Sexual fidelity is one of the most important elements of committed relationships and especially marriage. Yet, a large number of couples face infidelity, which brings a great pain and challenge into the relationship.
Some couples may overcome this difficult experience, while others choose to end their relationship. Cheating violates trust and shakes the foundation of a relationship. It makes you feel unloved, unappreciated and replaced. It may depress and anger you for months, and may terminate your marriage.
Whether we are directly affected by infidelity or not, it is important we understand more about it in order to deal with it should the need arise.
To start, here are four issues that may lead to infidelity:
1. The Never-Ending “Battle” of Lust and Love
Many individuals in committed relationships say they love their partners but lust after other people. Illogical?
Well, not exactly. MRI scans illustrate that when the brain is exposed to lust it responds as if under the influence of drugs. The sex hormones rise, which is not the case when experiencing love. The intensity of lust tends to exceed the intensity of love, but it is also short lived. Love is powerful when it comes to co-existence, care and emotional stability. It is love that keeps us together for the long run. But desire, passion, novelty, the unknown… they are the ones that make us feel young, desirable and alive.
Lust is an altered state of consciousness programmed by the primal urge to procreate. А marriage that doesn’t have passion becomes limited and to some people may even feel like a prison. Infidelity often happens when one partner (or both) enjoys some element of the relationship, such as security and comfort, but no longer wants the other partner sexually. Falling into the monotony of everyday life, they forget to maintain the level of passion and connection that prevents them from looking outside their own relationship.
2. We Don’t Want What We Think We Desire
We all know the idiom: “Be careful what you wish for.” Does this sound crazy?
While we want to experience safety, stability and routine, it may also lead to monotony and boredom. Nothing dilutes passion more than monotony. The dull life you experience may become overwhelming, making you wonder about the possibilities of a more exciting life. You find yourself wondering about someone who will cherish you, and at the same time be passionate and crazy about you and make you feel “butterflies” in your stomach.
So, while you want to secretly eat from the “forbidden apple,” you don’t want to leave your spouse for an adventure of this kind. Deep down you know that your illusion will crash as soon as you end your current relationship, that the moment your former partner is gone, you will realize that the one you idealized is not so perfect after all. To avoid this kind of infidelity from happening, always aim to have an interesting and fun relationship with your partner, filled with action and passion. Needless to say, learn to appreciate what you have and what your partner brings into your life.
3. Lower Self Esteem – More Chances for Cheating
One myth about infidelity is the saying that people who cheat must be handsome, wealthy and self-confident, and thus never satisfied with only one partner. If there is a fact you should know about adultery, it is that many people who cheat are not the ones mentioned above. Cheaters actually come in many forms, but a large number of them have low self-esteem and lack maturity, and no matter how much love they receive from their partner, it is never enough.
The insecure individual who is engaged in infidelity is driven by a powerful desire to conquer new people so they feel loved. They crave others’ reassurance of their self-value. However, while the cheating provides an immediate lift to their self-image, this boost is temporary, leading to even deeper feelings of emptiness and misery.
This is why in addition to investing in the relationship, each partner must continually work on building their self esteem and aspire to be the best person they can. At the same time, each individual must appreciate his/her partner and see the wonderful things their relationship brings.
4. Not Enough Respect and Support to Differences
What about the well-known saying that opposites attract? Well, it’s true and it’s not.
This idea is often confusing and leads to misunderstanding. There are many happy couples who don’t have much in common and there are others who are very much alike, but the relationship is problematic.
So, what is the secret?
The key to success is less about having shared interests, which is clearly important, but more about the respect, interest and support you have toward each other’s differences. You can always support each other and love spending quality time together while doing your own thing. But if you are totally uninterested in your partner’s lifestyle and you start to yawn whenever they start to discuss something important to them, you ignore and dismiss them. Disrespecting their hobbies and ideas may lead them to feel unloved, pushing them to an affair with someone who will show even a little bit of interest in their world. If you act like you just started dating, the relationship can stay respectful, interesting and fulfilling.
Cheating becomes one of the ways to deal with limited choices. It is typically a result of unmet needs within a relationship or within the psychological makeup of the person that cheats. To bring back that magical spark in your relationship, you need to continually put effort into it. Re-explore the romantic and sexual elements that define your relationship as well as yourself.
It is important to be present in the relationship, not only physically but also mentally. Pay attention to your partner, there will always be something new to learn about him/her. Once you realize what things your partner longs for and support them, you will build a deeper connection and adultery will be the last thing to enter their mind.