‘We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love – first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.’ Albert Camus

The percentage of people impacted by infidelity is between 30-60% of all married couples, depending on the study cited. More interesting than the differing rates of occurrence for men and women are the different patterns of infidelity for each gender.

Cheating men are more likely than cheating women to have an affair with someone younger than their spouse. On the other hand, cheating women are more likely than cheating men to have an affair with someone better educated than their current spouse.
Additionally, marked sex differences exist in age patterns of infidelity. Women are far more likely to commit infidelity in their twenties and early in their relationship, where as men’s affairs happen later in their relationship and predominately after the age of forty. Evolutionists believe this pattern reflects a long- term mating strategy and that just like other mammals, our biological clock and often unconscious drive to reproduce may be exactly what is happening which inspires infidelity.

The biological changes that impact sexuality with aging and menopause are additional aspects of biological clock issues that underlie infidelity. I have watched many of my closest friends both leave and be left during this intense life transition. Is anyone to blame, when fully fifty percent of women lose their interest in sex and struggle with arousal and orgasm right when a man’s need for sexual satisfaction and validation is at its most vulnerable?

Yet our sexually driven biology is only one part of the human story. While sex and love are inextricably linked, the processing of those experiences happen in different regions of the brain, and while there is some overlap, it is the experience of love which matures the mind. The constellation of neural systems and activity involved in the experience of love strengthens with the length of the attachment. The small study concluded that ‘Romantic love is one of the most powerful human experiences�more powerful than the sex drive.’

Although some might question the veracity of the claims, try to remember how potent the experience of falling in love was for you, extending far beyond the sexual, to the very core of what it was to be alive. Loving over time does change your brain and although it doesn’t often have the intensity and ecstasy associated with ‘falling in love’ it carries even more benefits in terms of long term happiness and health. Only 10% of people who have affairs end up staying together, so when you are feeling your biology influence your choices make sure you are consulting with what makes us truly human, our drive to love.