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Some cheaters do win. Almost a third (29 percent) of Americans admit that they have been unfaithful to a partner in a relationship at some time, according to the nationally representative survey of 1,007 adults conducted in January by Encino, Calif.-based research firm E-Poll for the daytime television show The Other Half. Yet surprisingly, only 19 percent of the unfaithfuls say their extracurricular activities ever brought a relationship to an end, perhaps because 52 percent of cheaters managed to hide their infidelity from their spouse or partner. Another 29 percent say that although their partner eventually found out about the indiscretion, they were somehow able to salvage the relationship.

These days, a virtual tryst can be just as damaging as a real one. Sixty-four percent of women say that extracurricular relationships that take place online constitute cheating, yet only 42 percent of men agree. Men and women also differ in their motivations to partake of forbidden fruit. While 22 percent of unfaithful women cite loneliness as their top reason for having an affair, the same share of unfaithful men only need to be presented with the perfect opportunity.

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