Infidelity is more common than you may realize, yet most people feel isolated after an affair.
When Annika found out that Greg had cheated on her, she was flooded with emotions. In their 12 years of marriage, nothing like this had every happened to them before. Annika’s feelings were very complicated to her, and she struggled to understand them. She described her reaction when she Greg first revealed his affair: "I felt sad, yes, and angry. But I also felt very isolated—I didn’t know how I would ever be able to face my friends." What Annika didn’t realize is that many of her friends have experienced infidelity in their relationships. As isolated as Annika felt, the stark reality is that she is not alone, not at all.
Remember those high school assemblies, where the subject was drugs, STDs, bullying or some other negative event the speaker warned you about? You know the one—where the expert on the platform tells you to look to your right, then look to your left, and that either you or one of the people you are looking at will be affected by (whatever it is the presenter is trying to convince you to avoid). If that class assembly were to be on infidelity, the speaker would tell you to look to the house of the left of you, look to the house on the right. Research informs us that one of these homes will have someone who is affected by an affair.
Is your neighbor having an affair? If so, you probably don’t know it. Up to 40 percent of all couples are affected by unfaithfulness in their relationships. Infidelity does not discriminate—it affects people of all races, all religions and both genders.
People are fascinated with affairs (just look at all the media frenzy around Arnold Schwarzenegger and General David Petraeus). And, while the A-list celebrities often have their exploits on the covers of supermarket tabloids, for most people there’s a shroud of secrecy surrounding infidelity that is almost impenetrable.
According to a webmaster of one leading govermnment-funded Internet marriage site, relationship-related articles that get posted are quickly read and briskly re-posted or emailed throughout the Web in hours. According to him, things happen differently whenever he publishes an article about affairs. While the hits and downloads skyrocket, the rates of forwarding, re-posting and emailing plummet. He concluded, and I agree, that people are reading these article themselves because of how infidelity affected them, but are shy about sharing their newfound knowledge with friends, co-workers or family. After all, affairs are a private matter.
Even on talk-show television, individuals eagerly go on the air to talk about crippling physical and mental diseases, cult involvement or shattered financial investments. But it’s much more rare that people will admit that they’ve had an affair. Keep Reading...
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