True. According to Oprah.com, more than 50 million married men are cheaters and half of them will or have had multiple affairs. But, women aren't much better. Fifty-four percent of women admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they've had — and that's only the ones who admit it.
Why are partners cheating and what happened to the commitments made in marriage? Broken promises, unmet expectations, less than pure thoughts and sometimes strategic planning lead to intimacy outside of marriage. These lies, secrets and sex-capades are often a shallow, short-term fix to a long-suffering relationship. Whether you are on the involved or betrayed side of an affair — everyone is affected.
Types of Affairs
According to Douglas LaBier on PsychologyToday.com, there are six types of affairs people in committed relationships engage in. As a business psychologist, LaBier has met with many couples who are in the middle of or are trying to sort through an affair. In his experience, he's found these six types:
Ranging from affairs that are only about sex (and quickly diminish) to emotional affairs where the cheating couple never engages in sex, LaBier says learning about the types can promote awareness and responsibility.
Why Your Spouse is Having an Affair and Who it's With
Naomi Schaefer Riley from The Wall Street Journal online says the increase of infidelity in married couples under 30 could be because there is more opportunity — from the ease of technology and the Internet to women working outside the home. Another reason could be that it is common for people to have sexual relationships with multiple partners before marriage, so after marriage it is hard to live a monogamous lifestyle.
As reported on Oprah.com, marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman found that 92 percent of the men in a study he conducted said the reason they cheated didn't have to do with sex. "The majority said it was an emotional disconnection, specifically a sense of feeling under-appreciated," Neuman said.
Because people look for security, love and a feeling of being valued from their spouse, cheating spouses will often look elsewhere if they aren't receiving that assurance. Affairs are often shared between co-workers, close friends, and even brother or sister-in-laws — anyone who makes the person feel secure, valued or special.
Infidelityfacts.com reports that 31 percent of marriages last after an affair has been admitted or discovered. It may be because some realize the mistakes they made and want to repent, or because they found that life with someone else made them want to try harder with their current spouse. Most of the time, though, affairs leave couples even more unhappy than they already were. After a while, a cheating spouse realizes "getting back" at their spouse only caused more pain. Others find the new relationship loses its spark, just like their marriage.
According to Dallas Pastor Ed Young, some spouses turn their back on a relationship that isn't "sexy" because of unexciting responsibilities, like paying bills and parenting rebellious children. They enter an affair with someone who doesn't seem to have any of those variables. "Well, guess what?" Young said during a recent webinar. "[Those variables] eventually come. Eventually you will have a mortgage payment and you'll have an alimony payment."
The reasons for beginning in an affair are related to issues in the existing relationship. If a person tries to smother, run from or hide those issues in an affair, when everything comes crashing down it may only be loneliness and emptiness that remains. Couples should learn to confront problems in their marriage, whether addressing expectations, rekindling a fire that has diminished or honorably ending the marriage before stepping out.