A Third of Over-50s Are Having an Affair

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

COMFORTABLY established at work and at home, the over-50s should be enjoying their most contented years.

But nearly a third claim to be having affairs instead.

Older people are much more likely to be tempted into infidelity than the young, a study has found.

The reason, according to an examination of more than 13,000 sex lives, is that those in their 20s and 30s are not likely to have settled into marriage or a long-term relationship.

And even if they have, they are more likely to be in 'the first flush of romance'.

But the middle-aged find the lure of an affair 'overwhelming', according to the survey results.

After the hard work of maintaining a marriage and often a family for so long, perhaps they can't resist what they regard as a last chance for a little self-fulfilment.

And it seems the general lessening of sex drive after 50 is no barrier to adultery. In some cases, it is in fact the final straw that causes a husband or wife to seek solace with a more accommodating lover.

Psychotherapist Brett Kahr, who led the British Sexual Fantasy Research Project, said: 'I would be hard pressed to recall any couple who presented for marital psychotherapy with a healthy sex life.

'As we may not fully appreciate, sex might be the most sensitive barometer of the solidity of the relationship between husband and wife, or between two lovers.

'When the gremlins of infidelity or inattentiveness or other forms of cruelty enter the relationship, then the sexual life will suffer as a consequence.' The survey, which asked for detailed information on sex lives, was sent to more than 34,000 people. Just over 13,000 replied.

The findings showed that 14 per cent of those under 30 had had sex with someone outside their marriage or long-term relationship, as had 23 per cent of those between 30 and 40. …