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Essence of Infidelity
by Susan Sheppard

 

Infidelity affects 8 out of 10 marriages in this country. This is a shocking statistic! What happens between the time the marriage vows are spoken and that first episode of cheating?

It’s an assumption, of course, but I don’t think that 80% of the people who get married intend to cheat or be part of a love triangle.  I decided to tackle unearthing the real truth about how and why this happens, causes of infidelity.

On one very popular web site there were 260 posts from both sexes commenting about forgiving and forgetting infidelities. I read every one of them.

With one exception, the perception conveyed was that one party was an innocent victim of the other’s philandering. It seemed to me that everyone was looking at adultery as a cause of marital discord.

From my perspective, there are only rare exceptions to the fact that adultery, cheating, or affairs are SYMPTOMS of long standing marital problems. The causes of infidelity occurred possibly even before the wedding vows were uttered.

Let’s go back to the beginning of a relationship.

What really happens before two people decide to get married?

They have been dating and checking each other out. You all know that women do the choosing.

Men respond to a woman’s signals and a relationship moves forward at a pace governed by the woman’s appetite. So how does a couple who is totally in love and committed to each other end up in the predicament dictated by an affair?

I think the predicament results from the general consensus of opinions and expectations generated by a marriage.

In all of the posts that I read it seemed that “being married” automatically presupposed that fidelity is the most precious aspect of the marriage. It appears that everything that could go wrong would be tolerated, everything except infidelity.

I do not support tolerating infidelity.

What I’m wondering is what are the reasons that people actually get married? Do they get married because they are in love?

Want to have sex?

Want exclusivity?

Want emotional, financial, sexual security?

Want to have children?

It seems like the thing to do?

Or do they get married because they have found someone with whom they are career compatible, financially balanced, sexually attracted, intellectually well-matched, culturally congenial, religiously aligned, madly in love, with whom they want to procreate and raise children according to mutually agreeable standards?

Do all people get married for the same reasons?

I don’t think so.

I believe that some people get married for love, some for lust, some for status (like traveling to expensive places like Hawaii Resorts) , some for money, some for security, some for convenience, some to have children, some looking for parental guidance, some for business reasons etc. etc.

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