How Common is Cheating in the UK? All The Stats & Facts

As the years have passed, and as technology and society have evolved, has the UK seen a shift in the frequency and nature of infidelity? 

With a plethora of movies, literature, and tabloids dedicated to the topic, one might wonder if the narrative mirrors the reality. So, if you’re wondering how common is cheating, then this is the article for you. 

In this in-depth dive, we aim to uncover the contemporary state of affairs quite literally. 

Is Cheating Common in the UK?

It may surprise you to learn that cheating is quite common in the UK; in fact, statistics show us that 18-20% of married couples experience infidelity at some point in their relationships.[1] 

For some people, cheating people on their partner can be a result of unmet needs or even just boredom in the relationship, which can be difficult for both parties. 

Of course, it is impossible to say exactly the reasons someone cheats on their partner as each relationship is unique and each has its own issues.  


UK Cheating Statistics in 2023

In this next section of the article, we will go over some of the cheating statistics of people in the UK. 

Although we all know that cheating happens frequently, you may be surprised at some of the statistics! 

Men who have cheated more than once67% [1]
Women who have cheated more than once53% [1]
Men who admitted to having a one-night stand72% [1]
Women who admitted to having a one-night stand 53% [1]
How many times a month people search for ‘affair website590 [3]
Women who have affairs with colleagues38.8% [2]
Men who have affairs with colleagues30.7% [2]
How many times a month people search for ‘how to have an affair’480 [3]
How many times a month people search for ‘affair with a married man’400 [3]
Women who engage in cyber sex40% [1]
Men who engage in cyber sex30% [1]
Married men who have committed adultery at least once25.4% [2]

How Many People Stay Together After Cheating?

You may be surprised to hear that infidelity does not always lead to divorce or a break-up. In fact, the statistics show us that around 53% of marriages [4] that have experienced infidelity are able to recover after working through the issues. 

Because infidelity often stems from pre-existing marital issues, oftentimes, couples are able to easily break down the root cause of the issue, which means they more easily work to build the relationship

Once all the problems are out in the open, it allows couples to be much more open and honest with each other, which, in turn, can rebuild trust in the relationship.


How Many Relationships End After Infidelity?

Having made the above point, it is important to note that not all relationships can reconcile after infidelity. 

Statistics suggest that 57% [4] of marriages that experience infidelity do end in divorce. This shows that, in many cases, once the trust has been broken, many people find it hard to recover. 

This is why people must have open and honest communication in their relationships; there is no way to get through marital issues if you refuse to communicate. So, if something is bothering you or you feel like your needs aren’t being met, speak up.  

How Many People Get Away With Cheating?

It can be tricky to tell just how many people get away with cheating because, often, they won’t admit to it! If someone knows how not to get caught, then they are more likely to continue to cheat because there is no real threat. 

However, given the fact that 1 in 5 Brits [3] have had an affair, we can come to the conclusion that quite a lot of people get away with cheating. 

Cheating is not always a long-term love affair, and it could be a random, drunk one-night stand, which can be pretty easy to get away with. 


What is the Science Behind Cheating?

Believe it or not, there is actually some science behind why people cheat. 

Research published in The Journal of Sex Research found that the number one reason for infidelity is ‘lack of love’.

This feeling of not being emotionally or physically connected to your partner anymore can lead to infidelity as you are trying to seek that connection elsewhere. In the survey of 495 adults, the data showed that for 70% of the participants, the reason they cheated was because they felt neglected in their relationship. 

This neglect could be emotionally, physically, or even both. [5]


What Are the Effects of Cheating?

As we have seen through the above statistics, cheating in a relationship can go either way; sometimes, it’s an opportunity to rebuild a once-loving relationship, and other times, it is a sign that two people are not meant to be together. 

Cheating can be extremely complex, and it is not always black and white, but there are some common effects that couples will feel after experiencing infidelity in their relationship. 

Let’s go over a few of those effects. 

Loss of Trust

Infidelity is one of the most substantial breaks of trust in a relationship. The deceived partner often grapples with questions like,” Why wasn’t I enough?”, “How did I not see this?” and “Will it happen again?” 

This shattered trust affects not only the way they view their partner but often how they view others outside of the relationship.  


Emotional Distress

Cheating can trigger a profound emotional upheaval. The cheated-on partner may experience a barrage of feelings, from anger and betrayal to sadness and confusion. 

These emotions can be so overwhelming that they manifest physical symptoms like sleep disturbances. 

Personal Growth and Self-awareness

While infidelity undeniably causes pain, it can also serve as a catalyst for profound personal growth and introspection. People often re-evaluate what they want from relationships and what they offer as a partner. They might become more attuned to their emotional needs, values, and boundaries. 

The situation may push individuals to seek therapy or counselling, encouraging a deeper self-awareness and understanding of their behaviours or choices. 

For some, experiencing or committing infidelity can be a turning point, prompting them to address personal issues they’ve long neglected, be it low self-esteem, fear of commitment, or unresolved traumas.


Strengthened Relationship Bonds

Paradoxically, while cheating can break relationships, it can also – in certain circumstances – make bonds stronger

Some couples, when faced with the aftermath of infidelity, choose to confront not just the act itself but also the underlying issues that may have contributed to the affair. This could be unresolved conflicts, communication breakdowns, or drifting intimacy. 

With the help of therapy or couples counselling, these couples work through their problems, learn to communicate more openly and understand each other’s needs and emotions better. 

The process of rebuilding trust and intimacy can, for some couples, result in a relationship that’s deeper, more honest, and more resilient

The Bottom Line

It is clear that infidelity is a multifaceted issue, one that weaves a complex tapestry of emotions, reactions, and consequences. 

As we’ve explored, cheating can shatter trust, plunge individuals into deep emotional turmoil, yet also pave the way for personal growth and even, in some cases, strengthen relational bonds. 


What Percentage of Marriages End in Cheating?

The statistics have shown us that in marriages where one person has been caught cheating, 57% of them end in divorce.[4] Not everyone is able to rebuild that trust once it has been broken, and it is easy to see why. 

How Common is it for Cheaters to Get Caught?

It is fairly common for cheaters to get caught. Whether it’s a long-term affair or a simple one-night stand, getting caught is a lot easier than you think. After engaging in infidelity, most people feel guilty, which can be easily spotted by their spouse. 

What Percentage of Marriages Make it Through Cheating?

53% of marriages that have experienced infidelity make it through the other side. [4] While that may seem like a big number, that doesn’t mean that recovering from infidelity is easy. It took a huge amount of work to rebuild that trust and get to a happy place again.

Is Cheating Common in Long Marriages?

Within marriages, studies [2] have found that 25.4% of men and 18.3% of women have committed adultery at least once. This shows that cheating is fairly common within marriages







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