Recent data from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia confirms something we already knew; the divorce rate is at its lowest point since the early 1970s in the current weakened economy. But the Project also reports something we didn’t know as well, that the research shows that levels of infidelity haven’t increased in the last two decades and overall infidelity is declining in the United States.
Using the previous two decades as yardsticks shows an imperceptible decline in cases of reported infidelity from the 90′s to the 2000′s. In the 1990s, 22% of men had affairs and by the 2000s it dropped to 21%. In the 1990s, 14% of married women reported affairs with the same number reported in the 2000s.
In comparison, among those currently married in the 2000s, 16% of men reported infidelities while just 10% of women admitted same. The Project also showed that the number of both men and women who thought infidelity was admittedly wrong also rose significantly in the last decade, with both groups experiencing increases of over 10%.
It appears the effects of a weak job market and weak spending are perhaps more far reaching than previously thought. With both infidelity rates and subsequent divorce rates in a lull, it looks like people are more willing to overlook problems and put up with relationship faults while cash is in short supply.