Long ago Demosthenes had written: "We keep prostitutes for pleasure; we keep
mistresses for the day to day needs of the body; we keep wives for the begetting of
children and for the faithful guardianship of our homes. So long as a man supported his
wife and family there was no shame whatsoever in extra- marital affairs."
C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 62.
I am steadfastly for monogamy. Adultery is almost certainly going to make a dent in
trust and intimacy, and in many cases I've known, it has destroyed them altogether. A
woman who is conducting a secret affair has to become deliberately deceitful...like a CIA
agent or spy. She can't just come home and spill forth the events of her day. She's got to
think, What can I safely talk about, and what have I got to keep to myself? So even when
the infidelity isn't discovered, it changes who you are. A person goes from being a
candid, open human being to a secretive, hidden one.
Bernie Zilbergeld, Homemade, November, 1989.
Hite of Folly. Sensationalistic sex surveys suffered further damage with the release of
new research on the fidelity of American spouses. According to a new study by Tom W. Smith
of the National Opinion Research Center, roughly 15 percent of married or previously
married Americans have committed adultery. The results largely agree with the 1987 ABC
News/Washington Post poll that found 89 percent of spouses faithful. Pop culture gurus
Kinsey (37 percent of men), Joyce Brothers (50 percent of women), and Shire Hite (75
percent of women married 5 years) have stoked reports of rampant infidelity.
Research Council, Washington Watch, October 29, 1993, p. 2.
The sexual revolution notwithstanding, nearly all married couples are monogamous, two
new sex surveys say. A university of Washington, Seattle, study in October's American
Journal of Public Health found 94 percent of married couples had one partner in the
previous year. Likewise, a survey by the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago
determined that only about 4 percent of married people had sexual partners other than
their spouse during a one-year span. Overall, infidelity has been practiced by only 21
percent of men and 13 percent of women, according to the survey. The studies dispute data
by such investigators as the Kinsey Institute of Sex Research and author Shere Hite, who
have suggested anywhere from one-third to three-fourths of married couples cheat on their
mates. "There probably are more scientifically worthless 'facts' on extramarital
relations than any other facet of human behavior," says Tom W. Smith of the National
Opinion Research Center. Smith says adultery is more prevalent among younger people, urban
dwellers, and unchurched, and the previously divorced.
Christianity Today, November 22,
1993, p. 42.
A large majority of men--married and single--say they wouldn't have an affair, even if
they were certain their loved one would never find out, says a Gallup poll commissioned by
Self magazine, in the June (1992) issue. Of 500 men surveyed, 67% of married men and 60%
of unmarried men say an affair is absolutely out of the question. Only 5% of married men
and 11% of unmarried men would do it (the rest said maybe). Also, 95% of married men say
they wouldn't drop their partner for a trophy wife if they became extremely successful or
U.S.A. Today, May 26, 1992, p. D1.
The major factor contributing to extramarital relationships is physical and emotional
attraction (78 percent), far outdistancing marital dissatisfaction (41 percent).
Common is Pastoral Indiscretion?, Leadership, Winter, 1988, p. 12-13.
It was reported today (7-24-90) in the news that former PTL leader and TV evangelist
Jim Bakker, now jailed for various fund- raising improprieties, makes eleven cents an hour
cleaning toilets in the penitentiary. And a federal judge ruled that the little money he
has accumulated could be seized to pay penalties he owes of over $500,000. His empire
crumbled when he had an adulterous relationship with Jessica Hahn.
David Hocking, The Moral Catastrophe, Harvest House, 1990, p. 64ff.
There is a direct correlation between age at loss of virginity and having an affair
later in life. In women who have their first sexual relationship at age 21, or later,
cheating occurs with only 16%. But for those who have their first sexual relationship at a
younger age, up to 50% cheat on a future mate.
Homemade, Vol. 10, No. 7, quoted from
Dr. Donald Granvold, a professor at the Univ. of Texas at Arlington, surveyed 262
marriage counselors. 22% thought marriages are jeopardized when the wife has an affair,
while only 2% thought marriages are in trouble when the husband has an affair. 40% of the
counselors he surveyed admitted that they themselves had had extramarital experiences.
Dr. Donald Granvold.