People across cultures, religions and groups have engaged in infidelity since the beginning of time. In today’s society, the temptation is exacerbated by the sexualization and objectification of men and women in media, news, TV, movies, advertising, pornography, and online video chats. Dating sites are a kinder, gentler way of facilitating hook ups, affairs, and one-night stands. Not to mention sites specifically designed for committing adultery in person or online (sexting, emotional affairs and spending time chatting with ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, even when you are in a new relationship).
It’s a much more complicated world and especially today where most of us are cooped up at home, we’re being forced to learn to communicate civilly and concentrate on what is important in our relationship to ourselves, our partners and our children – or pets!
People have affairs for several reasons.
• They want to feel important, in control and powerful.
• They want to forget the stress of home life, be with someone else because “you’re always there.”
• I want my stuff to myself. Don’t look at my phone. It’s none of your business.
• They can’t be themselves in a dependent relationship, so they justify going outside the relationship where there are no strings attached.
• Some people try to find themselves, who they really are and they are afraid of what they might find out.
• They cannot express feelings so they use sex to numb out the pain of loneliness, low self-esteem, the inability to express tenderness in relationships, and having to pay attention to what other people are feeling.
They justify their actions by saying they are no longer in love with their partner, or their partner does not make them a priority or give them what they expect in an intimate relationship. Some people have affairs to get even with their partners for cheating on them. Instead of discussing their feelings with their partners, they go outside the relationship and try to fill the feeling void with out of control sexual behaviors, minimizing their time building an intimate relationship with the person they are sharing their life with.
For couples it helps to:
• Check in regularly and discuss who you are as a couple.
• What do you really want to achieve as a couple?
• Tell your partner ahead of time, what you’re up to, who you’re talking to, who you’re spending time with, before she finds out looking through your phone!
• What are your motives and agendas for being together?
• Avoid messing with trust (lying, cheating, betrayal)
• Build trust by asking your partner what you can do to build the trust back.