It’s all over the newspapers, ragmags and television. The child of John Edwards’ mistress is his daughter. Tiger Woods and his 14 “other women.” We can’t seem to escape the subject of infidelity in today’s marriages.
If you have experienced infidelity in your personal relationship or marriage, you’re not alone. Infidelity is one of the leading reasons for divorce, broken homes, domestic violence and disrupted children.
I recently read a fabulous book entitled “Why Men Cheat” written by Paul Blanchard. In his book, the statistics concerning men in particular are stunning. Most surveys taken put male infidelity at a figure above 60% with some studies showing that rate close to 75%. These same statistics show that although women cheat as well, they are at least twice as faithful as their male counterparts. Another stunning statistic is the rate among gay males. It has been estimated that over 90% of gay males in long-term relationships cheat on their partners.
Although the after effects of infidelity often leads to divorce, some partners/spouses are able to muddle their way through to an end result of a stronger marital bond. However, there are those instances where a partner or spouse learns to accept this type of behavior and the unfaithfulness continues.
According to Mr. Blanchard, only one out of every four men actually leave their wives for the other woman. This is not surprising to me. Most men do not cheat on their wives because they don’t love them. It is usually because they are missing something emotionally. Most people believe “men will be men” and that they will cheat because of their animalistic ways, but that is not true. I have talked to several men who have experienced infidelity and almost all of them said they loved their wives but that she couldn’t connect with them emotionally. This is definitely not a valid excuse, in my opinion; however, it is something that women need to be made more aware of. Mr. Blanchard goes on to say that the biggest myth believed by many is the idea that if a man is happily married, he will not cheat. Wrong again!
As Mr. Blanchard so eloquently states, “love is not a rational feeling. Sometimes it leads to pure happiness and other times it leads to pain. It is such a powerful emotion that it changes lives and perspectives.” My take from that is his reasoning for the above. People make irrational mistakes that lead to pain in marriages and relationships in general. It’s what we learn from those mistakes that matter in the end. Unfortunately, we have to learn that divorce may be the consequence, and fortunately for some, that mistake may lead to a stronger relationship if the right help is asserted.
The institute of marriage has been attacked by infidelity. Marriage has become less of a commitment and divorce has become an all too easy option. When we commit to our marriages and take our precious vows, we are supposed to be bound to our trust and to our loyalty to our unions. As has been often stated, marriage is hard work! Although the path through infidelity is a hard one to take, I believe that one can find restoration and healing through a renewed commitment to yourself and to your marriage as well as through communication and open counseling.
Let me put out my disclaimer to you readers that by all means, I am not encouraging anyone to stay in an unhealthy marriage. However, marriage is extremely personal to each individual and where immediately heading to divorce court might be good for one couple, it may not be the answer for the next.
My question would be…”What is your marriage worth to you?” TMF readers, I would love to hear your opinion on this very touchy subject. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.
Peace & Blessings,