Many couples make an agreement through which they commit themselves to remain faithful to the love that unites them, to the pacts they have set. When one of them breaks it, we talk about infidelity. The unfaithful person has the habit of concealing it. Why ? Because she knows what it means and she guesses the consequences that will have. Even if, later, she may admit it or her infidelity is discovered. Anyway,the victim of infidelity suffers from a double sensation of betrayal. She and her relationship were deceived.
When we talk about infidelity, we are not just referring to the existence of sexual relations with another personoutside the relationship. It can also be an infidelity in terms of emotional intimacy. In any case, it implies a loss of confidence. Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship.
Curiously, there are differences between men and women in various aspects of life. And even at the level of infidelity. According to several studies,men tend to feel more hurt by sexual infidelity while women are more affected by emotional infidelity.Of course, we are talking about average. Because every person is a world.
What are the causes of infidelity?
In love, the spark that can light the wick of infidelity can occur for various reasons. From an individual point of view,here are some causes that can lead a person to break the exclusivity pact:
- Sexual attraction
- Sexual, emotional and / or social needs met
- Willingness to escape a relationship that no longer satisfies
- Need to dominate, conquer …
- Compulsion or sexual addiction
Other causes could be identified from a systemic point of view (from the relationship). For example,infidelity can arise as a symptom of any type of problem in the relationship or in the face of a desire for greater intimacy.Or, on the contrary, it can come when one feels threatened by requests for greater proximity, etc.
What does the person suffering from infidelity feel?
When our companion breaks the loyalty agreement, we can feel different ways. It depends on our experience, our personality, the type of infidelity, the type of relationship, the social and cultural context …Here are some of the most common consequences:
- Rage or anger
- Feelings of abandonment or rejection
- Feelings of lack of control and power
- Loss of self-esteem and value as a couple
- Loss of trustworthy
- Post-traumatic stress
Are there gender differences in infidelity?
According to sociological studies,the differences between men and women at the level of infidelity have greatly diminished in recent times.In fact, there are almost no differences in the young.
So,evolutionary theories help to better understand unfaithful people. They consider monogamy as a socio-cultural product.At present, there are more and more non-monogamous relationships that also create their own agreements and follow their own ethical principles.
We all use strategies to reproduce ourselves in the long term (accounting, security, convenience …) which are more related to monogamy, and in the short term (passion, novelty, risk …).So there are probably a lot more people who have already thought about an infidelitythan people who have committed it or talk about temptation.
Faced with such a human dilemma (wanting a secure bond and, at the same time, seeking novelty and / or passion), some people make a decision by setting aside the agreement they have with their partner. From an anthropological point of view and following the evolutionary theories,men would have been more unfaithful in the course of history. It is indeed a reproductive strategy that would fill their need to ensure descent.
Forgiveness after infidelity
Infidelity is a crossroads that reveals several possible paths. Forgiveness can be one of them.The need to forgive and to be forgiven is an act of restoring our own image and not the relationship. Nobody likes to see themselves as an unfaithful person, unreliable and governed by instincts and passions.
Very often, forgiveness is also the first step towards rebuilding a relationship bruised by infidelity. If feelings of betrayal are present, forgiveness will be the basis of a process that, with much patience, can revive trust, respect and perhaps love.On the other hand, forgiveness is usually related to"weird" ideas or myths that can confuse us, like the following:
- Forgiving is always a good thing
- Forgive proves that we are a good person
- Forgiving makes the conflict disappear
- The fact of forgive pops up once and once
- Forgiving turns negative feelings into positive feelings
- To forgive means to forget
- To forgive is to admit that our feelings were not adequate or were unjustified
- Forgiveness implies not asking anything in exchange
Forgiveness implies a recognition of what has happened.It's a process that makes it possible to incorporate that fact into our personal story. Thanks to him, the wound stops hurting us continuously. Even if memories sometimes reappear in the form of scars. That's why even if couples continue their relationship, even if their confidence is reborn, there will always be times when memories will come back. It will involve being strong and decided.
An infidelity can be forgiven, integrated, ignored.It's a fact that we can all manage differently. The best will probably be to not let this experience sequester us chronically.