Is infidelity the chicken or the egg? Is it caused by a loveless wedding or rather by a wedding partner is unwilling to commit and run through problems? The following are some of my thoughts on the causes of infidelity in a marriage:
1. The Internet
The Internet is a major facilitator of infidelity. It is a lot of easier to search out enticement on-line than face to face. There are so many websites where people can meet with no questions asked. Think of the tag line of Ashley Madison – “Life is Short. Have an Affair®.”
2. Running Away from Problems
Running away from problems is a major contributor toward infidelity. Making excuses rather than facing the music with your spouse opens the door to infidelity, especially emotional affairs. I have heard many examples where a spouse would tell me that he or she has found a coworker with a shoulder to lean on. It should be no surprise that sympathetic coworkers regularly become participants in illicit affairs.
Pornography is rampant on the Internet – but does this lead to affairs? Does it lead to emotional affairs and the death of love and trust? Absolutely! Internet and “porn addiction” are significant factors causing the breakdown of marriages today. And you might be surprised to know that this problem is not discriminatory toward men. More and more women suffer with Internet and porn addiction today just as much as men.
4. Escort Services
Escort services and the like, including “online massages,” etc., are much more attainable in our age of social media then it ever was before. Scrutinizing credit card charges is but one of the contributing factors as to why divorces are expensive.
Facebook is now a contributing factor to about a third of all divorces. A couple of years past, that number was 25%. You can meet anyone online. I have had cases where someone reconnected with a high school sweetheart and ran off during the divorce even though the sweetheart lived over 3,000 miles away. Online fantasy that the “grass is greener on the other side” is a significant cause in the breakdown of marriages today.
Boredom can lead to an affair. Many people represent routines, including tired routines in the bedroom. What does one do to stay your wedding fresh? Many divorces could be possibly avoided if people took the time and commitment to communicate verbally and physically and keep things exciting. Some people look for excitement to escape boredom. It can be by experimenting with other relationships, trying drugs, fast cars, or hanging out with different people. I once had a case where a husband wanted a ménage à trois for his milestone birthday. His wife agreed to the gift. Overtime, the couple experimented with wife-swapping and ultimately his wife ran off with someone else.
7. Growing Apart with Your Partner
People grow apart. Do you and your spouse have the same goals anymore? Do you want to ride off into the sunset together after the children are grown? Is your spouse your best friend?
Alcohol and drugs often go hand in hand with affairs. I have seen many cases where a spouse will trade one addiction for another. A person’s addiction to drugs or alcohol is chemically no different than an addiction to the Internet, porn, food, or any other unhealthy excess.
9. Not Married for the Right Reasons
Did you marry for the right reason? Or better yet, did you become the “right” person for your spouse? Do you both have enough in common? If not, you will often look for that commonality in the arms of someone else.
10. Lack of Respect at Home
Does your spouse treat you well? Do you treat your spouse well in return? Over the years I have seen many doctors, for example, running off with their nurse or other medical support staff. It’s really not surprising that doctors in general are often worshipped by their staff at work, but in contrast at home, they are treated with a lack of respect. Does ego stroking lead to affairs? Absolutely. Everyone enjoys a compliment; it would go a long way if spouses found ways to compliment each other regularly.
11. Feeling Unappreciated
Some people fall into having an affair simply because they feel that they are not appreciated at home or that they are “doing all of the work” in keeping a marriage and home together. Again, questions to ask are these: Am I appreciative of my spouse? Am I being the “right person” for my spouse? If more people harbored a “servant’s” mindset for their spouse, more and more affairs and divorces could be avoided.
12. Issues Involving Body Image and Aging
Issues involving body image and weight gain as well as aging can, unfortunately, lead to an affair and or divorce. Some people will “trade in” an aging spouse for a “younger” model. Of course, the point of this paragraph has nothing to do with unavoidable medical issues. But let’s face it. During the “romance” period, both spouses typically try to present themselves in the best possible light to “win” the affections and marriage commitment of the other. Once the prize (marriage) is won, many people think that “the chase is over.” Not so. Marriage is only the beginning. If people continued to consciously keep “chasing” their spouse, affairs and divorces could be avoided.
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