Experts suggest that up to one in five adults in monogamous relationships, or 22 percent, have cheated on their current partner. The infidelity rate may be even higher for married men. The truth is getting married, having children and living together will not inoculate your relationship. And in a world bombarded with sexualized images and the tantalizing stories, it’s no surprise that many couples decide to cheat.
In fact, if you watch television, you might think everyone cheats, but experts say no. Currently evidence suggests that 28 percent of married men and 18 percent of married women admit to an affair. According to Lever, a sociologist at California State University, Los Angeles, “We think everybody is out there doing it. Well, they’re not.”
Would I know if my spouse were cheating?
Most of wonder if we’d even know if our spouse is cheating, and the truth is many spouses never know. Spouses also tend to overlook suspicious behavior and never question why they lack intimacy with their spouse or why their love life has fizzled- two tell-tale signs that your relationship has problems.
What makes it so difficult to identify the cheater? Unfortunately, there is no single profile for a philanderer. For instance, cheaters can be the mom who’s just had a baby, a forty-five year old man who has been married for twenty years or the woman living with her boyfriend. And the reasons spouses choose to cheat are also varied: women feel emotionally deprived, the man or woman is dissatisfied with the relationship or either partner is simply bored.
People cheat for a variety of reasons and many, when they do find out, wonder if their relationship can recover. The answer is yes. In fact, many couples report their relationship actually became stronger after an affair, but it takes two partners willing to work towards a mutual goal of healing.
Do kids or money deter infidelity?
Experts have also reviewed deterrents for infidelity and found that it’s common for spouses with or without children to cheat. Money also was not a deterrent. Cheating actually increases for men making over $300,000. Experts claim that with money comes increased opportunity.
So how do you cope with infidelity?
The first step to overcoming infidelity in a relationship is to avoid playing the blame game and work towards forgiveness. There needs to be open, honest communication and heartfelt apologies, but for true healing to begin, both partners have to be honest about what actions they may have done which could have contributed to the infidelity.
The next step is forgiveness. Forgiveness may be the most difficult step, and it may require professional intervention. A professional counselor may be able to help you initiate a plan of action which should include open, honest communication and assurance that the offending party has cut-off all contact with third party.
Finally, the couple will need to work to reestablish physical intimacy. Sexual healing follows forgiveness, and this might be difficult, especially if there was not physical intimacy before the affair. Experts believe, “The first step to forgiveness is often accepting the fact that the past cannot be changed, and giving up the hope that it could have been any different.”
The good news is that many marital relationships survive and thrive after infidelity.
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