Why do people cheat? Are affairs a natural result of long term relationships? We live in a culture where almost fifty percent of us still get divorced. And second marriages are ending at a rate of over 70%. Many of these marriages end as a result of infidelity. Whose fault is it?
Americans never think of themselves as being the type of person to have an affair. In 1973 research showed that 70% of Americans said affairs were always wrong. In 2004 the numbers increased to show that 82 % of respondents said affairs were always wrong. The rest said affairs were almost always wrong. In 2006, Americans said that adultery was worse than polygamy and worse than human cloning. (Druckerman, 2007)
Then why are we cheating? Studies vary, but research shows that anywhere from 25% up to 65% of people cheat.
Theories vary about why more people appear to be cheating than ever before. Perhaps it is because more women are now admitting to having an affair.
Women now have the same opportunities as men to find lovers and to cheat. There are more women working, driving and carrying cell phones than ever before. With the advent of the internet and hand held devices it is easy to connect in cyber relationships and to create intimacy online.
Also, people are having sex later into life and continuing to cheat at older ages. This is due to the advent of pharmacological interventions that have increased the male capacity to have and maintain an erection into later life.
Or maybe couples are cheating to stay married. Some people who have affairs report they do it to avoid leaving their partner. And that they never planned on using the affair as a way to get out of their marriage.
It seems that there are as many reasons to cheat as there are people. Everyone cheats for their own reason - perhaps its just opportunity. We have more opportunity then ever before to cheat - this is the first time in history that with the use of laptops and hand held devices we can cheat even while lying in bed next to our partner.
If you are affected by infidelity, find a good therapist that is unbiased and empathetic to both sides. Dont waste time with a therapist that sides with you - therapy only works if there is validation for both partners. Go to http://www.drtammynelson.com for more info.