Would you forgive infidelity? Are you ready to continue investing in a relationship after you have been cheated on?
Unfortunately, it is one of the most common reasons for the end of relationships and marriages. Nowadays, we can no longer claim that only men cheat, and they cannot “keep it in their pants”!
Times have changed, and infidelity is no longer a men’s domain, but it’s now about equally likely among men and women.
A 2011 study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, revealed that about 23% of men and 19% of women in heterosexual relationships admitted having cheated on their partner.
Zhana Vrangalova Ph.D., a ‘sexpert’ at LELO, and a Professor of Human Sexuality at NY says:
“A recent study showed men were more likely than women to cheat for reasons related to sexual desire and variety, and due to situational factors like being drunk.
However, the top three reasons for cheating endorsed by both women and men were the same: lack of love for the primary partner, desire for sexual variety, and situational factors.”
Professor Alicia Walker from the Department of Sociology, Missouri State University, interviewed women who have had extramarital affairs to gather information for her book, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife. She discovered that many women cheated just to make a change before they gave up and left the partner.
Moreover, women felt free to fulfill all their sexual desires with a partner that was not their husband, as they could discuss their options with these men beforehand, something they didn’t do before their marriage. Walker explains that these women “don’t want to leave their husband, they love their husband, they’ve got a great life, but what they want is variety in their sexual partners.”
So, there is no one-size-fits-all explanation. Many cheat because they have been ignored by their husbands, crave for more intimacy, or feel lonely.
Yet, in most cases, they end up hurt, as cheating always has devastating effects on their primary relationship. When it comes to men, experts have identified more reasons despite the one that ‘men are dogs’.
Author and psychologist from Huntington Station, N.Y, Daniel Sapen, says:
“Sexual variety is important to many people, and so is keeping hold of the steady and reliable parts of one’s life. This very often translates into a divided strategy of appeasing and deceiving a partner into believing whatever feels secure, while also being on the hunt for new partners or at least open to new sexual opportunities.
Cheating might meet a few needs. The pleasure of the sex is one thing, the excitement of the ‘hunt’ and the novelty is another, and the self-esteem boost coming from being able to ‘score’ with new partners is yet another.”
Yet, no matter the reason, cheaters initially do not think of the long-term effects, and then they feel guilt and promise themselves that they will never repeat it.
Unfortunately, they often do.
Kevin Darné, the author of My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany), says:
“Cheating isn’t an automatic ‘deal breaker’ for everyone. Some couples have actually reported their relationships became stronger after an affair. However, each person has to know themselves and listen to their inner guide.
Not everyone is capable of giving someone who hurt them a clean slate. If every time you look at your mate, you conjure up images of them lying and cheating on you, staying with them is an act of self-mutilation.”
While some people can never regain their former trust and emotional safety needed to save their relationship, many others consider cheating a test of maturity and a chance for them to weather the storm and end up stronger than before.
A couple can try counseling to overcome the relationship crisis.
If you have cheated on your partner, or you feel like your bond has started to weaken, here are some helpful tips:
- Open up to your partner, and communicate your thoughts and feelings before you become strangers and you end up cheating
- Try to remember the reason why you started the relationship in the first place, to start and value your partner again.
- You chose to be with your partner, so respect your choice.
- Don’t give up on your partner, but try your best to save your relationship, If it is impossible, at least move on with dignity, and do not hurt them.
Having a loyal partner by your side in good and bad is priceless. Never forget to appreciate the efforts your partner does in the relationship, as everyone craves for attention and respect.
For all men out there, here are some important things you should always keep in mind:
- Women are romantics, so from time to time, remember to do something special for your loved one
- Women are highly emotional, so try to relate to her and be emotionally available
- Think about her and how you can make her happy
- Find a way to make her feel that she is your priority
- Accept her for who she really is, and do not try to change her
Your relationship should be based on trust, love, and respect. Yet, it is up to both of you whether it will succeed or someone will come in between.