What is infidelity and what can you do about it?
Infidelity has, unfortunately, become more and more common in today’s day and age. It is one of the worst forms of betrayal in a relationship, and it leaves a deep wound that takes a very long time to heal. So many aspects of the bond between two people become damaged when one is unfaithful to the other, and very many people do not feel that a relationship can survive cheating. But exactly what is infidelity? Is there a way to overcome it and heal your relationship?
Each person’s definition of infidelity is going to vary, but one thing remains true. Infidelity is a betrayal in the relationship that involves a third party. Whether or not the relationship is going to survive will depend on both you and your partner, so I wanted to write this article today to go over everything you need to take into consideration when it comes to making a decision about turning the page and moving on from the relationship, or fighting to restore it!
What is infidelity: Defining it is of utmost importance
As I said above, every single person is going to have their very own answer to “What is infidelity?”
Yes, it’s synonymous with cheating in a relationship, but cheating comes in many forms. It’s extremely important that you and your partner are on the same page about it. Some people will consider flirting with another person as cheating, whereas others won’t.
If you and your significant other are not clear about how you define cheating, and what you deem acceptable behavior versus what you find to be inappropriate, you are going have a much greater chance of ending up in a painful situation that could even lead to a painful breakup.
If you haven’t already, I suggest you take some time to really think about what counts as cheating to you and invite your partner to do the same thing. Ideally, this should happen early on in the relationship, and especially before anything that makes one of you feel betrayed has actually happened.
For some, infidelity is defined by physically having sex with someone who is not their partner. In fact, the textbook definition from Merriam-Webster for adultery is “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.” For our purposes, we aren’t only talking about married couples, but this is the most common definition of cheating in a relationship.
It’s very important to factor in emotional cheating as well and think about how it makes you feel. Reflect on whether or not you consider flirting with someone other than your partner as cheating. How about emotionally connecting with someone else, or browsing an attractive person’s Instagram? What about fantasizing about someone else?
Sometimes a partner might do something without even realizing that it would deeply hurt the person they love.
I know someone who grew up in with a very flirtatious and outgoing father. It was accepted as a perfectly normal type of behavior in the family, and he acts the same way in his adult life. This presented a problem recently when his significant other found it to be inappropriate. They came from different backgrounds and hadn’t been clear with each other about their expectations.
Luckily they were able to discuss it and make sure that neither of them was doing anything that was hurting the other from that moment on.
The problem arises when I see people not talking about the situation with their partner, and waiting until something serious happens. Of course, I’m talking about things that could be seen as cheating by some people and as harmless fun by others. For example, flirtation via text messages, or hitting on someone at a bar.
When it comes to physical intimacy with another person, the vote is pretty unanimous and all people generally consider that to be infidelity – whether there is an emotional attachment or not.
Infidelity: Why does it happen?
Knowing why infidelity happens helps you to protect your relationship against it.
There are so many reasons behind why there is infidelity in marriages and relationships, but the most common reason is simply that a person wants something that they are not getting from their significant other.
Generally speaking, a person who cheats is feeling physically or emotionally unsatisfied in their current relationship. It usually isn’t something that they actively go out and search for – it usually comes up as a surprise. There are of course always exceptions, but I am talking about the majority of cases.
It should be noted that there are also some people that are serial cheaters and get a rush from the chase and the excitement of doing something forbidden. If you know that you’re with someone like this I have to say, please protect your heart and find somebody who isn’t going to take advantage of your trust so easily.
Oftentimes, when a relationship is faced with infidelity, it is because things have become very monotonous. As human beings, we need to feel excited and stimulated (no, I’m not saying that cheating is OK if your relationship is lackluster), and some people look outside of their current relationship in order to feel that excitement again.
The meaning of infidelity for some people is purely physical, and for others, it’s more about the ego boost of feeling desirable.
When a person has a full-on relationship with someone who isn’t their partner, it is often because they miss the excitement that accompanies the beginning of a relationship. Another common reason is that they feel like they need emotional support that they aren’t receiving from their partner.
Some recent studies (https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/cheaters-on-cheating/index.html) have shown that men and women often cheat for different reasons. More men cheat as a result of lust or physical desire, whereas more women commit emotional cheating.
Now I have to say that if one of you looked outside of the relationship, it means there is a void that you both need to figure out how to fill, regardless of the reasons for cheating.
What does infidelity mean for a relationship and can you prevent it?
When a relationship is faced with infidelity, one of two things happen:
A. You split up because you feel that trust has been broken beyond repair
B. You remain together and decide to work to move past this painful situation
If you choose option B, you are going to have to work as a team. Trust will be broken, and things aren’t going to be patched up over night. The person who cheated is going to have to work to regain their partner’s trust, prove that they don’t want anyone else, and be fully invested in the relationship. The person who was cheated on is going to have to make sure that they’re open to forgiveness and that they’re willing to work as a team to overcome this.
