Moving past adultery | Arkansas Blog

Moving past adultery

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Sexual relationships are all over the Times today. Again spinning off the Mark Sanford affair, a writer looks into the prospects for the marriage's survival. Odds say they are pretty good.

In any given year, about 10 percent of married people say they have had sex outside their marriage. These numbers say nothing about whether the affairs were discovered; but researchers have surveyed couples in which they were. In one survey, among 1,084 people whose spouses had affairs, Ms. Vaughan found that 76 percent of both men and women were still married and living with that spouse years later. Similar surveys have found rates of about two-thirds and higher.

Such surveys say little about the private hurt and struggle that couples live with in the months and years after a discovered betrayal. A good deal of these couples limp along, laboring to repair the severed trust — and the dynamic between the couple changes forever, as millions can attest.

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