Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating



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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 08:08 AM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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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..
Lets remember that there are many marriages that would be considered primed for infidelity yet none of the spouses ever crossed over the line. Was it because of a lack of opportunity? I would venture to say that it is because of one thing, BOUNDARIES.

'I'd rather live by a dream, than live by a lie.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:06 AM
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Cool Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

Infidelity is the total nadir of disrespect, disloyalty, and is an overt slap in the face to the enduring love ordained by God for one spouse to solemnly pledge to another, before Him, Church, family and community, and to unselfishly convey to their partner and loved ones!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:55 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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Lets remember that there are many marriages that would be considered primed for infidelity yet none of the spouses ever crossed over the line. Was it because of a lack of opportunity? I would venture to say that it is because of one thing, BOUNDARIES.
Great input. Having boundaries is an extension of commitment, one of the three pillars of a successful relationship. With commitment, a couple can have a bad day, week and sometimes year, but still find the strength to re-energize the relationship.

Per my post, I care more about intent than just committed acts of infidelity. If one recalls, the AM hack exposed many marriages in which the husband had attempted to find an affair partner but failed.

I advise individuals to not settle for affairs or sub-par relationships but to always strive for bliss. As the new year rolls in, it would be a good time for individuals to address the relational flaws that allow for cheating to occur but to also return to the mutually beneficial relationship model of unconditional love.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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As the new year rolls in, it would be a good time for individuals to address the relational flaws that allow for cheating to occur but to also return to the mutually beneficial relationship model of unconditional love.
No.... Unconditional love does not happen in a romantic relationship. You mentioned that people could have a bad day, or bad week or bad year. If that one year turns into years, or decades, the relationship dies.

Love is a verb... it is an action, it is what you do or say, or don't do or say, that matters. Love are those actions that in the eye and heart of the recipient makes them feel loved; for most, it is the warm hug, the sense of 'having my back, it is the enthusiastic sexual encounter freely shared.

If a marriage is devoid of any sexual experiences for a decade (unless enthusiastically agreed upon by both, or devoid of the good, close 'open up and be emotionally naked' conversation for years, etc it will end. No one can love unconditionally.

Redefining 'unconditional' is an often used trick. It is just that however. Love has conditions.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 08:17 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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No.... Unconditional love does not happen in a romantic relationship. You mentioned that people could have a bad day, or bad week or bad year. If that one year turns into years, or decades, the relationship dies.
You misunderstand unconditional love.
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Love is a verb... it is an action, it is what you do or say, or don't do or say, that matters. Love are those actions that in the eye and heart of the recipient makes them feel loved; for most, it is the warm hug, the sense of 'having my back, it is the enthusiastic sexual encounter freely shared.
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If a marriage is devoid of any sexual experiences for a decade (unless enthusiastically agreed upon by both, or devoid of the good, close 'open up and be emotionally naked' conversation for years, etc it will end. No one can love unconditionally.
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Redefining 'unconditional' is an often used trick. It is just that however. Love has conditions.

You make a lot of good points but we disagree in the approach and how we look at unconditional love. To do an appropriate job I'd need a lot more space to write the explanation. Unconditional love is 'love'. Conditional love is a very dangerous game to play. If we properly categorize all of the relational interactions, you'd see where I am coming from. Love isn't just a verb, and that might be why our eyes misalign.

I am also unsure if you are politely accusing me of using said 'trick'. I certainly have my own contribution to the subject but my views are quite similar to Shauna Shapiro, PhD.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 08:55 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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Lets remember that there are many marriages that would be considered primed for infidelity yet none of the spouses ever crossed over the line. Was it because of a lack of opportunity? I would venture to say that it is because of one thing, BOUNDARIES.
Character, honor, decency also come to mind.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 08:56 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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Can a Couple Recover from Infidelity?
Depends on what you think recovery is.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:08 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

I guess my question is...why should the betrayed spouse struggle to stick it out with a wayward spouse when they could just end the relationship, heal...and eventually find someone who won't cheat. I have read stories on here where sure, people reconcile, but there's constant triggers that never seem to go away, and the wayward spouse is kissing the a$$ forever it seems of the betrayed spouse, in order to make amends, and the betrayed spouse never really forgets. Seems like a lot of work to me. I understand if there are kids involved, but Idk if it's healthy for kids to see a constant house of drama, crying and chaos, and that is basically what the road to ''recovery'' looks like for people who have been cheated on.

To each their own, I guess.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:53 PM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

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I guess my question is...why should the betrayed spouse struggle to stick it out with a wayward spouse when they could just end the relationship, heal...and eventually find someone who won't cheat. I have read stories on here where sure, people reconcile, but there's constant triggers that never seem to go away, and the wayward spouse is kissing the a$$ forever it seems of the betrayed spouse, in order to make amends, and the betrayed spouse never really forgets. Seems like a lot of work to me. I understand if there are kids involved, but Idk if it's healthy for kids to see a constant house of drama, crying and chaos, and that is basically what the road to ''recovery'' looks like for people who have been cheated on.

To each their own, I guess.
Yep it's like they both settle to be each others plan B. The BS for sure is stuck with plan B because no one and I mean NO ONE wants to marry someone who cheated on them.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 05:47 AM
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Re: Infidelity – It’s More Than Just Cheating

There are factors that should be taken into consideration. Infidelity is not a rare thing. More than 60% of people cheat.

Several factors came into play. One of them, oddly - is that she thought I was cheating on her in some way. Go figure...
The event was a wake-up call to many problems in our marriage - that were always fixable.

Our marriage was wrecked. But we did decide to talk, date and get back together again. It hurt like hell. Due to MC, books, and desire - we both are doing quite good. Rare mini triggers happen. Getting very sick once, caused a panic attack which then triggered me off - which freaked out my wayward into a crying mess.

We are a stronger couple today than we ever were before. That much is for certain.

Supporting those who want to divorce or reconcile. Not every relationship is the same.
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