The Facts of Infidelity
Infidelity used to mean the lack of belief in the religious sense. Today, the word has evolved as to be equivalent to the violation of the marriage vow through adultery. Simply put, it is the unfaithfulness of one spouse to the other. Sadly, infidelity has become a fact of life where almost everyone would personally know of at least one case of infidelity in his/her own family, circle of friends, and co-workers.
The human race has been faced with infidelity throughout history, across cultures and geographical boundaries. It is a phenomenon that is not limited to any particular gender, class, race, or location. It happens to the best and the worst married couples all over the world.
It is a fact that most infidelity goes undetected. Acts of infidelity may range from one night stands to long-term affairs. Some participate in the so-called emotional infidelity where spousal trust is likewise violated but with the distinct absence of physical contact or sexual relationships as in typical affairs. Others choose to go high-tech by conducting their extra-marital affairs on the Internet through e-mails or chat rooms. Emotional affairs and Internet affairs start safely enough but would usually travel the same path of physical infidelity.
The commission of infidelity is a relatively common act done by men although women are swiftly catching up with the rising opportunities for financial independence by women in today’s society. Sex still leads the list of reasons why men cheat on their wives while the need for emotional connection appears to be the primary reason why women cheat on their husbands. Of course, this is not to say that men won’t cheat to find emotional connection or women won’t because of sex. Particular reasons are so many but it would be easy to determine by reading them that infidelity is caused by the desire to fulfill a certain need that is not being met by the spouse. Thus we will hear cheating spouses complaining about how their spouses neglected their appearance through the years (physical), how their spouses show indifference for their success (emotional), how their spouses became so unbelievably boring (intellectual), and how their spouses offered no excitement or creativity in their relationship (thrill factor). These reasons need not even be really happening for them to trigger infidelity. The mere perception that a reason exists is sometimes enough to consider infidelity. It is not uncommon for cheating spouses to seek justification for their action.
The occurrence of infidelity can happen at anytime during the marriage. Newly weds and long-married couples are both vulnerable to the temptation and so are young couples, middle-aged couples and even the advanced-aged couples. Each phase and situation in life presents specific challenges and stress aspects that can affect a person’s decision to stay true to a commitment.
A considerable number of marriages affected by infidelity eventually end up in divorce because violation of trust is never an easy thing to deal with. The number one place where infidelity is often initiated is the workplace. Most cases of infidelity started with no such intention but eventually developed due to prevailing personal circumstances.
It is ironic that many cheaters do not end up marrying their lovers even after being divorced from their legal spouses. Most of those who did, ended up in failed marriages as well. This brings us then to another fact of life. It is difficult to trust someone as a partner who has himself/herself participated in infidelity.