No one in America is truly stunned by the recent break up of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson when news broke that she cheated on Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director. What people don’t need read is another celebrity gossip article. I am sure that the two have their fair share of publicity and personal intrusion from the media and other paparazzi. However, this does inspire me to take a closer look at infidelity in America.
Many people consider infidelity to be a partner, spouse, significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc engaging in sexual activity with another person. And for many people, this is the only definition, however, there are two types of infidelity, emotional and sexual. For the purposes of this article, I use the following definition of infidelity as taken from Dictionary.com: Infidelity is a breach of trust. The vows (or promises) that you make with your partner determine what constitutes a breach of trust. For those who engage in monogamy, sexual fidelity is just as important as emotional fidelity. Both people made a promise to the other that he or she would remain faithful emotionally and sexually to the other person.
What many people don’t realize about monogamy is that you can cheat on your partner and never have sex. Statistically, women don’t cheat for the sake of sex. It’s of secondary concern for them. The #1 reason why they cheat is for an emotional connection. And this is particularly true of women over the age of 30. Conversely, men cheat for a single primary reason: sex (statistically speaking). Granted these aren’t hard and fast rules, but for most people, it is import an to understand that cheating doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Generally speaking, unless the person is completely an asshole, there are other factors at play.
People are quick to point fingers at the person who cheated as being this evil villain, but many times that is not the case. The cheater is simply experiencing a lapse in judgment as to how to correct a problem. Maybe he was drunk and horny, maybe she was feeling unloved and unwanted, maybe it was simply poor judgment, but for the most part there is always a reason. Instead of painting this horrible picture of the other, it is important to understand the problem and correct it more than just breaking up with someone.
For some people, there is no going back. Once you make a deposit in another bank, your previous account is closed permanently, all assets liquidated, and you are left bankrupt. However, it may be more emotionally profitable to freeze the account and look carefully at the transactions to see what lead to a mismanagement of funds. (If the banking metaphor is losing you, I’ll explain.) For many people, there is a great relationship; although it may have some minor problems, it is salvageable. One thing that many people who have been married for 30+ years will tell you is that they got married for better and for worse. Cheating whether emotional or physical is definitely for worse. Whether you decide to restart the relationship, reopen the account, extend another line of credit, is completely up to you as an individual after you have looked at the relationship.
Some important things to remember when it comes to relationships if you are dealing with being hurt by your partner:
- Nothing happens in a vacuum. Look at your relationship for what it is. There may be a larger problem that the cheating was a symptom of rather than just the problem itself.
- Take some time away from your partner and others to make your decision. Meditate, pray, sing, dance, do what makes you happy but do this alone. The solidarity with yourself can provide invaluable perspective.
- Try talking to a marriage counselor, therapist, pastor, or spiritual guru who may have expertise in dealing with relationships that have experienced infidelity. People are fallible and make mistakes, sometimes it is not worth the relationship for one mistake.
- Take time to heal. Regardless to if you are going to be in the relationship with that person or someone else, don’t bring your previous pain into your future. It won’t be easy and no time doesn’t heal all wounds, sometimes it takes work as well. If deep cuts don’t heal properly, you can end up with a nasty scar. So take the time for you to work on you.
- CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS. Whether you decide to rekindle your previous relationship or move on, it is import early on to express clearly what your expectations are. If you expect exclusivity, say that. If being committed to someone doesn’t directly equate to sexual or emotional monogamy for you, be up front with that. Don’t expect your partner to just know what you want. Verbalize it. Text it, Email it. Make it plain.
- Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s okay to walk away. No one is holding you hostage or saying that you should be with someone who you feel doesn’t treat you in the manner in which you want to be treated. It’s perfectly okay to say that is something that you can’t deal with and walk away.