Despite the statistics that show infidelity on the rise, especially in the workplace, the desire to cheat is not an innate tendency. Cheaters do not actually start out celebrating infidelity. They only find themselves enmeshed in a web of lies and deceit and justify their behavior as something that was so difficult to overcome.
Strange as it may seem, the desire to cheat is not necessarily about the sex. A study of the reasons why spouses wander off from the territory is actually traced to the cheating spouse’s partner’s incapacity to meet the former’s needs. Does this mean that their callousness justified the cheating spouse’s affair?
The Motivation to commit infidelity
When a spouse does not get emotional sustenance from their primary relationship, they become vulnerable to having affairs. In a recent study conducted by Loras College Psychologist Julia Omarzu, it was revealed that the motivating factors that lead spouses to cheat are sex, emotional sustenance and love. When the primary relationship fails to provide these needs, the desire to cheat increases.
These reasons, however, do not justify breaking your marriage vows and destroying your family. Couples who have made the commitment to save their marriage can address the underlying causes of dissatisfaction in their marriage to overcome the pain of infidelity and move on to build strong happy and fulfilling relationships.
Partners who wish to avoid making themselves vulnerable to the urge to cheat should avoid building confidences with someone other than their spouse that becomes shrouded in secrecy. When you find yourself keeping secrets from your spouse regarding someone you have a crush on, and you share great chemistry with, it’s safe to take a step backward to assess things.
Infidelity central, places conducive to cheating
In a recent article in USA Today, the real threat to a marriage is found in emotional ties a spouse creates with the opposite sex. People spending more time at work and with more women joining the workforce, men and women with emotional voids find themselves with a greater opportunity to create friendships with the opposite sex.
With the recent trend of people spending more time at work and more women joining the workforce, men and women suffering from emotional voids are finding themselves with more opportunity to cheat. In a study on how infidelity starts out, 62% of men and 46% of women met their lover at the workplace. This type of infidelity starts out as innocent friendships that eventually become illicit affairs giving infidelity a new kind of meaning which, according to Shirley Glass, a well known marital researcher, is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust.
Emotional cheating steers clear of physical intimacy. However, it involves secrecy, deception and ultimately betrayal. People entangled in non-sexual affairs convince themselves that there is nothing wrong because they haven’t committed sex yet. This is where they get it wrong. It is not the sex but the breach of trust that is the most painful aspect of the affair. When couples encounter a rough patch in their relationship, the temptation to depend on emotional support from someone other than the spouse can be very tempting. Instead of engaging in collaborative effort with their partners, they take their marriage for granted. When someone willingly gives them time and attention, this actually makes them vulnerable to affairs of the heart that eventually develop into a full blown affair.
Boundaries are limits we put on ourselves in order to protect. In the case of marriage, the boundary is there to protect the relationship keeping the parties safe and strong from anything that could hurt.
The urge to cheat is an affront on the boundaries that protect the sacredness of marriage. But this weakness does not happen overnight. It is brought about by the parties themselves who fail to fix and strengthen their relationship.
Overwhelmed by the pressure of a new found illicit love, couples slowly divest themselves of their boundaries. By slowly taking down the sheen that protects the marriage, a time eventually comes when they will have no qualms in sleeping with a stranger, who could not have otherwise wreaked damage to relationships, simply because they want to.
Instead of having to wander in doubt and uncertainty, establishing good boundaries to ensure that the marriage is protected and the parties enjoy the sweetness of a supportive and loving relationship. Dealing with the underlying factor that motivates adultery is vital to understanding the problem, effectively nipping the problem in the bud.