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Is Infidelity A Deal Breaker?

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Marriage & Infidelity: Relationship Experts On Love & Commitment
If you just can't get past it, you have the right to move on.
Can you marry someone you don't totally trust?

Infidelity is one of the most heart-wrenching, frightening things that can shake a partnership. Even the strongest of marriages can be torn apart by an instance of cheating, so we couldn't help but think: Why do so many people pretend they can excuse it?

As we discussed in our book, Building a Love that Lasts, there is a "character element" to marriage. What does that mean and why is it important? When that character is compromised, the partnership is placed in danger. To engage in the ultimate form of betrayal—infidelity or cheating—is to destroy the core and the heart of that relationship.

More from YourTango: A Long, Happy Marriage: The Perfect Gift For Newlyweds

There's a lot of gray area when it comes to what it means to be unfaithful. Here's the whole truth about what infidelity really is: Infidelity is being disloyal to the one you love... and it is an unpardonable sin! To betray someone you purport to love is unconscionable; being unfaithful to the one you love is not conducive to a wholesome, successful, and enduring relationship. Ultimately, it is a very big break to the character element of a marriage.

Here's the deal: There are no excuses for infidelity! There is no way to disregard infidelity or to accept it. Being unfaithful to the one you love is the biggest breach of trust you can make in a relationship. When a spouse or your lover violates the "core of trust" in your relationship, it is, simply put, to destroy the relationship.

It is our opinion, based on over 30 years of research, that the notion of character in marriage is real. To suggest otherwise is to ignore the basic tenets of successful relationships. We believe it's time to say, "The buck stops here!" That means there are no excuses for disloyalty and infidelity to the one you love.

Over the years, we have interviewed a lot of people who are deeply in love and in healthy relationships. We have interviewed thousands of couples that taken the vow of "Until Death Do Us Part." Now, these are not just words. To love someone for a lifetime does not occur by accident. To be in love is to do the simple things day-in and day-out of your relationship with the one you say you love. Love means lots of different things for different people, but trust us on this: You cannot betray the one you love and expect your marriage to survive and thrive.

It pains us to see couples espouse the idea that it's OK to cheat on the one you love and assume that, with an apology, everything will be okay. It drives an arrow through our hearts to know there are people who think that betrayal is a forgiveable offense. Writers, therapists, counselors and psychologists who suggest otherwise are not only fooling themselves, they are misleading those they represent. Don't be fooled and don't be foolish: There is rarely ever a recovery from a relationship that sinks to betrayal, infidelity and disloyalty. Those who have been successfully married for years know this to be true. 

The bottom line is this: If you are not sure that the one you want to marry will be faithful to you, do not get married. If this advice seems drastic, think about how devastated you would feel if they proved to be unfaithful. As we discuss in How to Marry the Right Guy, trust is an essential characteristic of any successful relationship. If you take our Marry the Right Guy Quiz and the man you're thinking about committing to doesn't pass the trust questions, the chances of having a successful marriage are extremely low. This is not an issue that you can equivocate about: It is definitely a deal-breaker!

From Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz: America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts

*Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your relationship work! And truthfully, we have learned over 30 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, as love and marriage experts we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed throughout the world and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts.

More from YourTango: 'Falling For The Wrong Guy' Syndrome: Are You Guilty?

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Dr. Charles & Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz

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Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts
**For marriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, read the Doctors' best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.  Learn How to Marry the Right Guy when you read the Doctors' latest book--2014 Mom's Choice Awards Gold Medal for Best Relationship Book. Learn more about America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: EdD, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Divorce/Divorce Prevention, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Marriage, Nutrition, Wellness
Other Articles/News by Dr. Charles & Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz:

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