Is Marital Infidelity Just Circumstantial?
As we approach life and relationships, we have to ask ourselves what the future, the destination, will look like. We give effort every single day to achieve those ends, otherwise we will arrive at another destination. I think it is too simplistic to ask whether or not our partner will give in and drink from the affair cup. Rather, I think it is important for individuals in relationships to question if their efforts create an affair-proof relationship, for both partners. To better understand the headline question, we need to understand what infidelity is. I will define infidelity as any gift of physical or emotional energy towards another man or woman. It is done in secret as it goes against the intent of the primary relationship. The most severe cases of infidelity involve passionate sex and actual feelings of love for another. The primary reason that infidelity is “bad” is because it diverts attention away from the committed relationship, into the one that resides in the shadows.
I must highlight how silly it is for the cheater to become infatuated with this new romance. This other person does not live with them, share finances, share chores, share child-rearing efforts – nada. Of course, it is easy to become infatuated and possibly fall in love when one compares this new perfect person with the flawed spouse that co-inhabits the same bedroom. This new person gives no negativity and is just there to have fun. How utterly unrealistic are cheaters, that they assume this fling fantasy will translate into a sustainable relationship? When married individuals began dating, the same idealization-based infatuation existed. While many affair relationships do turn into committed relationships, themselves, they fall prey to the same relationship bickering, boredom, and future affairs, when the infatuation ceases and reality takes hold. I can tell readers from experience that my being-cheated-on adventures were caused by the same thing: a partner that had a fantasy with infatuation. This invariably led to another man entering the scene when a difficult moment transpired. At this point, many years before becoming a Relationship Coach, I had decided to clean up my act. But, still, I was no match for a new man; a man that my (at the time) partner had no negative views for. It is this image of perfection that is to blame for much of the relationship failures. First, it gets incompatible individuals together and they don’t realize the relationship is on faulty ground until they are engaged or married. Second, the image of perfection is a constant source of expectations to be placed on the other partner. Expectations can never be exceeded; They can only be met. When met, they don’t elicit the same satisfaction as if the partner had performed this act on their own accord. This mindset is doomed to fail – it does incessantly.
Does a college student just happen to fail a test, or was there a string of events (failures) that led to that moment?
Does a distracted driver, using a cellular device, just happen to cause a vehicle collision?
I don’t intend to insinuate that certain behaviors cause infidelity. Unfaithfulness is to blame here. The actions of an individual are always entirely their responsibility. What we can do is realize that individuals will act on pre-existing weaknesses in their character when the relationship is not meeting their felt needs. Every relationship will go through some trauma at some point. We can either be prepared for this marital storm or we can be sidelined by it and assume the worst, as a result. I place primary blame on weakness in individuals (not weak individuals) for being the principal cause of infidelity. We can blame it on the alcohol. We can blame it on being first cheated on. We can blame it on an unsatisfying sex life. We can blame it on loving but no longer being in love. But what is to blame is the underlying failure to choose to remain committed and act in accordance with that commitment every single moment. This same problem will destroy a relationship, even if an affair never occurs. The affair is only a symptom of an underlying disease.
I want readers to understand that the same relationship mastery efforts will eliminate the underlying causes for an individual to fall prey to giving love and lust to another man or woman, but also perfect the relationship itself. Were there to be momentary weakness in the relationship, it would not translate into one of the partners seeking to fill in the gap by getting the emotional and physical connection from a 3rd party. We master relationships by focusing, selfishly, on self-happiness. That may sound harsh, but here’s the rub: happiness actually comes from giving and expressing love to another. Feeling that we need to gain self-esteem and that we determine our happiness as a result of others is doomed to fail. When we feel that our mood is determined by the actions of our partner, we invite marital failure or marital infidelity to flow from us. One in this mindset will conclude that to have their happiness buttons pushed, they must go seek another individual to do it. It will present itself as a yearning need that is bottled up, waiting to flow free. The result of this is the gift of emotional and physical energy to a stranger, when it would be best served in the ailing relationship.
What do you do about this? How do you heal from affairs? How do you prevent affairs?
Thank You for Reading,