Real Relationship Advice
Why do people cheat?
We keep hearing this question. Yes, CoupleDumb has discussed infidelity many times before but every day we are presented with another couple breaking up because of philandering, hooking up and other euphemisms for breaking a commitment. Is it that infidelity has become more prevalent? Is it that the media is finally showing a defect in our core understanding of commitment? Or is it that we are in the midst of a perfect storm; cheating is up and being shown by the microscope of social media?
Infidelity is not new. It is estimated that 30 to 60% of all married people will commit some form of infidelity. When we expand infidelity to include emotional infidelity, which does not include sexual contact, the number increases. The advent of social media has introduced a new wrinkle into infidelity which circumvents even the rules of the most stalwart person. Many people swear they will never be unfaithful and think that that commitment only includes their genitals. Our hearts is more susceptible to temptation.
One of the things we tend to miss when we are in a long term relationship is the first blush of love. When we first acknowledge a connection with someone, we are swept away with the passion, love, lust and general feeling of euphoria that new love brings. However, that rush, much like adrenaline, does not last. This is one of the main reasons that many couples break up after 6 months. We become addicted to the rush!
An affair, whether physical or emotional, reminds us of the rush of love. We feel wanted and there is nothing more intoxicating than feeling desired. It makes us feel younger, sexier and increases our confidence more than success. Ultimately, vanity and a need for the rush of love are the two main reasons for an affair. Yes, we can focus on what is missing in a marriage. We can say that the infidelity happened because the couple stopped having sex, stopped loving one another, stopped caring for one another, stopped laughing together or we can say that the couple gave up. Regardless, the commitment is an individual resolve. It is the individual who allows themselves to venture into territory that could be considered an affair.
Yes, CoupleDumb always says that it takes two to tango but individual responsibility cannot be denied or lost in this conversation. Instead of having an affair, a person can approach their partner and tell them that they are unsatisfied. But, we don’t do that. When we should be talking we tend to hide and assume something will bring you together. If you identified that something is missing in a relationship it is your duty to inform your partner. It is what a responsible person does.
Infidelity has reached epidemic proportions due to our loose understanding of commitment and non-existent understanding of responsibility. If you really want to affair proof your relationship, begin with understanding that your word is your bond. Anything outside of your commitment is not just an attack on your relationship but an annihilation of your integrity.
We do, however, believe in repairing the damages of infidelity but only if the couple is willing to understand how and why they arrived at that point. Anything else is an exercise in futility.