People cheat for many different reasons: They feel neglected, they need an ego boost, or it’s quite simply in their nature. But according to a new survey by Ashley Madison, a website that caters to married people looking to have an affair, one of the unexpected things that makes a spouse more likely to cheat is suddenly having an empty nest. The survey found that 50 percent of members said they joined the site after at least one of their kids moved out of the house.
This statistic may seem odd at first. You would think that, after 18 years of parenting, a couple would be thrilled to finally just enjoy each other’s company. They could take a romantic, spur-of-the-moment holiday in Mexico. They could snuggle on the couch and watch This Is Us without worrying about pulling together a last-minute school snack for their child’s entire class the following day.
But the Ashley Madison survey found that 28 percent of users said that, when at least one child left the house, they realized they just didn’t have that much in common with their spouse anymore. One in five of those surveyed said they “didn’t care that they weren’t having sex because their kids kept them so busy” and that “they were so focused on parenting that it just didn’t cross their minds.” And 14 percent of them said that “they felt selfish prioritizing sex over household responsibilities.”
These results therefore indicate something that relationship experts often warn married couples about: It’s important to continue to enjoy your romantic relationship and not just resign yourself to your roles as parents. As therapist and best-selling self-help author Tina B. Tessina once told Best Life, your romantic relationship is “the foundation your family is built on.