I realize that limiting the top reasons for cheating to three is simplistic (unfortunately, there is a multitude!), but I thought it would be easier to digest and make a reasonable impression.
As a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, Cathy sees infidelity in many forms. Here’s the bite-sized version of my inquiry.
EML: What are the top three reasons for infidelity?
Cathy: The top three reasons for infidelity based on my experience are:
a. Unhappiness in the relationship and not having the skills to handle it, or make it better. Someone becomes so unhappy that they start to feel connected to another person.
b. Their spouse has checked out sexually and the person cheating misses having a sexual relationship.
c. One partner believes it is okay to cheat. They often have grown up in a home where one, or both of their parents cheated and learned that infidelity was acceptable. This is the hardest type of infidelity to deal with in counseling because it has to do with the client’s values and family dynamics that are pretty ingrained into their subconscious.
I had no idea that “c” is the hardest type of infidelity to deal with, yet it makes perfect sense. If you’ve been shown for years on end that infidelity is a way of life; the betrayer continues to repeat patterns; the betrayed spouse deals with it ineffectively, and life goes on. What else are you supposed to believe other than examples set? We don’t understand what healthy relationships are if they haven’t been witnessed in the home. Granted, no family is perfect, and some can overcome their circumstances. But as Cathy stated, the values are ingrained. All the more reason to reeducate and change up the status quo.
I continue to do my part, and you?
*(Cathy can be reached through my Resource section)