You say your “I dos,” you excitedly build a life together, you have children, you buy a house, you go to work, and then the unimaginable happens. You find out that your spouse has cheated on you.

The life you built comes crashing down. You feel shattered, broken, and betrayed. Sometimes it even feels like there’s such a weight on your chest that you can’t breathe. You wonder, What is wrong with me?

Marriage is supposed to be forever. In front of God, your family, and your friends, that is what you promised. You ask yourself if you can get past this, if you can ever trust your spouse again. You wonder, Do I even want to? It all feels unbearably hard and overwhelming.

Who Cheats and Why?

old wedding picture black and whiteThe Institute for Family Studies reports, “In general, men are more likely than women to cheat: 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they’ve had sex with someone other than their spouse while married.”

It also claims:

“A person’s political identity, family background, and religious activity are also related to whether or not they cheat. Overall, Democrats, adults who didn’t grow up in intact families, and those who rarely or never attend religious services are more likely than others to have cheated on their spouse. For example, 15% of adults who grew up with both biological parents have cheated on their spouse before, compared with 18% of those who didn’t grow up in intact families.”

These statistics paint a sad picture. Studies done over the last decade report that infidelity affects roughly 20-25% of marriages. The reasons both men and women give for cheating are as varied and numerous as there are people on this Earth. Some cheat because they couldn’t resist the temptation. Others cheat because they have an addiction to sex. Some cheat because they’re angry at their spouse. Some cheat because they don’t feel valued or wanted at home. The list goes on and on. ….