A heady cocktail of sun, sea, and alcohol is behind a seasonal surge in divorces as nearly one in five Brits admit cheating on their partner while on holiday, new research shows.
Shockingly 13 per cent of those confessed they were actually on a getaway with their partner at the time of the infidelity.
Most people admitted to cheating while away with friends (34 per cent), or on a stag or hen party abroad (25 per cent) followed closely by trips away with work colleagues or on a business conference (19 per cent).
But some admitted they strayed while on a make or break holiday to patch up ongoing relationship troubles with their partner.
The combination of too much alcohol (34 per cent) and getting carried away while on holiday (36 per cent) were some of the most common reasons people cited for cheating on their partner.
Nearly 4 in 10 claimed it was just a ‘silly mistake’ and not something they would be repeating, 22 per cent said they would do it again if their partner would be none the wiser.
Keeping up the pretence meant that nearly half were never caught by their partner and 51 per cent confessed to their other half after it had happened.
With relationship tensions running high while away, a quarter of people admitted to cheating with a friend who was away with them and 22 per cent with an extended family member.
Family law experts Slater and Gordon commissioned the survey of more than 2,000 married and divorced Brits after seeing a rise in the number of clients at this time of year referring to their partner’s infidelity while on holiday – and sometimes even when they were away together.
For those on a make or break holiday, a third said that watching other happy couples enjoying their holiday put their own relationship under the spotlight.
The pressure of spending time alone together proved to be the catalyst for one in five struggling couples to realise they weren’t in love, and 15 per cent stopped talking to each other during the trip away.
In reality, hopes of reigniting their love quickly faded, with 15 per cent of Brits thinking that holidays put a strain on their relationship and 22 per cent of Brits claimed they split up with someone while on holiday.
Couples who strayed while away with their partners conceded they had used a holiday as a last attempt to save their marriage, but over half said they eventually went on to divorce after returning home.
Amy Harris, family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “Many couples experiencing trouble in their relationship will hope that time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life will solve their issues.
“It takes more than a few weeks away to fix deeply rooted problems in a relationship but by taking the holiday and doing everything you can to save a marriage means that even if a couple does decide to divorce it can often be done more amicably.”
“We have seen an increasing number of clients coming to us after finding out their partner has committed adultery while on holiday.
Work trips away and conferences with colleagues abroad resulted in more than one in 10 cheating on their partner back at home, with 65 per cent saying they felt their marriage was already over before they went away.
A quarter of holidaying couples even used the break to discuss the issues within their marriage and the possibility of getting a divorce, with nearly one in 10 admitting they ended the holiday early.
Although a quarter said their adultery was just a bit of ‘holiday fun’ and a way to ‘let off steam’ during a very stressful time in their relationship.
Amy Harris, family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “Holidays are a time for letting your hair down with your partner, friends or family, but if cracks have already been appearing in your relationship or marriage for some time, this can also lead to people getting carried away.
“This new research should act as warning to couples about being careful not to cross the line while away and what may seem like a silly holiday romance can be detrimental to a relationship.”