Skip to Content

17 Surprising Infidelity Recovery Statistics You May Not Know

Being cheated on deals a devastating blow to your marriage. But it happens. And when it does, people often take comfort in knowing how many others have made it through and saved their marriages. So here are the infidelity recovery statistics.

Even the strongest relationships can get rocked by infidelity and many won’t survive. That doesn’t, however, have to spell certain doom for your relationship.

You can take your troubled relationship and make it great again!

I know because my marriage went through this too. It just takes, time, effort, patience, and understanding.

Today, we’re setting aside opinion and heat-of-the-moment anger. Those feelings are natural, but they can make it hard to look objectively at our marriages and decide if they are worth keeping.

No, in this post, we’re diving deep into all the infidelity recovery statistics. That way you know the odds of your marriage surviving.

Then on top of that, we’ll look at the absolute best strategies for helping you save your marriage, whether you were cheated on or are the cheater.


infidelity recovery statistics young man with one hand behind his back with fingers crossed Middle Class Dad

What percentage of marriages end in divorce due to infidelity?

In looking at the statistics, we see the following regarding how infidelity factors into divorce:

  • 10-15% of women cheat on their spouses
  • 20-25% of men cheat on their spouses
  • However, with millennials, 12.9% of women have cheated
  • 15.9% of millennial men reported cheating
  • 42% of divorced people cheated on their former spouse multiple times
  • Only 31% of those polled in a recent Gallup poll said they would try and save their marriage after their spouse cheated
  • But actually, between 60-75% of couples stay together after an affair is discovered
  • Between 20-40% of divorces cite infidelity as the primary reason for divorce

While overall, lack of commitment is cited most by divorcing couples, infidelity does come in at #2 for the reasons for divorce according to the National Institutes of Health.

You CAN save your marriage (click to watch a free video at Marriage Fitness) — even if your spouse says that they want a divorce. You CAN rebuild that passion you felt for one another when you first kissed.

And you can bring back that love and devotion you felt for one another when both of you said, “I love you” for the first time.

Some infidelity recovery statistics data courtesy of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Other data courtesy of the book Intimacy After Infidelity: How to Rebuild and Affair-Proof Your Marriage by Steven Solomon & Lorie Teagno.

infidelity recovery statistics cheating gender gap by age infographic Middle Class Dad

How do you fix a relationship after cheating?

When someone cheats on their spouse, it deals a terrible blow to them.

It can decimate self-esteem and feelings of self-worth and even though the spouse is angry, that is often masking pain and fear.

There are a number of steps that must be taken after someone cheats in order for the relationship to survive and not just be another of the infidelity recovery statistics:

  • The cheater needs to come completely clean
  • Make sure to not try and justify the cheating whatsoever; there is no excuse
  • The cheater needs to become completely transparent; share email & social passwords and check in frequently when not at home or work
  • The spouse who was cheated on needs to feel safe in venting their anger & frustration without fear of reprisal
  • The cheater needs to cut off all contact with the 3rd person; even if that means changing jobs or getting a new phone #

In one of my most popular marriage posts about how to Save a Marriage After Infidelity (click to read on my site), I go into much greater detail about the steps my marriage went through in working through this very issue. I highly recommend you take a moment to review it.

Can a marriage survive infidelity — and should it?

Marriages can survive almost any mistake that either party makes; even infidelity.

There are, however, a few questions worth asking if you were cheated on to help determine if saving your marriage is worth it:

  • Did your spouse admit the affair to you, or did you discover it?
  • If you discovered it, were they then completely honest?
  • Once discovered, did the cheater cut off all ties with the 3rd person
  • Did the cheater try and justify the cheating or blame you?

You can see from those infidelity recovery statistics questions, that in some cases, it may not be worth the effort trying to save your marriage.

You see, while I am a firm believer that it takes 2 to make or break a marriage, there is no excuse or justification for cheating. If the cheater isn’t willing to be 100% honest and accountable for their actions, there is a much greater likelihood they will cheat again.

But, if your spouse owns their actions completely and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it right, it’s definitely worth the effort to save your marriage.

You could well find that your marriage comes out better than ever in the end.

