When someone in a relationship cheats, some couples break up while others stay together. Of course, it's a case-by-case basis — what works. These steps are the slow and careful way to surviving infidelity, but if you and your spouse work together, you can rebuild your relationship. Infidelity can shatter even the strongest relationship, leaving behind feelings of betrayal, guilt, and anger. For the one-quarter of married.
Often it takes learning new ways of being.
In terms of communication, that might involve some serious stepping up as if an affair has happened, you may have already became a bit unstuck in this area. One well known technique from highly esteemed relationship expert Harville Hendrix is the Imago Dialogue. The Imago Dialogue is an enhanced way of communicating which essentially involves only saying the things that sustain a relationship.
When we are negative about our partners, this is just a way of us regulating intimacy both our greatest fear and our greatest desire as humans.
Begin a new dialogue. Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness at which they were created. You could even try talking at eachother for 48 hours straight. Write a letter to your partner. Get clarity on how you want your next relationship to look. List its main attributes. A note about resilience Just as forgiveness might be the most important factor in a couple moving on, the most critical to an individual moving on is resilience.
We need to avoid holding future partners accountable for the actions of previous partners — i t only helps to create more of the same.
How to deal with Infidelity in a Relationship
If some individual suspects that he or she is being cheated on they begin to question their partner's actions and may possibly act in more frustrated ways towards them than they normally would. The affective use of jealousy in a seemingly unfaithful relationship is caused by the accusing partner anticipating the infidelity from the other. Another affective emotion in this beginning stage is incompetence. Feeling incompetent can spring from multiple things in a relationship, but during the initial stages of infidelity, a person can experience this on an increased level.
When someone is having incompetent feelings due to someone else's actions they begin to resent them, creating a build-up and eventually an affective emotion outburst over something small. The faithful partner is not normally aware that their suspicion is the reason they feel incompetent in the relationship and do not expect to be so irritated by the change of simple things; making it an affective response in this stage of infidelity.
An additional affective response or emotion seen in initial infidelity is anger. Anger is an emotion that is felt in all stages of infidelity, but in different ways and at different calibers.
Infidelity - Wikipedia
In the initial stages of infidelity anger is an underlying emotion that is usually exposed after the buildup of other emotions such as jealousy and Resentment. Anger is noticed to be a key emotion within a situation like infidelity, it takes on many roles and forms throughout the process but in the initial stage of cheating, anger can be an affective emotion because of how unpredictable and rapid it can happen without thinking of one's actions and feelings before doing so.
Cognitive emotions and states tend to be felt in the initial stages of infidelity whenever the faithful partner is alone or left alone by the suspected unfaithful one. Cognitive emotions and responses are that of those in which an individual anticipates them. To begin with cognitive responses in infidelity, individuals who have been cheated on experience jealousy cognitively for many reasons.
They may feel that their partner has lost interest in them and feel that they cannot compare to the persons with whom they are being cheated on with. Therefore, they anticipate the loss of their partner's emotional interest in them and become jealous for more clear reasons. The anticipation of jealous feelings towards an individual's significant other causes a cognitive response, even without the burden of proof.
How to deal with Infidelity in a Relationship
Some more cognitive responses in the young stages of infidelity are incompetence and resentfulness. In the initial stages of infidelity, the feeling of incompetence can lead to cognitive resentment. The partner being cheated on will begin to feel that anything and everything they do is not enough, they may feel incompetent in the ways of love, affection, or sex.
Whenever an individual suspects that they are being cheated on they try to change their behavior in hopes of keeping or getting their partner's attention back onto themselves instead of on the person whom they are having another relationship with. People cheat for many reasons and each of those can cause a faithful person to believe they are not competent enough to be in a romantic relationship. This feeling leads to the resentment of the unfaithful partner's actions and becomes an ongoing emotion throughout the stages of infidelity instead of simply being a quick and immediate response to a partner's actions.
Lastly, anger in infidelity is quite inevitable. In the initial stage of infidelity, anger is not as apparent as it is seen in stage two, because there is not hard facts or evidence supporting one's suspicions.
As previously talked about, the accuser most likely feels jealous and incompetent in the first stage of cheating.
These emotions can contract into anger and provide a cognitive state of anger because the accusing person anticipates his or her anger. Unlike jealousy and resentment, it is hard to identify the purpose or cause of the individual's anger because in reality there is nothing yet to be angry about, there is no proof of their romantic partner's unfaithfulness.
It is hard to pinpoint the anger emotion in the initial stages due to ambiguity; therefore, it begins to take on other emotions turning into a cognitive state of emotional turmoil. The individual knows they are angry and anticipates it, but cannot logically explain it to their partner because of the lack of evidence they have. Infidelity, perhaps the worst relational crime, is defined as the action or state of being unfaithful to a romantic partner.
The victim of the crime can experience long-lasting emotional damage as a result. Relationships give people a sense of belongingness and contributes to self-esteem. According to the Attachment theoryintimates develop mental representations of the availability of close others that lead to strong cognitive and behavioral patterns of responding to those others. Those who develop a more secure attachment style believe others are available to them and behave accordingly, those who develop an insecure attachment tend to believe others are less available to them and behave accordingly.
Those types of people cope by seeking reassurance and clinging themselves to another person. These types of insecurity can be related to marital infidelity. It is a painful experience that only creates negative emotional effect s. The cause of these different jealousy's have developed over time due to evolutionary changes. A study was conducted to determine if men and women actually base their self-esteem on different contingencies. There were a total of 65 participants, 33 men and 32 women.
