I have just come across clarification on a statistic I cited in “Can Relationships That Start as Affairs Succeed?” In that post I stated that 25% of relationships that start as affairs succeed. I always thought that sounded a bit high. Recently this figure has been clarified by Frank Pittman. In the study he is citing, the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75%. Information is not available about the quality of the 25% of marriages that did not end in divorce. The study did provide information on the reasons that the marriages ended…
Why So Many Divorces?
Five reasons were cited for the high divorce rate.
Affairs relationships are usually protected from the stresses of everyday life. In fact, they can frequently be experienced as escapes from these stressors. Once every day reality intrudes, the relationship becomes much more difficult.
Guilt about the affair undermines the foundation of the relationship.
Lovers can develop unrealistic expectations about each other based on the “honeymoon” experience of their affair.
The partner who went outside of his or her own marriage is now not really trusted by the new partner.
Either or both partners can hold a distrust of marriage in general.
How Often do Those Who Divorce Marry Their Affair Partner?
Jan Halper conducted a study of male high achievers (executives, entrepreneurs, professionals) and found that only 3% of the 4,100 men surveyed who had affairs eventually married their lovers.
Unfortunately, this is the only survey available on this topic.