Can You Afford an Affair?

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Philanderers and their spouses pay a hefty price for adultery, both emotionally and in terms of hard dollars.

Having an affair is costly, and not just in terms of your marriage.

The average extramarital affair costs about $2,600, according to a recent survey by, a coupon and discount code site. It also found that a “typical” affair lasts about six months and begins about two years after saying “I do.”

About 2,645 people ages 25 and older and married to their current spouse for at least five years participated in the survey, which was part of’s research into American leisure spending. said about a quarter of respondents admitted to cheating on their spouse. The majority (57 percent) of cheaters are men, the survey said.

According to the Arizona Republic, being unfaithful costs money, and a lot of it. After all, wining and dining isn’t cheap. Here’s a breakdown of an affair’s sordid costs:

  • Hotel bills – $123.
  • Dinner and drinks – $162.
  • Gifts – $54.
  • Date activities – $69.
  • Other – $36.

That adds up to about $444 a month. You’d think a spouse would notice if an extra $444 was disappearing from their account each month. But alarmingly, just 32 percent of respondents said they noticed or questioned their spouse’s extra spending.

According to the Arizona Republic, Matthew Wood of said:

So it seems that not only can an affair ruin your relationship with your husband or wife, but it can also pack a punch for your wallet. Of course, there are a million reasons not to stray from your spouse and the cost is only a very minor one, but perhaps thinking about money is a good place to start.

I’m not a therapist or anything, but I wonder what kind of impact $444 a month could have on a troubled marriage. Marriage counseling and a few dates with your spouse seem like a better idea, but that’s just me.

Are you surprised at an affair’s costs, beyond the emotional toll it takes on a marriage? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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