They were asked questions regarding their self-worth and told to answer them on a scale of importance to them. The study did indeed prove their hypothesis. It proved that sex was more relevant to men than to women and being in a healthy emotional relationship was more important to women than to men. Those who are cheated on experience a great amount of anxiety, stress and depression. Shrout was among researchers who conducted a study based on the hypothesis that people experiencing those emotions because of an infidelity are more likely to engage in activities that are a health risk.
The experiment Shrout and her colleagues conducted validated their hypothesis, showing a direct link between emotions caused by infidelity and an increase in dangerous behaviors. Being cheated on seems to not only to have mental health consequences, but also increases risky behaviors.
The study examined the link between the emotional distress caused by infidelity and health-compromising behaviors, perception of blame and self-esteem, and the differences in the reactions of men and women. However, women are more affected than men. This is due perception; women perceive relationships as more of a priority and are usually more emotionally attached. Shrout and her team in Reno's initial hypothesis was proven: In addition to the behaviors first examined, such as depriving themselves of food and nutrients, consuming alcohol or using drugs more often, increased sexual activity, having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol or over-exercising, people also felt a loss of trust that expands beyond romantic relationships.
Victims can become strained from their family members. Several emotions are present after the act of infidelity. Jealousy is a common emotion after infidelity. The definition of jealousy is the feeling or showing suspicion of someone's unfaithfulness in a relationship or losing something or someone's attention. Individual differences were predictors of jealousy, which differed for men and women.
Predictors for men were sex drive, attachment avoidance and previous acts of infidelity. Predictors for women were sex drive and relationship status. Attachment and sexual motivations likely influence the evolved jealousy mechanism. Men responded with greater self-reported jealousy and psychological distress when imagining their partner in Extra-pair copulationwhereas, women were more upset by the thoughts of an emotionally unfaithful partner. Heterosexuals valued emotional and sexual infidelity as more emotionally draining than homosexuals individuals did.
Summarizing the findings from studies, heterosexual men seem to be more distressed by sexual infidelity than heterosexual women, lesbian women, and gay men. The imbalance causes jealousy in unfaithful relationships and jealousy remained after the relationship concluded.
Women displayed an insecure long-term mating response. Lack of self-worth is evident after the infidelity in the daily life and involvement. Causes[ edit ] Studies have found that men are more likely to engage in extramarital sex if they are unsatisfied sexually, while women are more likely to engage in extramarital sex if they are unsatisfied emotionally.
Anthropologist Bobbi Low says we are "slightly polygamous"; while Deborah Blum believes we are "ambiguously monogamous," and slowly moving away from the polygamous habits of our evolutionary ancestors.
Some people may want to supplement a marriage, solve a sex problem, gather more attention, seek revenge, or have more excitement in the marriage. But based on Fisher's research, there also is a biological side to adultery. This variation stems from the fact that societies differ in how they view extramarital affairs and jealousy. Therefore, when an individual feels jealousy towards another, it is usually because they are now sharing their primary source of attention and satisfaction.
However, variation can be seen when identifying the behaviors and actions that betray the role of primary attention satisfaction giver. For instance, in certain cultures if an individual goes out with another of the opposite gender, emotions of intense jealousy can result; however, in other cultures, this behavior is perfectly acceptable and is not given much thought.
While many cultures report infidelity as wrong and admonish it, some are more tolerant of such behaviour. These views are generally linked to the overall liberal nature of the society. For instance, Danish society is viewed as more liberal than many other cultures, and as such, have correlating liberal views on infidelity and extramarital affairs. In Danish society, having sex does not necessarily imply a deep emotional attachment. As a result, infidelity does not carry such a severe negative connotation.
The cultural difference is most likely due to the more restrictive nature of Chinese society, thus, making infidelity a more salient concern. Sexual promiscuity is more prominent in the United States, thus it follows that American society is more preoccupied with infidelity than Chinese society. Even within Christianity in the United Statesthere are discrepancies as to how extramarital affairs are viewed.
For instance, Protestants and Catholics do not view infidelity with equal severity. The conception of marriage is also markedly different; while in Roman Catholicism marriage is seen as an indissoluble sacramental bond and does not permit divorce even in cases of infidelity, most Protestant denominations allow for divorce and remarriage for infidelity or other reasons.
Ultimately, it was seen that adults that associated with a religion any denomination were found to view infidelity as much more distressing than those who were not affiliated with a religion. Those that participated more heavily in their religions were even more conservative in their views on infidelity.
For example, Schmitt discusses how tribal cultures with higher pathogen stress are more likely to have polygynous marriage systems; whereas monogamous mating systems usually have relatively lower high-pathogen environments.
According to this theory, when people live within environments that are demanding and stressful, the need for bi-parental care is greater for increasing the survival of offspring. Correspondingly, monogamy and commitment are more commonplace. On the other hand, when people live within environments that encompass little stress and threats to the viability of offspring, the need for serious and committed relations is lowered, and therefore promiscuity and infidelity are more common. According to this theory, an area has a high sex ratio when there is a higher number of marriage-aged women to marriage-aged men and an area has a low sex ratio when there are more marriage-aged men.
On the other hand, when sex ratios are low, promiscuity is less common because women are in demand and since they desire monogamy and commitment, in order for men to remain competitive in the pool of mates, they must respond to these desires. Support for this theory comes from evidence showing higher divorce rates in countries with higher sex ratios and higher monogamy rates in countries with lower sex ratios.
Furthermore, within a "homogeneous culture," like that in the United States, factors like community size can be strong predictors of how infidelity is perceived. Larger communities tend to care less about infidelity whereas small towns are much more concerned with such issues.