Marital Affair - The Facts
The facts about marital infidelity (sexual unfaithfulness to a spouse) are astounding. Polls show that although 90% of married people disapprove of extramarital relationships, statistics from a national survey indicate that 15% of wives and 25% of husbands have experienced extramarital intercourse. These numbers increase by 20% when emotional affairs and sexual relationships without intercourse are included. Another source, The Monogamy Myth, authored by Peggy Vaughan, approximates that 60% of husbands and 40% of wives will have an affair at some time in their marriage.
Marital Affair - The Truth
Another term for marital infidelity is adultery. The New Encyclopedia Britannica reports that, "adultery seems to be as universal and, in some instances, as common as marriage." In fact, marriage researcher, Zelda West-meads, states that although much adultery is never discovered, "all the evidence points to affairs being on the increase."
These statistics are shocking, but what is even more alarming is that they do not even come close to exposing the strong emotional impact that marital infidelity has on people's lives. Imagine the inconsolable grief and pain, not to mention the confusion, anxiety, and sleepless nights that are all wrapped up in these percentages. When all is out in the open, the faithful spouse may survive the nightmare, but his or her scars will not easily heal, and the damage done to the marriage may never be completely repaired. Extra marital affairs can also take its toll in some long-term consequences that both spouses will have to deal with for many years, such as sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
Marital Affair Around the Globe
On the coast of COLOMBIA affairs are art of life: Men there often have two houses, one for their wife and the other for their lover.
AMERICANS are usually considered Puritanical compared to the FRENCH. But a 1992 study showed that in France, 20 percent more men and women were faithful to their spouses than their American counterparts. There is one important caveat, however: The French are more tolerant of extramarital affairs. Michelle, 24, has known about her father's mistress for years. "She's almost a part of the family," she says. "I've met her. My mom's met her. Everyone just accepts her presence in our lives."
In some countries, such as IRAN, YEMEN and SAUDI ARABIA, adultery is taken so seriously it is punishable by execution. But Islamic law does allow men to have up to four wives.