If you find yourself in a marriage that isn’t what it used to be, check out my most popular relationship post which covers all you need to know about how to Rekindle Your Marriage (click to read on my site).

infidelity recovery statistics demographics of cheating in America infographic Middle Class Dad

How can infidelity affect a divorce?

If you have already decided the relationship isn’t worth saving, it’s probably a good time to contact a divorce attorney.

That being said, the only winners in an ugly divorce are typically the lawyers. So if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement, especially if kids are involved, it’s a much better route to go to split up amicably.

Infidelity is one of the longest-running Reasons for Divorce (click to see them all in my article). Even today, adultery is punishable by death in many countries in the Middle Eastern part of the world.

Believe it or not, but in the United States, many states also list infidelity as a crime. That being said, prosecution is very rare in the US and civil suits are rarely successful.

While you can certainly try and “catch” your spouse in the act of cheating, proof of infidelity is no longer needed for a judge to grant a divorce. Thus many simply choose to cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason to keep the process moving and civil.

Adultery usually has no impact on child custody decisions or child support payments unless it can be proven that the affair directly and negatively impacted the children. But that rarely happens and the devastating effect divorce has on kids is not usually worth going that route unless you genuinely believe the children are not safe with your soon-to-be-ex.

If the cheating spouse spent exorbitant amounts of money on the affair, that can sometimes be recovered in divorce under a legal concept called dissipation. In the United States, while laws vary greatly from state to state, infidelity can definitely have an impact on alimony payments.

So again, check with an attorney to see what the laws are in your state. But in your anger, don’t lose sight of what is best for any children involved.

What are the . . . 

17 Astonishing Infidelity Recovery Statistics You Probably Didn’t Know?

1. As many as 70% of couples stay together after an affair is discovered

2. However, cheating more than doubles the chances the marriage will end in divorce

3. Couples have a 25% better chance of staying married when neither partner cheats

4. It takes couples, on average, between 1-2 years to recover from the effects of an affair

5. When the spouse who was cheated on postpones leaving, there is a much greater chance the marriage will survive

6. The more commitments a couple has (kids, house, long history together) the greater the likelihood they will stay together

7. Despite how it is sometimes portrayed, men who cheat only leave their wives for the mistress 3% of the time

8. When that 3% of men do marry their mistress, a whopping 75% of them end up divorcing

9. Young men are more likely to cheat if their wives make significantly more money than they do

10. However, with women, the more they are, the less likely they are to cheat

11. Cheating is 6% more likely in adults 55 and older

12. Most infidelity occurs after 20-30 years of marriage

13. Younger people and older people are less likely to divorce after an affair than those in their 50’s and 60’s

14. 2-3% of all children are the result of cheating and these kids are usually raised by men who don’t know they aren’t the biological father

15. 36% of cheaters have affairs with co-workers (thus finding a new job can be key to recovery)

16. When women suspect their husband is cheating they are right 85% of the time

17. However, when men suspect their wife is cheating they are right only 50% of the time

Final thoughts

In this post, we took a hard look at the devasting effects of cheating on relationships.

Whether you are the cheater or have been cheated on, you know the chance of your relationship surviving just got a lot smaller.

However, that doesn’t have to mean it’s over. Your relationship can survive cheating and my tips can help (I know because they worked in my marriage).

Specifically, we reviewed all the top infidelity recovery statistics so you know exactly what your chances are and what strategies to avoid in trying to save your relationship.

If you like this post, please follow my Save Your Marriage board on Pinterest for more great tips from myself and top relationship experts!

Additional infidelity recovery statistics references for quotes and data cited:

Licensed marriage therapist David Klow of Skylight Counseling Center in Chicago

Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D.

Some infidelity recovery statistics data courtesy of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, psychologist Jan Harper, author of the book Quiet Desperation: The Truth About Successful Men, Dr. Frank Pittman, author of the book Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy, the book Finding Peace When Your Heart Is In Pieces: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Other Side of Grief, Loss, and Pain by Dr. Paul Coleman, The University of Chicago, Wendy Wang, director of research at the Institute for Family Studies and a former senior researcher at Pew Research Center, divorcestatistics.infoand also the American Psychological Association.

Jeff Campbell