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Karen and Moira were having cocktails one Friday evening when Karen confided in Moira that a good friend of theirs was having an affair with her boss. “It seems like everyone I know is having sex with everyone except their spouse” Karen quipped. “Really?” Moira said, confused. “Up until now, I didn’t know a single person who’d had affair. How am I missing all this?”
Getting a handle on cheating statistics isn’t easy because, unsurprisingly, not everyone in an affair is going to admit to it. However, there are some verified numbers that speak to the shocking frequency of infidelity in Canada and across the United States. Studies by Ipsos and by the US General Social Survey reveal that anywhere between 10 and 25% of adults admit to having had sex with someone other than their spouse. Mind you, this is only the people who were willing to admit on the record that they’d committed adultery; the real number is likely considerably higher (take the number of accounts on the infamous cheating website Ashley Madison as an indication!).
The website Truth About Deception maintains a poll that is updated daily, tallying the responses of over 94,000 anonymous respondents. The results help us garner insight into the breakdown of cheaters. As of September 2021, here is what the numbers reveal:
- 7% of female respondents have cheated on someone their spouse knows, compared to 22.2% of men
- 7% of females named relationship issues as the cause of the infidelity, compared to 48.1% of males
- Females are twice as likely as men to cheat to get even with a spouse
- 10% more women than men admitted to engaging in cybersex (chatting sexually with someone other than their spouse)
- 9% of men confessed to cheating on their spouse more than once, compared to 53% of women.
For some, these figures may come as a surprise; although statistically men still cheat more than women, the numbers are certainly shifting over time, with infidelity gender patterns becoming harder to predict. Another factor expected to impact rates of infidelity is the nationwide cultural shift as we emerge from the depths of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The Post-Pandemic Normal & The Expected Rise in Workplace Cheating
In late summer 2021, amid increasing vaccination rates, more people are getting back to bars and restaurants after a long period of being isolated with their spouses. Some are shifting back into an in-office working environment and reuniting with coworkers they haven’t seen in over a year. Temptation is everywhere, and now that we’re not expected to be at home all the time, opportunities to stray are plentiful. In this climate, industry experts are confident that cheating rates will inevitably climb.
In a recent study, 58% of survey participants revealed they had engaged in “a relationship” with a coworker. Even if you subtract affairs that stopped short of sex, that’s still a high percentage. There are a few reasons why these workplace affairs are so common, and these factors are expected to be intensified after more than a year hiatus from the office environment:
- The Mere Exposure Effect: Psychology research show that the more you see someone, the more you like them, and in a physical office, you see your coworkers a lot.
- Unavoidable Physical Closeness: Ever try to show someone something on your laptop screen without being right in their face? The office tends to present a number of opportunities to get closer than you would in many other public and private settings.
- The Thrill of Secrecy: Since you have to conceal them from both your partner and coworkers, workplace affairs can feel more exciting.
- Shared Experiences: People who work together go through the same crises and successes; these shared experiences bring them closer together.
- Work-Specific Communication Channels: Most companies have email accounts for their employees that their spouse doesn’t have access to, and some even have internal social networking sites. Many employees also have a separate cell phone for work.
- A Common Purpose: Coworkers share common goals, work together intensely, and come to identify with other members of the same team. These commonalities can lead to strong bonds.
- Workplace Emergencies or Urgent Projects: These can make people forget the boundaries they normally maintain at work as they scramble to avoid a potential disaster.
- Someone to Talk to: If they have problems outside work, people will often confide in a coworker, and this increases their emotional intimacy. It can even be easier to talk to a coworker because they’re not involved with those problems, just like it’s easier to talk about work problems with people you don’t work with.
- Compartmentalizing: Because they can separate their home life from their work life, it’s easier for people to justify an affair that’s confined to the workplace.
- Office Parties, Work Trips, and Work Conferences: These activities blend business and social spheres, and present ideal opportunities for people to start a relationship, or for existing relationships to intensify (especially if there’s alcohol involved).
What to do if You Suspect Your Partner is Cheating
We advise our clients to remember that these are uncertain waters that we’re treading; none of us are sure about what the “new post-pandemic normal” looks like, so there will be short and long-term changes in all our routines. Your best guide is your intuition—if you feel like there’s something wrong, you can and should deal with it in the way that you think is best. This could be as simple as getting reassurance from your partner or talking to a friend about your concerns.
However, if you can’t shake that gut feeling and you’re longing for more clarity, we are here to help. The Infidelity Investigations team at Star Quality Private Investigations has the skills, state-of-the-art tools, and unparalleled experience to secure answers and evidence discreetly and legally. With a long-standing reputation as Toronto’s Premiere Private Investigation Agency, we have the experience and expertise to obtain professional, high-quality evidence through covert undercover surveillance, exposing office affairs in the fastest, most cost-effective manner. Because you don’t have to break the bank for the peace of mind that you deserve.
Call us today for a free consultation and let the Star Quality Private Investigations Toronto team help expose the facts behind your cheating spouse suspicions.
Ipsos survey on infidelity: https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/marital-infidelity
General Social Survey data on infidelity: https://ifstudies.org/blog/who-cheats-more-the-demographics-of-cheating-in-america
Prevalence of office romances: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2019/02/14/these-6-surprising-office-romance-stats-should-be-a-wake-up-call-to-organizations/?sh=710eda1723a2