Marriage is meant to be a time when two people join together in love to mature deeper and deeper into the depths of oneness. However, the union is often thrown into various degrees of chaos by the infidelity of one or both partners. The accessibility of communication technology, such as the internet with its online dating sites, escort services and pornography services, social connections are available 24/7. As a result, the opportunities for physical and psychological infidelity are unprecedented. The union and sacredness of marriage is rapidly becoming an idea on the verge of extinction, with the divorce rate skyrocketing year after year. According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, 50 to74% of marriages, whether it is the first, second or third union end in divorce.
Possible Reasons for Infidelity
A number of reasons may exist for a partner’s slide into infidelity, including the fading beauty of romance, lack of communication, or one partner’s increase in social status and personal growth while the other partner lags behind with little determination to prosper, emotional immaturity, continual financial hardships, prolonged contention toward the other partner, boredom and emotional anguish regarding the sameness of the relationships. All these and many more could be influencing factors that could cause one or both partners to embrace the lure of infidelity.
One false assumption that married couples often make is that marriage is one big romantic journey and nothing else. Unaware that romance is an emotional component of marriage that goes up and down as the marriage grows into greater, unfolding love and full maturity. The growth of marriage involves facing and resolving personal conflicts internalized into the union. These conflicts are what supposedly draw the couple closer and closer together. Many times, during these contentious times, the romantic element of the marriage may suffer for a while as the revelation of real love emerges. Couples who have weathered these romantic storms are still together because they chose to love one another despite the romantic chaos. Certainly, romance is important in any marriage and must be rekindled time after time. However, there are times when it may seem non-existence. Beware; these are the times in which infidelity may appear tempting.
Lack of Communication
Lack of communication is mostly likely the number one mistake a couple can make in a marriage on the rocks. In fact, ongoing communication between married couples can go along way in preventing the temptation of infidelity in the first place. When a partner notices a lag in communication or a certain distancing of the other partner, communication must begin immediately in order to discover possible problems. Many times if one partner is upset or anger with the other, the problem can be resolved by discussing possible solutions. Even if one partner is interest in someone else, it is better for both partners to know this sooner rather than later. Then the appropriate decisions can be made before the situation becomes even more painful. Therefore communication in a marriage must become a daily lifestyle if it is to survive.
Lack of Personal Growth
Personal growth in a marriage must be a priority. When one partner refuses to grow in a relationship, the other will leave him behind. This is an ongoing scenario. A marriage cannot remain stagnant or the death of the marriage is certain. Human beings need newness to make life worthwhile: a new career, a new car, a new house, a new income. In every marriage, each couple must invent themselves in order to express newness in the relationship. This makes the marriage much more exciting as both partners are able to see new aspects of the other. The relationships become more valuable as each partner takes the other to higher heights. However, voluntary codependency must be avoided at all cost if marriages are to grow into an ideal model that can be duplicated by friends and relatives who are constantly observing the union. Believe it or not, marriages are always in the spotlight by friends and relatives who are contemplating marriage or by those who don’t believe a marriage can work. You and your partner can prove them wrong by continuing to bring out the best in one another.
It is important that both partners go into a marriage emotionally immature. If one partner is emotionally immature, infidelity could become a powerful influencing factor. An emotional immature partner may lack the confidence as well as self-esteem to devote him or herself to the sanctity of the marriage. Whenever the allure of an outside partner or stranger becomes flattering or attractive, giving the opportunity, an emotional immature person may seek emotional fulfillment through infidelity. The outside partner could be a spouse’s best friend, a stranger met on an internet dating site, a business associate or a younger, more attractive partner. Nevertheless, if one partner is immature, the danger of infidelity is heightened. Be very caution if your fiancé is always overly eyeing other partners whenever you are together or is unavailable at odd times of the night. This behavior is alright if you are just dating, but if you are considering the union of marriage, don’t ignore such danger signs.
Financial hardship continues to destroy marriages and provoke infidelity more than almost any other influencing factors. Marriage partners struggling with finances for prolonged periods within the marriage can grow bitter and develop anguish toward one another. For example, a woman’s lack of trust in her spouse to financially support her may be the trigger that drives her to look elsewhere for that sense of security. This feeling of security could be in a business partner, an old lover, or a charming stranger. Nevertheless, the financial issue should be resolved way before the marriage. This means that the financial track record of both partners must be placed on the table without reservation. A good marriage depends on a transparent financial record. As an ordained minister, I have seen and counseled couples whose marriages had come to a complete standstill because of unrevealed financial issues. This only causes resentment and a sense of betrayal within the partner who is being honest. When your credibility as a provider goes down the drain, the situation is right for infidelity.
Arguments and Boredom
Other influencing factors such as arguments, boredom and sameness can also increase the chances of infidelity. In relationships where one or both partners are engaged in prolonged augments, sometime two to four times a week, the feeling of love and romance weakens day by day. Also, boredom due to sameness and lack of interest in what the other partner is doing are threats to the relationship. Remember, there is always the appeal of someone else that is more exciting. Therefore, a good marriage must possess as sense of competitiveness with the best presentation of one’s self to the other. Maintaining a good marriage and preventing the opportunities for infidelity is hard work. This means you must always be on the look out for those forces that may be threatening the stability of your marriage if you want to survive the competition that is attempting to overthrow it.
Potential Gateways for Infidelity
There are a variety of things to look for in a rocky marriage that may be opening a door to infidelity. The behaviors of your partner are the main factor in determining if something is wrong in your marriage. These behaviors can include:
- A sudden drop in romantic expressions: the flowers stop coming on special days such as anniversaries and birthdays, holding hands in public places stops abruptly.
- Prolonged decrease in sexual activity
- Hitting the nightclubs often without requesting your company
- Overly protective of an attractive friend of the relationship
- A sudden need to work late without calling or leaving contact information
- Hidden text messages, gets angry when questioned
- Weak reasons for not having enough time to spend with you, especially on weekends
- Increasingly non-communicative and showing little interest in a partner’s daily life and affairs.
- Late night internet activity that lasted way into the morning hours
Although the potential for infidelity are numerous, the above are some of the most telling signs. They require an immediate examination of daily habits and routine of the marriage. Initiate communication immediately with you partners to avoid a potentiality of a worsening situation.
Requesting Help for an Unstable Marriage
Seeking counseling is the first step toward reviving a marriage that is threatened by infidelity. The sooner this is done, the easier it will be for counseling to administer effective counseling. Counseling consist of digging deeply into the lives of each partner to discover hidden qualities or assumptions that can negatively affect the marriage and finding revitalizing ways to reverse these assumptions.
Marriage counseling may advise getting away and sharing more time with one another, better communication and recommending a financial advisor for resolving financial issues that may be disrupting the marriage. The bottom line is that you must enlist all the help you can to guard you marriage from the stigmatism of infidelity. This could be involved praying or requesting prayer for the success and prosperity of your marriage. Read as many books as possible on how to keep your marriage strong and progressive.