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Facts on Affairs From Dr. Lana Staheli's 'Affair-Proof your Marriage'

There are 2 primary types of affairs-sex affairs and love affairs. Sex affairs don't always end marriages but love affairs usually do. Extramarital relationships exist in every world culture throughout human history. Estimates on the percentage of marriages touched by an affair ranges from 25% - 70%.

  • The best predictor of an affair is opportunity. Those who travel, those who work, and, of course, those desperate housewives.

  • Upper middle-income men and women have the highest number of sexual partners.

  • Women are now just as likely as men to have an affair

  • The "in love" feeling is a primary biological process. We are built to mate and mate again. These drives are among the most powerful in our biological makeup.

  • During the "in love" stage of a relationship, there is a highly elevated amphetamine level triggered by the brains instinctive drives.

  • The "in love" stage lasts from weeks to a maximum of 2-3 years, then the brain triggers the release of an endorphin called oxytocin, a cuddle chemical. Oxytocin is pleasant, but it is does not offer the trills of the amphetamines. When biological forces are triggered they trump reason. Looking at recent functional MRI's of the brain, during periods of acute desires, like an affair, the brain signals bypass the neo-cortex (thinking part) of the brain. So if you ask your spouse what they were thinking and they say "Nothing" or "I don't know," it is probably true. They were not thinking.

  • Nearly 80% of people we interview who divorced during an affair were sorry later. Only 10% of those who married the person with whom they had the affair were still married 20 years later. Most divorced in the first 10 years.

  • Most people do not plan on being in a love affair, it just happens, they say. Most feel bad (guilty) about it.

  • Most spouses know when an affair is beginning but don't want to believe it.

  • Affairs can make a marriage stronger, if the man has the affair, women work harder to repair the marriage.

  • Love affairs usually spell the end of the marriage if the woman has the affair.

* NOTICE: * Any advice provided here represent the opionions and research of the writer and are for informational purposes only. For guidance relating to your specific needs, contact a professional.
About the Author:

Lana Staheli, Ph.D. is a certified Counselor and a Consultant and expert on interpersonal relationships and life strategies, and has had a successful private counseling practice for over 30 years. She is the Co-founder and Vice President of the Global-HELP Organization, has authored three successful relationship books, and has been featured in and been quoted in many substantial publications and networks, including Washington Post, MSNBC, and, and has been a guest on several television talk shows.
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