New results released from the Office of National Statistics show adultery cited in UK divorces has halved over the last 30 years. In 1981 the number of divorces granted to one sole party for adultery stood at 34%, three decades on this stands at less than half at 15%.
One of the biggest advancements over the three decades is the Internet. Married dating websites have had a huge impact on the realm of affairs; dalliances can now be conducted with like-minded members from all across the country, as opposed to a neighbour or colleague, a scenario far more likely to be aired. These websites argue that the numbers of those cheating hasn’t decreased: rather Brits have adapted their pursuit of an affair to be more discreet.
Leading marital affairs website AshleyMadison.com, launched in February 2002, have 17 million members worldwide and 730,000 members in the UK; they have watched a steady increase in the rate of sign ups over the 10 years.
AshleyMadison.com Founder and CEO Noel Biderman says: “As we know from the number of our members growing, cheating is not decreasing – it’s as rife as ever. Human nature hasn’t transformed, our technology has, and with it the nation’s cheating has become significantly more savvy.”
The most recent ONS statistics also reveal the number of divorces in the UK decreased by 1.9% in 2011 to 129,763 compared with 132,338 in 2010. In fact 2011 saw 10.8 people divorced per thousand married population compared with 12.9 in 2001.
According to Noel Biderman, discreet affairs frequently save marriages:
“It’s a bold statement but I believe this reduction of divorces over the past decade is partly due to the amount of successful affairs that have been taking place. The perfect affair has two key ingredients – meeting someone and not getting caught. I would venture to say that infidelity sites like our own have greatly increased the number of successful affairs and as a result the number of people who have stayed within their marriage”
In fact a recent AshleyMadison.com survey conducted with 123,000 of their active members revealed that 88% of men and 91% of women have an affair in order to save their marriage.