Adultery is the engagement in sexual activity by a married person with someone other than her/his spouse. National Fatherhood Initiative researchers concluded that adultery is one of the three most frequently cited causes for divorce. If we examine the reasons why people commit adultery, we must consider the roles of how couples communicate and the prevalence of the large numbers of never-ending temptations that constantly surround us. In parsing several surveys of people in troubled marriages involving infidelity, we find that:
1. Adultery Stems From Lack of Intimacy and Sexual Intercourse
Most people, quite simply, equate intimacy with sex. However, intimacy actually refers to a combination of positive emotions that couples share when they are together; the lack of these feelings eventually takes its toll on any marriage. There are some elements that are critical to a healthy, long-lasting relationship, and a good sexual relationship, love, affection and mutual respect are at the top of the list. Removing any of these elements naturally increases the likelihood of adulterous behavior.
2. Lack of Communication Can Lead to Adultery
Couples face the highest risk for adultery when they start to drift apart, and this usually happens a few years after getting married. If a couple’s routine starts to interfere with their marriage, then this disruption can cause one partner (or both partners) to seek comfort and pleasure elsewhere. Of course, there are many reasons for poor communication among spouses. Personality traits such as introversion cause difficulty in making one’s feelings understood. Also, a closed-minded spouse might make little or no attempt to understand certain aspects of the other partner’s sexual desires. In fact, most people who get involved with someone outside of the marriage do so out of curiosity: they want to try something new — something they are unable to try at home.
3. Loneliness is a Prime Cause of Adultery
Everyone knows that marriage is not necessarily a cure for loneliness. In fact, married people are frequently required to be apart for long periods of time. Loneliness also occurs in married couples, when the two place more emphasis on their professional, as opposed to their personal lives. This is more of an issue in the 21st century than ever before, where many people are in a constant pursuit of the perfect, high-paid career, thus neglecting their significant-others. Finding an emotional match is not an easy task; and when two people no longer connect or share similar feelings, loneliness sets in. When loneliness takes hold, predictably, people start to look for comfort somewhere else. When loneliness is the cause of adultery, the issue is rarely related to sex, but rather to emotional comfort and support.
Lowering the Risk of Adultery
Keeping a marriage healthy and mutually beneficial is clearly a daunting task; however, loving and being loved is also one of the most beautiful feelings a human being can experience. We have determined here that the highest risk of adultery occurs when couples are no longer on the same wavelength, either from an emotional or a sexual point of view. We don’t want to trivialize this, or make it sound too simple, but couples can reduce their risks of adulterous interruptions by focusing their attentions on staying on the same wavelengths.
What are some of other factors that increase the risk of adultery creeping into a marriage? Please add your comments to this Latest Adultery Debate…