A recent survey aims to find out who cheats, and why. 

Right now in Japan, dramas about affairs and cheating relationships are trending among TV viewers. People are hooked on stories about messy love-hate relationships, roller-coaster affairs ending in true love, and the drama of a secret relationship come to light.

Affairs seem to happen a lot on TV in Japan, but are they representative of real life? A survey conducted by Japanese company Love Is All, whose goal is to support women in Japan and across the world in business, relationships, and life, aimed to find out.

They surveyed 1,966 men and women from across the country who have children and are between the ages of 35 and 45 about their extramarital affairs. As it turns out, nearly a quarter of men and a fifth of women admitted to having cheated on their spouse.

In answer to the question, “Have you had an affair or cheated since getting married?” 16.6 percent of men answered said “I previously had an affair” and 7.8 percent said “I am currently having an affair.” As for women, 12.3 percent said they had an affair in the past, while 4.8 percent said they’re currently having an affair. In contrast, 77.1 percent of men and 83.6 percent of women said they’d never had an extramarital affair.

Next, the respondents were asked, “What is the main reason you had/are having an affair?” Here is where the answers were more starkly divided among the gender lines. The most common reason for men was “I wanted to fulfil my desire for sex,” which was selected by 33.6 percent.

After that, the reasons for men to have an affair had much lower response rates. The next most popular answers were, “I wanted some stimulation” (14 percent), “I fell in love with the other person” (13.1 percent), and “My relationship with my spouse wasn’t good” (13.1 percent). With nearly half the answers involving sex or excitement, however, some might conclude that these men cheat out of impulse, rather than for emotional reasons. 

Women, however, seemed to cheat because they craved emotional intimacy. More than half of the women in the survey cited reasons involving love, their marriage, or their emotional state, including, “I fell in love with the other person” (19 percent), “I wanted to be comforted/I was lonely” (12.3 percent), “My relationship with my spouse wasn’t good” (12.3 percent), and “My married life was stuck in a rut” (10.4 percent).

Interestingly, having an affair doesn’t actually mean that these people want to leave their partners. The respondents who answered that they had an affair were further asked “Do you want to divorce your spouse?”, and 63.8 percent of the men and 55.9 percent of the women said either “I don’t want to get divorced” or “I’d rather not get divorced if possible,” with a further 7.9 percent of men and 10.4 percent of women saying “I’d like to work on our marriage.” Only 8.3 percent of men and 13.5 percent of women said definitively, “I want to get divorced.”

Finally, respondents were asked “How did the affair start?” For both men (42.4 percent) and women (41.7 percent), the overwhelmingly common answer was “At the workplace/related to work.” With a minimum of eight hours a day away at work and after work socializing a common requirement among Japanese companies, it’s no surprise that someone could develop a deeper connection with a person they work with, married or not.

After that, popular answers were “Romance apps and social media” (15.3 percent for both men and women) and “From a friend or acquaintance” (15.3 percent of men and 12 percent of women). Some people even met at social gatherings for hobbies and interests (11.4 percent for men and 6.4 percent for women), and for some women, reuniting with their exes was the stimulus (9.8 percent).

While a little less than 2,000 married people between the ages of 35-45 with children is not completely representative of the entire committed population of Japan, the results of the survey are quite interesting. It seems to show that to keep marriage working–and the partners faithful–dedicated effort to both physical and emotional intimacy by both parties is essential.

However, the key to this survey is that the respondents questioned were married individuals with children. What we’d want to know next is, what about married couples in this age range without children? Are the rates of cheating lower–and if so, is the added stress of raising children what causes people to seek physical and/or emotional intimacy outside of their marriage?

Either way, though most of these respondents said they didn’t want to get divorced, their spouses might think otherwise, and if they get caught, they might lose more than their relationship. Hopefully the end result doesn’t end in disaster!

Source: ValuePress
Top image: ValuePress
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)

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