The Psychology of Infidelity and It’s Impact In Marriages

According to an article in 2003 Men’s Health 1 in 22 women compared to 1 in 20 men admitted to having an affair.  One survey asked if couples would cheat if their spouse would not find out and only 8% said yes.  Although about 60 to 65% of couples having affairs survive, almost 80% of those who survive are not as happy as they once were before the affair happened.  At the end of the day or should I say at the end of infidelity and all it’s secret keeping by those involved both men and women, over 80% of those who have infidelity in their lives regardless of why always get caught.

If a man steal because he is hungry although it is wrong the one stole from is more likely to forgive the thief.  In the Old Testament if a man and woman were unfaithful (infidelity) the remedy was to stone them.  What is Infidelity and why are the results of infidelity so destructive?

Infidelity is a strong sexual attraction to another person other than one’s spouse.  Typically infidelity involves a level of secrecy and plenty of lies regarding one’s whereabout, time and the expenditure of funds.  It is not unusual for the individual to have a greater sense of emotional bonding to the person(s) involved in the affair rather than his or her spouse.  The very foundation of a healthy relationship is the emotional attachment between husband and wife.  Whenever a third party becomes the focus of a married person’s emotions the natural tendency is to also removes ones time, energy and focus toward the infidelity relationship.

Most affairs are not planned and contrary to what one may think, infidelity does not occur because of “bad marriages”.  Boundaries and one’s commitment to abide within the vows of marriage regardless of opportunity to enjoy sexual and emotional intercourse with another regulates to a larger degree one’s choice to avoid or engage in infidelity.  Years ago a teaser to a well know movie starring Robin Williams said, “I did not have sex with that woman, but I wanted to”.  It was Robin Williams boundaries that kept him from being unfaithful.  William’s  response from Hollywood sound like a line taken directly from Jacob’s son Joseph in the Old Testament when Potipher’s wife invited him to enjoy sexual intercourse with her.  Joseph’s simple response was, “how can I commit so great a sin against your husband and against God’.  Joseph understood what it was like to be lonely, to be in the presence of a lovely woman, to enjoy good conversation with a married woman and to work in an environment with a daily opportunity to have an ongoing secret affair.  From all indicators Joseph would have been assured that Potipher’s wife would not have told on him as long as her emotional and sexual needs were being satisfied by him.


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