JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - In the past year, numerous high profile marriages have been rocked by scandals involving allegations of infidelity
Mississippi is no exception.
Ironically, getting divorced in Mississippi can be difficult and expensive.
Because we're in the bible belt, lawmakers are reluctant to make it cheap or easy.
Even so, the Magnolia State has the sixth highest divorce rate in the nation.
In many cases due to infidelity.
So why can't Mississippians stay faithful?
Is it because we talk slower, eat better and are so hospitable that Mississippians can't stay true?
Pastor Joel Sims is the Lead and Teaching Pastor of Word of Life Church.
He says Mississippians are no different from anyone else when it comes to dealing with matters of the heart... and loins.
"You get to talking and you find out that everyone is human and susceptible to temptation like man has been since the Garden of Eden," said Sims. "Paul wrote, 'there is not temptation that is not common to man.' Basically what that means is, if someone is wrestling with something, it's a common temptation. There are thousands of people in the Jackson metro area who are wrestling with the exact same thing."
Statistics show infidelity rates have increased in the past 25 years
A new study shows that 41 percent of all marriages have dealt with infidelity, either physical or emotional.
54 percent of women and 57 percent of men admit to cheating.
The numbers aren't surprising.
"Even in marriage it seems like more and more people are lonely," said Sims. "They're in the same household, they're not really together, they feel alone and with that it may cause them to reach out to other connections that aren't healthy."
Katrina Brown agrees.
As a partner in Brown, Bass and Jeter law firm, she's seen her fair share of marriages broken due to social media interactions.
"People don't even have to leave their homes sometime to spark up a conversation over Facebook, Instagram," said Brown. "The whole term sliding into someone's DM has just become commonplace now."
So common, that social media is now her first stop when beginning divorce proceedings for a client.
"One of the questions we knew wanted to know early on, we wanted to know about any of your social media accounts," explained Brown. "Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram. Because although you're coming to me wanting to prove that there is some sort of infidelity going on, I also want to look into your social media history too."
And it's not just social media.
Statistics show most men in adulterous relationships met their partner at work.
Women are more likely to meet someone online, where the relationship begins on more of an emotional level.
But can you come back from an affair?
Statics paint a pretty dismal picture with only 31 percent of all marriages lasting after the affair is admitted or discovered.
But Pastor Joel is more optimistic.
"I don't think it has to be the end of the relationship," said Sims. "I think there can still be hope and I think there can still be a greater level of marriage coming out of it."
But Pastor Joel says the first step is eliminating the problem. If possible, before it leads down a path of destruction.
"My advice would be if there is a relationship at work that has the potential to lead you to something that could hurt you, don't entertain it," said Sims. "If you are on social media and there's something that is drawing you from a commitment or a vow, don't entertain it."
The average length of an affair?
And believe it or not, 74 percent of all men surveyed say they would have an affair if they knew they'd never get caught.
68 percent of women said the same thing.
Here are some more statistics from that study: