A lot of people cheat, but how many actually come clean to their partner?
Research suggests that the average American lies one to two times a day — some can’t make it 10 minutes without lying. And about 20 percent of married men and 13 percent of married women have cheated, according to the Institute for Family Studies. So who’s doing both: cheating and lying about it?
In a new survey of 441 people who admitted to infidelity with their partners, participants were asked how long it took to tell their significant other, why they cheated, and how their partner reacted once they found out.
The survey says that just under half those asked (46.1 percent) admitted to cheating in a relationship. One in four people said they cheated and admitted it to their partner.
Participants admitted to various degrees of telling the truth — some simply don't believe in the concept of "lying by omission." Nearly half of all men and women who admitted infidelity generally told their partners about it within the first week. However, the length of the wait largely depended on whether the survey participant was in a relationship or married. More than half (52.4) of those in a relationship told their partner about the infidelity within a week, compared to 29.2 percent of married respondents. At the same time, about half of married respondents (47.9) waited six months or longer to admit their infidelity, compared to 20.4 percent of those in a relationship.
Describing their cheating in detail, respondents most commonly admitted to kissing and sex. Of the roughly 65 percent of respondents who had sex outside of their relationship, 93 percent admitted doing so. In fact, people were more honest about having sex with someone else than kissing someone else — only 73 percent of those who kissed someone other than their partner admitted to it. In general, respondents were least likely to admit to a cheating incident that resulted in pregnancy or spending money on the other person. Alarmingly, only 53 percent of individuals who contracted a sexually transmitted disease from cheating told their partner about it.
Cheating can lead to hurried or unanticipated sexual encounters, and a disturbing number of people do not use protection while cheating. Only about 60 percent of men and 58 percent of women did so, along with 64 percent of individuals who identified as "in a relationship." Even worse, 60 percent of married cheaters did not wear protection during their acts of infidelity.
Why are cheaters admitting to their infidelity if it frequently leads to breakups? Our survey of 441 cheaters suggests that guilt was the greatest driving factor. Still, less than half of respondents cited this as a motivating reason for admitting their cheating, while nearly 40 percent said they "weren't happy and needed to [let their partners] know" or "thought [their partner] had the right to know." Men were more likely to admit to cheating over feelings of guilt than women, who tended to admit it in the event that they were not happy with the relationship.
The survey said 61 percent of marriages and 47.5 percent of relationships implemented rules after the cheating incident, such as letting one partner look through the other's phone (55.7 percent), avoiding certain friends (48.5 percent), putting limitations on going out (43.3 percent), allowing one partner to access the other's social media (39.2 percent), and ending the other relationship (30.9 percent).
These rules varied somewhat among genders — male cheaters were more likely to have limitations put on going out or sex withheld from them, while women cheaters were more likely to have their phones monitored or avoid hanging out with friends.
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