Both parties involved are going to need to be patient with one another. Though we are all human, grudges need to be let go of, and communication needs to be open.
A word of advice – once you two have discussed what led to this happening, agree to not keep bringing it up. Once you’ve fully talked about it, you should not keep reliving it over and over again. You might experience the urge to bring it up, but it’s important to recognize when this is no longer productive.
Now, what can you do to prevent infidelity in marriage and relationships?
The biggest thing to do is to make your relationship better than ever before. Don’t let there be any room for “greener grass on the other side!”
Unfortunately, I see a lot of couples just allow the flame to dwindle when it isn’t actually that hard to keep that flame burning!
Relationships inevitably evolve. It’s true that it’s not going to feel the same as it did during those first few months you spent together, but that isn’t a negative thing. As relationships mature, the bond between two people can become deeper and deeper, granted they both put forth the effort.
When it comes to talking about infidelity and how to prevent it, always focus on finding new experiences to share with one another. Try out new restaurants, go to art gallery openings, go out for movie dates, go camping together, go on a little weekend getaway/road trip, try salsa dancing together, pick up a new hobby together… The possibilities are endless. Just think of fun things that can help you to continue to grow together.
The goal is to keep any forms of excessive monotony out of your relationship!
I also want to talk about the importance of taking care of yourselves and not neglecting your health. Yes, this is important so that you and your partner remain physically attracted to one another, but also so that you can boost your mood, your energy levels, and your confidence… If you feel like now is a good time, update your wardrobe, hit the gym, and of course, focus on reaching your professional and personal goals! Don’t wait until there is a threat of something going wrong in your relationship to make sure that your life is as great as it could be…
We’re only human and many of us just settle into the routine and put our lives and relationships on cruise control. The problem is that it makes things become more and more boring, and that’s exactly when your relationship is in danger of being faced with adultery.
Of course it’s obvious but I have to say it anyway – make sure that the passion is alive in the bedroom! There are so many tools for this, and if you’ve like to know how to rekindle the flame or be more seductive, I invite you to click the links!
What to do if your relationship has suffered from infidelity
If one of you has cheated, you’re undoubtedly in a very trying period. The aftermath of infidelity is extremely painful, for both people involved. Chances are that one of you is feeling betrayed, hurt and deceived, and the other is feeling ashamed and perhaps even shocked by their actions. The question now is: Do we stay together or not? Can infidelity be forgiven? Can trust ever be unbroken? And, will it ever happen again?
A relationship CAN make it through cheating, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record – it’s all going to depend on whether or not you two work as a team.
I want to tell you something that might come as quite a surprise. Perhaps when you first read it you might even think, “Wait, is he being serious right now,” but just hear me out.
Infidelity can be the biggest and most surprising blessing in disguise that a couple can experience.
What on earth am I talking about? Well, think about it. If there is infidelity in your relationship, it means that something is not right (obviously). It forces you both to shed light on the issue and work together to fix what needs fixing. Working together will bring you closer together, teach you to speak more openly about issues, and reinforce your relationship so that this doesn’t happen again.
Often, when a relationship is faced with the threat of separation, the two people become more aware than ever of how much they care about one another and begin working harder than ever to reinforce their relationship!
And by the way, the idea of “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is complete nonsense. If the relationship is serious enough, one huge wake up call like this can be enough to give you both a jolt and launch you back on the right path. Believe it or not, some of the couples I’ve worked with have actually told me that cheating was actually one of the best things that ever happened because now their relationship is stronger than ever.
Again, like I said above, anger and frustration are very human responses but if you really want to move past this, you can’t be bent on seeking revenge. If you don’t feel like you can forgive or if you don’t feel like you want to forgive, it is also ok to move on from the relationship. You don’t need to stay in it if it’s going to make you very unhappy.
It’s not uncommon for cheating to mark the end of a relationship, namely because it feels like too much of a betrayal to look past. That said, cheating in a relationship doesn’t always signify the end. Sometimes it wakes you up and makes both of you realize how important you are for one another, and that you’re both willing to make things right.
If you’re thinking, “I got cheated on,” I am sure that your mind is racing, you’re haunted by images, you can’t stop thinking about it, and you’re full of hurt and anger. The first thing I want you to do now is work on clearing all of these negative images out of your mind with meditation, exercise, and a schedule full of activities that brought you joy. If you’d like tailor-made exercises to help you get through this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here. I can help you from A to Z with targeted guidance based on your specific situation.
Defining and planning out your future together will allow you to focus on moving past this, without twisting the knife in the wound. Sharing new experiences and spicing things up is extremely important, especially when you are trying to work through a trying period. You can introduce freshness in your relationship via new activities, new experiences, and sex. For example, in the bedroom you can introduce new lingerie, trying toys, or new positions. In your every day lives you can go out and try new restaurants, seeing new shows or bands, going sailing… The possibilities are endless.
As I said, I am always here to help. If you have a specific question or story you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments section below and it would be my pleasure to personally respond to you!
Wishing you all my best,
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