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Reflections on Infidelity

Reflections on Infidelity

“I gave him 17 years of my love, my youth and my life, with three beautiful children and a home that runs like clock-work. Today, I realise that you get no medals for being faithful or thoughtful. He says he no longer finds me attractive, so he’s been having an affair on the side…’

“I thought I had the most secure, comfortable marriage. I  trusted him so completely, I even allowed him to go out for a weekend trip with my best friend. The next thing I knew, he asked me for a divorce—he wants to marry her.”

The situations might be different, but the truth remains the same: partners cheat. In fact, bestselling book The Monogamy Myth, authored by Peggy Vaughan, approximates that 60% of husbands and 40% of wives will have an affair at some time in their marriage.

Actually, we probably don’t even need the cold statistics to hit us any more. Everywhere you look, people seem to be ‘straying’ outside their relationships.

Why?

Of course the reasons can range from the trivial (he doesn’t enjoy movies ) to the serious (he is never there for me), most psychologists agree that infidelity happens for two main reasons:

Plain and simple boredom: in the beginning, there is magnetic attraction. Both partners put their best foot forward. You dress for him, making sure not a hair is out of place. You make the effort to cook or appreciate what he likes, . Then you tie the knot or shack up, and the magic begins to fade. Your spouse sees you with eye-gunk, toothpaste in your mouth, uncombed hair, in a shapeless nightie, and as the years pass, with a larger waistline and fewer things to talk about.  Thomas Hardy described it as ‘the stale familiarity of a marriage’.  If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you’re likely to understand this only too well.

Feelings of  inadequacy: A romantic relationship begins because the other person makes you feel special, beautiful, wanted. Extra-marital affairs happen when your partner no longer makes you feel that way. So, when a spouse ‘cheats,’ it is not because he or she is trying to hurt the other person—it is about seeking someone who will make themselves feel good and special again! A successful businessman who was married to a stunning model had an affair with a totally ordinary woman. When asked the reason for his choice, he said, simply, ‘She makes me feel like a king.’  That’s why, perhaps, thousands of beautiful men and women are actually very lonely people.

American marriage counsellor Dr. Ellen Kreidman urges you to rethink the way you look at infidelity: ‘Take your spouse’s act of infidelity as a wake-up call,’ she says, pointing out that no one just decides to go out one fine day and have an affair. It happens because the neglect and being taken for granted have been piling up, possibly over the course of many years.

Yes, it hurts, says Kreidman, but you could harness your pain to help you look inside and try to change what was lacking inside you. If you can work on that, your marriage/relationship could emerge stronger than ever—so secure and wonderful that nothing or noone can ever slide between you again. Yes, it is possible.

What do you think causes a partner to cheat, and what advice can you offer to someone who is dealing with infidelity? Do you have a powerful experience or a helpful insight to share?

Read more: Guidance, Life, Self-Help, , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

128 comments

+ add your own
5:44AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Thanks for posting.

10:05AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Number three reason-selfishness.Number four reason-lack of slcontrol.Number five reason,lack of communication.Reason number six-not putting forth adequate effort to adress problems 1-5.

5:53PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

interesting. thanks.

1:41AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

noted

12:00PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

My spouse cheated and I was the one being neglected. No matter how hard I tired to spice things up, communicate, plan vacations, it was him being a selfish bastard. So when these know it all, degree toting therapists say that the non-cheating spouse could have done something different all I have to say is, a grown man or woman knows right from wrong. I was the one who worked like a dog and was still cheated on but never once did I stray. Maybe society should actually hold people accountable for their actions and stop making BS medical excuses.

10:17AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

thnx

9:15AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Some people have disorders that causes infidelity such as narcissitic personality disorder as well as bipolor disorders. These people really need consider therapy if they feel they cant remain faithful to their partner. So, its not always that these people are just down right low life characters, some really need counseling.

9:14AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Some people have disorders that causes infidelity such as narcissitic personality disorder as well as bipolor disorders. These people really need consider therapy if they feel they cant remain faithful to their partner. So, its not always that these people are just down right low life characters, some really need counseling.

7:35AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

A spouse can find someone to cheat with at work because of propinquity. When they are at home the partner represents problems that count. At work all problems are solved usually by the end of the day. Everything seems so hunky dory.
There are many ways to cheat, but this one is very common. Also, do not leave out the influence of others. Very few people want to give up their home, but the effect of something new is always appealing.
Make life interesting.

1:39PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Thanks

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