Marriage in the human world today is about exclusivity to partners, in the sense that it is expected that a man is married to only one woman and the relationship is intimate only to that same spouse exclusively. Irrespective of belief almost everyone desires the sense of this thing, person or relationship is mine, even when difficult.
Infidelity on the part of men has been the most prominent which has made people to postulate a common saying that man is polygamous in nature – unfortunately this is not true. Why? Women cheat too! Are they also polygamous in nature? Infidelity is not restrained to a particular gender, studies have shown that in married adults who are 30 years and older (about 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women) report having sex with someone other than their spouse. However, in people under 30 years who had ever been married (11 percent women and 10 percent men, reported infidelity). People have subjective definitions of cheating. In the true sense of what commitment to relationship is, Infidelity is defined as the inability of a spouse in a relationship (marriage) to stay committed to the promises and vows they had together. As much as this becomes overwhelming for the partner cheated on, especially when they are overly trusting, it is a very common scenario in many cultures.
Why do people cheat?
There is no single reason why people cheat in relationships as people who are in happy marriages still cheat and those who are in toxic marriages are also cheating. However, some of the major reasons studies have found out includes;
1. Falling out of love: After few years of marriages most marriages move to the stage of realization or even rebellion where they are not particularly attracted to the actions and behaviors of their spouses this often leads to infidelity.
2. Feeling of neglect: When one or both couple feel the desire of the spouse has shifted from them to others such as children, career, ailing parents, new passion (even business), etc. it leads to wandering eyes and minds.
3. Seeking variety: When a partner start desiring other things not available in his present relationship often times leads to infidelity.
What we consider as infidelity
There had always been discrepancies between what is infidelity as tainted by culture, religion and society. This also affects what couples use to define how and why a partner is deemed unfaithful.
1. Flirtations: there are people who are teasers of the opposite sex, they do everything short of sexual physical contact. This form of betrayal is almost elastic! As you cannot pin down many times what they’ve done but they’re not faithful either and this makes partners uncomfortable
2. Emotional infidelity: These are people who share talks, bounds and commitment that is expected only for relationships with those outside the marriage. These feelings are often intense – it doesn’t require physical touch/meeting. The problem is that emotional infidelity makes spouses to be there but they aren’t there for you! Therefore, they often think about or obsessed with the third party
3. Sexual infidelity: this is the black or white of unfaithfulness. They did it. It could be accompanied with child out of wedlock, pregnancy, kissing, oral sex etc
Whether its flirting, emotional or sexual infidelity, it is important for couples to define together and understand what is infidelity to them, so they’re on the same page every time they are talking about infidelity.
Finally, when a partner has been unfaithful how do we deal with it?
Get your facts rights: It’s important to be sure rather than have suggestive guesses about your spouse’s unfaithfulness as this can cause more problems in the marriage especially if they can explain away your accusations. Instead of rushing to anger, packing out. Get your evidence first!
Talk to your partner first: Let the cheater know they’ve been caught and tell them how, so they can tell their story…. sometimes it can be explained away but many times it confirms the fact that they are guilty.
Don’t deal with it under the roof (Get help): No matter how sober a cheating spouse sounds instead of just entering into that cycle of infidelity, understand that they need help and it’s not by saying sorry that help is gotten. Infidelity in marriage doesn’t spell complete doom for the marriage, such can be managed and gotten rid of. Try to see beyond begging and attend licensed couple therapy sessions.
Decide what you need to see that will bring trust back: Even when there seem to be peace, the partner needs not be oblivious that it’s possible to be living in fool’s paradise. Outline with your therapist things you need to see to continue in the marriage.
We can heal our marriages and relationships and it starts with steps we take! If you or any loved one is currently going through this, do not walk this tortuous road alone. (Don’t be afraid to ask for your therapists training and licensing – it’s your life!) – Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 081 2827 6962, +234 2291 4084 to book an appointment with a licensed therapist.