There is a rise in infidelity across the country. It is becoming more common; affecting everyone from celebrities, presidents, married couples, and new lovers. People are more openly talking about infidelity. Infidelity has been on the rise for some time now and is expected to continue to rise. Free dictionary.com defines infidelity as unfaithfulness to a sexual partner especially a spouse. Infidelity statistics show cheating is on the rise; over 50% of both men and women have had a sexual relationship with a person other than their spouse during their marriage. There are many different causes and effects of infidelity, mostly negative, but some can be positive. One possible cause is availability and opportunity. There are so many options of cheating—emotional, cyber, and sexual. There are even more ways to hide it, most believe they will not get caught. When the opportunity arises, it is too tempting for most people to pass up. I took a survey in the class to see what fellow classmates believed was the most common cause of cheating. 60% believed that a change in perspective is the leading cause to infidelity.
Another cause is technology. Technology makes cheating easier than it ever has been. Numerous people visit online chat rooms and dating sites. Several of those people stay in contact with their online friends, on a daily basis. According to the infidelity statistics nearly 60% of internet users flirt over internet. 40% of them have engaged in sexual conversation. 50% have contacted their online friends. Online porn directly contributes to divorce. There is a direct correlation between online infidelity and sexual affairs. Some people cheat for the thrill of the adrenaline. Knowing cheating is prohibited, they get a rush or high. These people want to avoid boredom in their life. They feel their life is predictable and they want to live on the edge. Familiarity can also play a role in cheating. As time passes, people know their partner very well; this can lead to lack of excitement. If excitement is found elsewhere it can drive a person to cheat. These people believe the grass is greener on the other side. When they become attracted to another they act on it. There are emotional feelings which can lead to infidelity. If one partner feels they are superior to the other, they believe they should cheat.
They justify their behavior by feeling they deserve to be with someone equal to them. Another factor is unexpressed anger or a desire to get even. If a partner has previously been caught cheating, the non-cheater may decide to cheat. They believe if they cheat, both will be equal, thus making them feel better. This type of reaction tends not to play out well, for either side. There are physical factors that play into infidelity. Not all people age gracefully. Some people cheat if they get the chance. They want to prove they still can. As their age increases, their self-esteem decreases. They begin to wonder if they are still attractive to the opposite sex. Many people get into an affair just for the affirmation they still have it. Another physical factor is the environment they grew up in. If children are raised in a home where parents or other family cheat, they believe it is perfectly alright. Young individuals are taught, by family and friends, to believe that monogamy is unnatural and cheating is acceptable. They then apply this learned behavior to their own life. This further increases the trend of continuous cheating.
Another cause of the increase in cheating is different sexual experiences. One sexual partner may be more experienced, leaving them bored with their less experienced partner. Some people have a sexual addiction, like Tiger Woods. He had an amazing life, #1 golfer, nice house, beautiful wife, good family, but it still wasn’t enough for him. He admitted to multiple infidelities while married. He also confessed to having a sexual addiction, which he sought treatment for. However, this could not save his marriage; it ended with a public divorce. Celebrity affairs impact the rise in cheating. These affairs are made public, talked about on TV, in magazines, and on the radio. The mistresses are followed by the press, offered money for their story, and become celebrity-like overnight. The most recent public example is focused on General David Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The General worked for the CIA, he willingly resigned after news of the affair was made public. In his resignation note he stated, “I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as a leader of an organization [CIA] such as ours.” Not only did this have a negative impact on his marriage, but his life long career as well. The most well-known affair would be with President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Clinton struggled with the decision to talk publically about the affair. He contacted a friend for advice on if he should come out with the truth. He stated “I didn’t do what they said I did, but I may have done so much that I can’t prove my innocence.” His friend advised him to tell the truth, he said the American people will forgive adultery but not lies.
People spoke of impeaching him, but this never happened, he finished out his term. The effects of cheating are devastating. It affects the person on the receiving end more than it does the cheater. Infidelity can have effects on both partners. Not all relationships can make it through this hard time. A majority of people affected by infidelity want to let the relationship go and move on. The person, who was cheated on, ends up with a shattered self-image. He/she is infected with severe self-doubt and blame. They can’t help but become depressed or even suicidal. This could cause them to lose faith/trust in both people and relationships. People directly affected by infidelity are more likely to be insecure or angry. If they do not seek professional help it could result in continuous problems. Most effects of cheating are negative, but there are a few positive results. Infidelity could cause one, or both partners, to seek much needed professional help.
Some issues can be worked through, but require both time and work. If a couple makes it thru an occurrence, they could form a stronger bond, and become thankful for what they do have. The most critical/significant cause of cheating is a lack of emotional intimacy. Over time, the love almost dies. Couples make the poor choice to remain in these dead relationships for long periods of time. The need for love and feeling of importance is crucial to the survival of a relationship. If a partner feels neglected they may seek love from an alternative source. Spending too little time with a partner leaves them feeling their needs and/or desires are unmet. Women are more prone to cheating if they feel unaccepted, and unloved. When affection is missing it can drive an individual to cheat. The rise in infidelity has a tremendous impact on the lives of many people. There is a marriage crisis in America. In 2010, less than 50% of Americans were married. A half century ago almost 75% were married. Happiness in marriages has dropped, and divorce rates have gone up. If something is not done to decrease infidelity, theses rates will continue to go up.
Courtney from Study Moose
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