husband and while I didn’t want to hurt him I thought I deserved sex which I wasn’t getting in my marriage I too have thought about my role in the relationships and am not proud of my actions. I didn’t really think about the repercussions some 40 years ago. Regrets? Definitely.


My ex husband had a year long affair that started 3 months into our marriage. I suspected and asked many times throughout that year but, of course, he denied it. I finally found out the day I brought our first child home from the hospital. This was the ultimate betrayal. I worked through it (for the sake of our child) and we stayed together for the next 16 years and another child. I never considered cheating on him in return. I finally asked for a divorce due to his verbal abuse. We had a business together and so continued working together for another 15 years following the divorce. I won’t say it was always easy because it wasn’t. Now, 22 years since our divorce, we are friends and have a better relationship than we did when we were married. We are there for each other. My kids appreciate the fact that we get along and it makes it easier on them. I forgave the infidelity but never felt the same about him. Looking back, I made the right decision to leave when I did. I try not to have regrets. There are many reasons for divorce. Money issues, abuse, growing apart, infidelity, etc. If the love and friendship are strong enough, I believe you can work through almost anything. But sometimes it’s better to just move on and make a happy life for yourself. We are not always meant to stay with the same person forever.


Kim, you are so right and strong. Thank you for your share. I know that was hard, not not nearly as hard as what you went through. Everyone of our situations are unique and only we can make the decision of what’s best for us and our families. I do believe that divorce can be a springboard to a wonderful new life.


Do you wish you had left sooner?


In many ways yes. I had been miserable and depressed for several years before I left. Had we not have had a business together, I absolutely would have left sooner. I kept hoping he would decide he was done with the marriage so he would feel like he dumped me which would have made him less angry and vengeful. Looking back, I picked a good time. No regrets.


Kim thank you for your honesty and pain. I believe the more we share our deep feelings and experiences, the more we can help other women.

The Author

With 25 years of experience, Beverly Price guides you along your journey from getting to know yourself to self-empowerment through Life-shattering event and Divorce and Empowerment Coaching, so that you can reframe your mindset and rewrite your story as a confident, happy, and fulfilled woman.

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