Cheating is beyond a debate in our world of today, it has become almost accepted as a reality. Cheating is like a hydra – for every head you cut, there are seven more waiting to replace. Recently, cheating has become rampant among the seemingly happy married couples, and for most reasons which could have been avoided. So, here is an article that treats some of those avoidable reasons married people cheat.
Before I go fully into the reasons married people cheat, I would like to quickly share this. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook post some months back that got me reeling with laughter on my way to work. In the post, a lady friend of his had expressed her (rather unconventional) view on the concept of infidelity.
According to the lady, sharing her favourite song with a ‘side-chic’ is no different from making love to the same side-chic! Is that on the extreme side or not?
I think before we ask the “why” question, it’s wise we deal with “what” infidelity (a.k.a cheating) means.
Cheating means different things to different people. Hence it’s hazy business attempting to fit the concept within the confines of a definition. For the purpose of this article though, let’s think of infidelity in this light.
“Infidelity is the act of sharing anything that you or your spouse feel should be exclusive to your spouse with any other person”.
That’s a really broad definition right there, but I think it does encapsulate all the elements in the different subsets of the universal set we’re considering today. Sharing a raunchy picture that was meant to be ‘for his eyes only’ or a seat at the diner you go to on special occasions, or a thousand other little or not-so-little things with a third party can feel as dirty as having sex with them; just think of how your husband or wife would feel if they walked in on you.
Why then do people become disloyal? Why do they take exclusives and share them with the ‘public’? Why do seemingly happy married people jeopardize what they have for a moment(s) of fleeting pleasure? Why do frustrated couples find ‘happiness’ with every other man or woman but never in each other’s company?
These are tough nuts to crack. If you scour the plentitude of research works that have been published, you will find a mighty load of excuses and very few reasons erring partners give for their unfaithfulness. At the core of these, the following seem to be underlying factors that constitute reasons married people cheat.
The law of the avalanche continuum states that when monotony is the prolonged order of interaction in any relationship, the avalanche effect induces the search for alternatives as the only alternative (don’t google that, I made it up).
Seriously though, think of the last time you got bored with doing something over and over again. A marriage needs breaks from the usual, it needs to remain exciting. Couples must dare to be adventurous; the euphoria of ‘love’ dies out with time and then all that’s left is the decisions we make to ‘remain in love’. People need to be engaged not only physically or sexually but emotionally and mentally.
Most cheating partners never really set out to cheat, they were innocently courting a break from the hum-drum their lives had become and then one day, they suddenly wake up in a bed that’s not theirs.
Lack of connection
Have you ever seen two people communicating but not communicating? When a couple loses their bond, the end is near. Perhaps the man is too tired from roaming the earth in search of the goodies to make his wife happy, yet all she wants is to cuddle and fall asleep in his arms. Or she’s too much of a career woman and can’t even make out time to give him a decent meal.
This is not limited to lovey-dovey things, true connection is about interests, goals, beliefs, intangibles. Sometimes, these things begin to diverge with time. What excites her no longer excites him, they don’t see eye to eye on a pivotal subject. Unfortunately, it is at times like these when connection is waning, that she runs into a blast from the past at the mall, or there’s this new secretary at his workplace and ‘she just understands him so much’.
Do things with your spouse, share experiences, win victories together because if you don’t someone else will, and people connect when they go through things ‘together’. They may share more than experiences; don’t set your own marriage up for failure all by yourself.
They fall out of love
If we can fall in love, then we can surely fall out of love. It’s possible to lose connection with a person, to even be bored with them and still love them dearly. But when love finally flies out the window, well; like Emmanuella says in her omniknowest skit, “it’s obvious”.
There’s a 90% chance anyone would cheat once they are no longer in love with their partner. Only a handful of people with strict religious or moral standards will hold on to a marriage devoid of love without seeking some action elsewhere. Even a handful is a lot in this age.
Yes, there is a medical condition where a person has “the compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to get the kind of fix an alcoholic gets from a drink or an addict gets from a drug”. It’s a sorry condition and of course sex addicts have multiple sex partners; one just wouldn’t do!
Revenge sex, sex for validation, and what have you. These occur because there’s a notion in the culprit’s mind that having sex outside their marriage will satisfy a need. A need to get back at the other person or a need to feel like they’re desirable.
Some couples unfortunately neither try out nor discuss their sexual incompatibility before putting the ring on it. Even couples who are sexually compatible are susceptible to this. When either of the partners has sexual preferences that make the other person uncomfortable, or wants too much or too little sex, someone goes out in search of ‘greener pastures’ more often than not. Sex is important in marriage, the lack of it never has good consequences.
A weak will
Well, I didn’t think my list would get to number seven but I just had to add this one because there are people who endure everything from one to six and still remain faithful. There are people who have an exciting home, connect with their partner on every level, are deeply in love and are not sick in the head, yet they still go and cheat.
I really can’t attribute that to anything other than a weak will. Everyone is curious, most of us want to try out new things, but a marriage is all about discipline and some are subject to their hormones no matter that their life depends on keeping things in check.
If you’re married, stay happily married. Make a commitment with your partner to brave the odds together and remain faithful through the years. If you’re still single, make sure you’re ready before you venture into the world where two become one. Most of the reasons stated in this piece would be avoided if you just do the right thing and put yourself in the right perspective.
PS: Remember that infidelity is not limited to sleeping around, or is it?
I am OLARINDE SAMUEL…Scribbling for GLOWVILLE