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Another stereotype is that a spouse has met someone who is superior in some way, someone who better meets their needs and desires.
In a wife's fantasies, the new secretary with whom her husband is having an affair is much more attractive than she is.
For example, 80% of Americans versus 36% of Russians believe that extramarital sex is "always wrong".
Yet estimates of American men involved in extramarital affairs range from 22% to 75%; estimates for women range from 14% to 60%.
Or both may feel that they're no longer able to communicate or that they simply no longer have any common interests.
And when children have grown up and left the home, this lack of common ground can become a gaping chasm between husband and wife.
The numbers and the trends in the workplace tell the tale. When we say "forsaking all others, 'til death do us part", we want to believe that this is what we will choose and how we will behave until we are literally separated by death.
But all the evidence points to other forces coming into play, forces that can powerfully counteract our more conscious intentions.
Reliable statistics on infidelity are hard to come by.
The reality is that many men and women spend more time with their coworkers than they do with their spouses.
They engage in more conversation about both work and non-work-related matters.
While the workplace has historically been the arena in which men conducted affairs, an interesting trend is the conscious decision of young single women to date older married men with whom they work.
This is due not only to the prestige, power, and financial means of this group of men, but to a desire on the part of these young women to focus on career.