What is considered infidelity? Who is to blame? How do I get over it?These three questions blare in the head of anyone who has been cheated on. Studies have shown that infidelity is the leading cause of divorce. Around 60% of marriages, that end in divorce, are due to one partner having an affair outside the partnership. What is considered infidelity may depend on the person.
If you feel betrayed ask yourself what do YOU consider infidelity:
- Is an emotional friend considered being unfaithful?
- Is a kiss too much?
- Or must there be penetration?
Whatever your answer is to these questions the feeling of betrayal is the same. The relationship is affected. When you are in a partnership that you feel is monogamous and the other partner does not honor the commitment, the hurt is intense. And the hurt does not heal on it’s own. Time helps but so does a support system: friends, counselors, group services.
What could be a motivation for cheating that can cause so much hurt?
There are eight common reasons for infidelity. Let’s explore these below:
Here is the list of the four common reasons that infidelity may occur because of unhappiness in a relationship:
- Anger toward a partner (I want to get back at them mindset)
- A lack of love (Love has faded and there is nothing else – the person wants to feel love again)
- Low value of sex with another person (Sex and commitment are not viewed as dependent on each other)
- Perceived neglect from a partner (Crave sex because one partner is not responding to the physical needs of the other)
All four of these scenarios relate back to the relationship.
But maybe it is just the person. Maybe it is how they are wired. Cheating on a perceived monogamous relationship may not be successful because one partner has:
- A desire to boost their own self-esteem (Feeling of winning a conquest)
- Climb the ladder of professional growth (work/career related affairs)
- Need for a variety of sexual partners (Lack of sexual partners in the past may drive the need to experience more people)
- Situational factors: blurred judgement (intoxication, drugs, stress)
Sometimes infidelity is not the cause of relationship distress, it is simply a symptom of it. But the result is the same:
There is the emotional and intellectual feeling of hurt and betrayal. One of the factors for a lot of people is the duration of the affair, or the number of affairs or instances; One time is forgivable for some. For others a long term affair is something that they can work through. Often multiple affairs is the end of the relationship. It is a very personal choice that can only be decided between the two people in the primary relationship.
Mend or end? This is one of the topics that we discuss in our workshops. It is a hard decision to make and a decision that may be hard to live with. We discuss what you need to get through this and how to trust again.
If you would like to schedule a call to discuss your situation you can do that here: