MADRID – From an economic perspective, having an affair is a lot cheaper than getting divorced. Dating site Ashley Madison records 1.7 million unfaithful individuals in Spain and compared the costs of having an affair with those of divorce.
With 1.7 million infidelity, Spain ranks seventh among the 40 countries surveyed worldwide. This leaves behind countries such as France, Germany and Italy. There appears to be a thriving industry behind people who cheat. Hundreds of thousands of people spend money – some more than others depending on interest, wallet and generosity – on that secret relationship.
Having an affair is cheaper than divorse
Based on research, having an affair appears to be economically more beneficial than divorce. A divorce costs on average 3.6 times more than an affair. Ashley Madison, a dating platform for married people, shows El País that maintaining a lover costs around €4,657 annually, compared to €16,588 for a divorce.
Significant market for infidelity
There is a significant market for infidelity in Spain. Not only men, but also more and more women spend money on their secret relationships. It is of course difficult to determine how many people have a secret relationship and what they spend on it. However, surveys give a picture: 42% of Spanish men and 31% of women admit to having been unfaithful at some point.
The price of passion
Affaires require not only secrecy, but also a budget for travel, gifts and attentions, such as flowers, chocolate, lingerie and sex toys. According to Ashley Madison’s estimates, users’ annual budget goes toward hotels, dinners, gifts and personal care. Also notable is the expenditure on gifts for the official partner to avoid suspicion.
Companies that help hide infidelity
Gleeden, another platform for people looking for excitement outside their committed relationships, estimates that most unfaithful couples spend between €50 and €150 a month on their lovers, with outliers spending more than €500. A weekend full of passion requires more than just hotel costs; some even hire companies to create credible alibis for their absence from home.
Such a company is Coartada. The agency was founded 25 years ago in Germany and arrived in Spain two years ago. “In Spain we have an average of one to five customers per day. There are many more in Germany because we are better known there,” says Laura González. The company believes that platforms for sex or flirting (Tinder, OnlyFans…) have helped its growth. Coartada helps customers organise their double lives. To this end, it uses other companies and actors. It even offers a lie detector with false results in case an affair is discovered by the steady partner.
Although the profiles of people using these services are diverse, the average age is between 30 and 60 years, with an equal split between men and women. Studies show that many do not regret their affairs and believe they even improve their primary relationship, often linked to sexual satisfaction.