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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 04:48 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

Originally Posted by VS Glen View Post

When asked, many couples will say that the worst thing you can do to a spouse or partner is to cheat. But people have different understanding of what cheating is and what it isn’t. There are many layers to infidelity and, some believe, that there are things worse than cheating.

What Exactly is Infidelity?

Many people, when asked to define cheating, mention things like having sex with someone other than their spouse. Other people, however, may mention things like kissing or emotional affairs. So, what exactly is the definition of infidelity, and does it vary from one person to another? According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of infidelity is, “unfaithfulness to a moral obligation” or “disloyalty”. Another definition is, “the act or fact of having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s husband, wife, or partner”. Based on these definitions, infidelity involves a breach of loyalty or moral obligation to one’s partner or spouse but it may or may not involve a sexual act.
Indeed, the heinous component of "cheating" is the intention to carry it out, regardless of what physical or emotional activities occur. I tend to define it as a deviation of energy away from one's romantic partner and towards another individual. There is no affair in which energy was not diverted from the primary partner.
Emotional vs. Physical Affairs

If you had to decide for yourself, would you say that you would be more hurt if your partner or spouse had a physical affair with someone else or if they had an emotional affair? A physical affair often involves a single sexual act – it may or may not be a recurring or long-term relationship. An emotional affair, on the other hand, takes time to develop and, while it may not actually involve any physical infidelity, it can sometimes feel more disloyal than a sexual act. For example, in a troubled marriage where one partner has started having an emotional affair, the other partner may feel as though their relationship isn’t important anymore – that their partner chose to seek emotional connection with someone else instead of working on their relationship. Another tricky thing about emotional affairs is that they often lead to physical affairs
Women tend to be more hurt by emotional affairs.
Men tend to be more hurt by physical affairs.

The answer from Evolutionary Biology suggests that the reason is due to a man's need to ensure his spawn are of his own, while a woman needs the safety and security of a companion to help with the children.
Can a Couple Recover from Infidelity?

Once one partner has committed some sort of infidelity, it can cause the dynamics of the entire relationship to change and things may deteriorate quickly. But there are also cases where a couple can recover from an act of infidelity perpetrated by one or both partners. One thing you will need to know if you want to recover from an affair is that people cheat for many reasons – infidelity is not always an indicator of a failing marriage.
I would say that infidelity is never an indicator of a failing marriage. The reasons individuals cheat are the indicators worth looking at. This way we ensure that cheating doesn't occur and viable marriages survive and prosper.
Honest and open communication is the first step toward recovery or, at the very least, in determining whether recovery is even possible. Both partners must be honest with each other, willing to answer questions, and willing to ask the hard questions – you cannot recover from infidelity if both of you are not completely truthful. The recovery process could be very long and difficult and you both need to be on the same page if you want to try for it.
That is fantastic advice, which is part of the 3-step plan I have for the betrayed. It is rare that the adulterer takes appropriate steps to put the relationship on the path to attempt reconciliation. Disclosure. Disclosure. Disclosure.
Infidelity comes in many shapes and forms – it may or may not involve any sexual acts. Regardless what form it takes, infidelity can poison and very well ruin a relationship. Recovery may be possible, but it will certainly not be a short or an easy road.
It is often the last nail in the coffin. Also, many roommate relationships are pushed over the edge by infidelity. It is truly rare that nearly perfect relationships are rocked by cheating. It is fair enough to say that 95% or more of the time there are glaring foundational cracks.

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