People are beginning to consider extra-marital relationships in a new light, perhaps as a device to strengthen a marriage, rather than dissolve it.
(PRWeb UK) March 2, 2010
Following news from the Office of National Statistics that divorces caused by infidelity are at an all-time low, UK dating site IllicitEncounters.com has polled its members to determine whether attitudes to extra-marital relationships are changing.
The website, which describes itself as a dating site for married people, asked 4,000 of its members whether they felt their affair had contributed positively or negatively to their marriage. 86% said they felt their affair had a "considerably positive affect" on their marriage, and only 0.5% of members felt their affair had worsened the state of their marriage.
When asked if they felt adultery seemed more acceptable today than 10 years ago, over 90% of members stated a firm yes, citing "celebrity adulterers", "higher expectations for relationships" and "a more secular society" as reasons for the shift.
"8 years ago, when the company started, it was difficult for IE to obtain coverage anywhere, so offended were the press and public. Today, we are widely discussed on radio and in national newspapers" Sara Hartley, site administrator, comments. Sara's claims are reflected in coverage; this weekend, 3 case studies from the site were featured in The Times magazine, discussing their experiences of extra-marital dating.
"People are beginning to consider extra-marital relationships in a new light, perhaps as a device intended to strengthen a marriage, rather than dissolve it. It seems, unlike Cheryl and Ashley, who have just confirmed their separation after only 3 and a half years of marriage, many British couples are choosing to stick together, for better and for worse ."
The ONS study showed that the percentage of divorces caused by proven infidelity has dropped from 18.5% (2007) to 17%; in comparison, 51% of divorce petitions cited adultery in 1981, showing a notable decrease over the last 30 years. Overall, the rate of divorces per 1,000 married men/women has dropped from 13.4 in 2003, to just 11.5 in 2008.
Illicitencounters.com has been running since 2003, and now has in excess of 420,000 members across the UK.