Last modified on May 19th, 2020
When it comes to relationships and marriages, hardly is there a topic as touchy as one that has to do with the issue of infidelity. This is more so because few upheavals in the course of a relationship cause as much turmoil as this thorny issue which often lead to relationships breaking up, marriages filing for divorces, insecurity, mistrust and resentment replacing the love, trust and comfort that most of these relationships once fostered.
Infidelity according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary means the act of not being faithful to your wife, husband or partner, by having sex with somebody else. Therefore for the purpose of this article and others relating to the issue of infidelity, the term “relationship” will be used to refer to both those in marriages and those that are in a mutually exclusive relationship of love.The most perplexing reality about infidelity in relationships is the fact that no relationship is immune to it as it knows no boundary. It respects neither creed nor color; the rich or poor, newlywed or those celebrating their golden anniversaries. The fact is that it can happen to anyone – even you. According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, couples in “pretty happy” marriages are twice as likely to have an affair as those in “very happy” marriages.To worsen the situation, the available statistics appear very gloomy and frightening, making you think if there is any hope for today’s relationships surviving its onslaught. According to Peggy Vaughan’s (author of The Monogamy Myth) analysis show that 60 percent of husbands and 40 percent of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriage; however, less than 10 percent of people who have affairs divorce and marry their lovers.With that said it is heart-warming and reassuring to at least realize that there is a glimmer of hope of today’s relationships surviving and coping with this monster of infidelity.
Let’s step back a little and look at possible reasons why infidelity keeps rearing its ugly head in our relationships today.Majority of people enter into relationships with the expectation of finding fulfillment and happiness in the company of their partner. They hope that their partner would help them to validate and complete the feelings of emptiness, unworthiness and insecurity they have. When these feelings and needs are not met by their partner, most start to look outside of the relationship to find someone who might fulfill these needs. This is the root cause of infidelity – the lack of happiness and satisfaction in relationships.The affairs are not the actual problem but are the symptom of the problems the relationship might be experiencing. Most issues of infidelity center on the need for approval, attention and sex needing to be met and satisfied by the other partner in the relationship. It is therefore reasonable to say that 90% of affairs occur because of the close emotional connection that is often formed between the cheater and his accomplice rather than just the need for sexual intimacy.
Effects of Infidelity
The main reason why infidelity is so damaging and painful is because of the betrayal, lack of trust, secrets and deception that took place in the course of the affair. Infidelity basically breaks the most sacred treasure in any relationship, that of trust. Without trust you cannot be open with someone and ultimately you can never be happy either.After the devastating disclosure of infidelity, how to deal with it varies from person to person, but the knowledge that recovery is possible can help those affected work through it. Reassuringly, the majority of relationships affected by infidelity not only survive it, but observation by professionals show that many of these relationships become stronger and more intimate after therapy.
The surest way to forestall this incidence from reoccurring is to discover how and why the emotional disconnection happened in the relationship and work towards resolving them together with your partner. Nonetheless, there must be true remorse and willingness on the part of the cheater to change and repair the damage done and the cheated is willing to work hard to forgive the cheater.However, bear in mind that recovery will not come overnight as the process takes time – often years to rebuild the broken trust. Once the coupes are committed to working together in dealing with the issues at the heart of the emotional disconnection, their relationship can most definitely survive, and thrive, after infidelity.