The 3 Different Ages When People Are Most Likely To Cheat

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Age isn't always a factor when it comes to whether or not someone will have an affair. But according to a recent survey from Ashley Madison, a married-dating website, there may be three age ranges when cheating is most likely to happen. This information was pulled from 2,099 of its members, which were divided into different age brackets: 18 and under, 19 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 and older.

Men typically sign up for Ashley Madison when they're 36, and women when they're 33. And according to Isabella Mise, director of communications for Ashley Madison, one of the top reasons why is unmet expectations within their relationship.

“Our members often tell us that marriage isn’t all that they thought it would be, and after the honeymoon fades and kids come into the picture, things shift," Mise said in a press release. "The relationship becomes less about passion and sex between the couple and more about the everyday life of the family unit."

Of course, unmet expectations and marital problems don't always lead to an affair, but these issues can justify it for some, as it can serve as a distraction or a way to relieve stress. Read on below for some more reasons why these folks might turn to an affair, as well as the ages it's most likely to happen, according to Ashley Madison.

1. Ages 30 to 39 – 32%

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Out of the 2,099 people surveyed, 32 percent of them said they had their first affair between the ages of 30 and 39. With the average age of marriage being 28, Mise said "this data shows us that it’s not that long after getting married that people first think about straying from their marriage."

Again, both women and men typically register on Ashley Madison while in their 30s, so it makes sense why this age group would take the top spot. This is also a time when the shine of marriage may start to fade, leading to a desire to cheat.

It's important to remember, though, that an affair isn't the best way to handle frustration or disappointment. Assuming the couple agreed to be monogamous, marriage counseling would be a better bet, as a way to smooth over any unmet expectations, and other issues that can make an affair seem like a good idea.

2. Ages 19 to 29 – 28%

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According to Ashley Madison, folks that fell within the age range of 19 to 29 were the next most likely to cheat, with 28 percent of those surveyed saying they had their first affair during this decade.

“Our expectations about marriage and who our partner will be and how they will act after marriage can lead to disappointment early on,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex and relationship therapist and author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity, said in the press release. Which is, again, one reason why some people may choose to cheat.

Couples should keep in mind, though, that counseling can be a huge help, as well as communication. If they're both willing to point out problems early on, voice their concerns, and set up healthier boundaries, the relationship doesn't have to end in an affair.

3. Ages 40 to 49 – 24%

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Coming in at 24 percent, people ages 40 to 49 were the next most likely to cheat on their partner, according to the survey. And while it's anyone's guess as to the personal reasons for each individual, Ashley Madison noted it could be due to the stress many people experience in a marriage.

“When couples realize how challenging marriage can be, particularly after the kids come along, they are sometimes surprised at how it affects their feelings for one another," Dr. Nelson said. "More people cheat after the kids come along, maybe because they long for the perfect partner, or they remember who they themselves were before they had children and the responsibilities of a family, and an affair helps them to forget, at least for a while.”

While it may make sense in the moment, an affair can have devastating effects on a relationship if it's done behind a partner's back. Every relationship is different when it comes to these things, but couples should keep in mind all the other options when it comes to improving a relationship, relieving stress, and sorting out problems. Communication is key, keeping the spark alive helps, and so does going to therapy, where they can learn how to work out their problems, and build a stronger relationship.