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Infidelity may not be the oldest sin, however there has been an increase in older individuals who are committing it. Generally, when thinking about cheaters, there’s an image of a young charming man or woman who is easy on the eyes. Not so true, sparking interest amongst seniors beyond their 50th birth date has been trending to say some studies. There could be a number of reasons for extramarital affairs more prevalent among older people but a few have gained more attention than others.
Those that were born within the 40’s to late 50’s report the highest incidents on extramarital relationships. As we dig deeper this was also the generation to come of age during the sexual revolution. The times when sexual experiments took a feverish pitch. During the sexual revolution this generation saw very early on the mistakes of their parents’ and the evils of the world that are brought upon by “free love.” Some these may have swinger or poly amorous parents and thus may question the moralistic attitude towards infidelity.
Stemming from the roots of growing up through the sexual revolution, many seniors over 50 feel like they’ve been missing out. And because “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is an actual condition, they could have resorted to pursuing extramarital relationships. Uninterrupted access to anything in the world is relatively new to the senior population and has created curiosity among them. Some seniors have even utilized websites like Ashley Madison which thrives on a discreet relationship.
Pharmaceutical advances have allowed seniors over 50 to continue enjoying intercourse well into their 80s with drugs like Viagra. As the performance fear beyond the partner vanishes, the curiosity to explore fantasies gets a boost. While the men are ridding the big Pharma boon to keep their sexual drive alive, their partners experience menopause leaving them less than enthused about intercourse. Monogamy could then feel like an orthodox ideology and a barrier to living an enjoyable life.
A little secret can often create a feeling similar to a “high” for some people. It is exciting and invigorating. There is evidence to support that when adults are engaged in extramarital sexual experiences, they feel younger and sexier themselves. This creates an illusion of an alternative life that isn’t really existent and is possible with either partner. When and if their partner does discover the secret, the relationship is often jeopardized.
These arrangements often lead to divorce but are not initiated from a place of mal-intent. Often, after 20+ years of marriage, there’s a level of complacency that sets in. For many couples, they’re seeking something new or trying to determine what they need to scratch off their bucket list. Something as innocent as looking at some pictures on the internet can lead to damaging the internal affairs of the household. While many still find the emotional engagement that they need within the confines of their marriage, they can be challenged with receiving the sexual gratification they are now eager to achieve.
Interestingly enough, these affairs have continued to rise and while the millennial generation has been more reluctant to commit to long term monogenous relationships, they’ve been more open earlier on in life allowing them to be more committed when they elect to do so. While it’s not easy to forecast right now what the infidelity rate amongst that generation will eventually be, it’s possible that it may be rivaled by the current senior population.
Ultimately the factors that are driving this trend are not going away. There’s no remedy in the near future. There’s one thing for certain however, older people are setting a stand-out example for the next generation.