While some relationships that start as affairs MAY be able to overcome the challenges and difficulties that arise as a result of the affair, the vast majority do not survive.
Only 5 to 7% of affair relationships lead to marriage and of those, approximately 75% end in divorce. So if we assume only 25% of the initial 7% last, this means that less than 2% turn into long-lasting marriages.
You may be wondering why the success rate is so low. It is important to realize that affairs often start in a secretive and dishonest way, which creates a foundation for trust issues and other challenges in the relationship. In addition, relationships that start as affairs may be viewed as taboo or stigmatized by society, which can create additional difficulties and stress for the couple.
In general, infidelity is widely viewed as a violation of trust and a breach of commitment in a relationship, and it is often seen as a serious transgression that can have significant consequences for the people involved. In a recent poll on marital infidelity from the Survey Center on American Life, the majority of Americans feel adultery is morally wrong. Interestingly, people's views depended largely on whether the spouse who strays is male or female.
“Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Americans say that when a man has an affair it is always morally wrong. Fewer Americans (55%) say it is always morally wrong when a woman has an extramarital affair. Seventy percent of women say that a married man who has an affair is always morally wrong, while fewer (56%) say the same when married women have relationships outside their marriage,” according to the Survey Center on American Life. This suggests there is a significant double standard based on gender in public perception.
If a relationship that starts as an affair is to have a chance at lasting, it is important for both parties to be honest and open with each other, to work through any trust issues that may have arisen, and to address any other challenges that may arise in the relationship. It is also critical for the couple to seek the support of a therapist or counselor, who can provide guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of their new relationship. These challenges are especially significant if children are involved.
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