Infidelity (Adultery)

What Is Infidelity?
For the adulterer, infidelity can be exciting and seductive, conferring feelings of renewal, rejuvenation, and joy. The partner being betrayed, however, may feel confusion, anger, doubt, pain, and heartbreak. Relationships require ongoing work, but when a couple faces the fallout from an affair, the challenge can feel insurmountable.
Infidelity is the breaking of a promise to remain faithful to a sexual partner, whether that promise was made as part of marriage vows or privately uttered agreements between lovers. As unthinkable as the notion of breaking such bonds may be at the time, infidelity is far from rare. And when it happens, it raises thorny questions: Should you stay? Can trust be rebuilt? Or is there no choice but to pack up and move on?

Why People Have Affairs

Some 90 percent of the 3,400 participants in a recent survey reported that they consider infidelity to be unacceptable. Yet among heterosexual married couples, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of men and 10 to 25 percent of women will stray.
Overall, the percentage of both men and women engaging in extramarital sex has increased over the decades, and as societal changes have shifted marital roles with far fewer women remaining at home, the rates may only rise further. Still, many committed relationships do find a way to survive infidelities.

What Defines Cheating in a Relationship?

What actually constitutes infidelity? The line between innocent, playful flirtation and downright betrayal is elastic. Some people argue that confiding in anyone other than your partner, can mean betrayal. Even too much interest in another person’s social media postings can amount to a breach of trust. Still, others think that chatting (online or otherwise) approaches a problem. But if there was no “sex” involved, what is the issue?
It all depends on individual perspective. Women, in general, report being more concerned with emotional involvement, while men deem sexual interaction as the deeper duplicity. In reality, any activity that takes place without a partner’s knowledge may lead to problems down the road.