The worse thing that can happen to a relationship besides death is infidelity. Some people even say it’s worse than death because at least death is final. An ongoing affair can last throughout the duration of a relationship. You start out getting to know your partner’s likes and dislikes, sense of humor, interests and values. You grow together in love, respect, and trust of one another. You spend every waking hour together, you know his/her families and friends well. But then something horrible happens to break that strong bond of trust - your partner has an affair.
Unfortunately in recent times, ‘cheaters’ have become more prevalent than ever. So many people are having affairs, that a television show called Cheaters was made well known by catching cheaters in the act! There are web sites that organize and encourage affairs. Film, television, movies and books sensationalize sexual relations outside of marriage. They make it seem exciting, fun and harmless.
Some surveys on the Internet found over 50 percent of the people polled (both men and women) were unfaithful. Even more shocking were studies done worldwide showed that 2 out of every 10 of us were born as the result of an affair. Adultery statistics state that 85 percent of woman who feel their lover is cheating are correct and 50 percent of men who feel their lover is cheating are right.
“Most experts do consider the ‘educated guess’ that at the present time some 50 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become extramaritally involved by the age of 40 to be a relatively sound and reasonable one,” according to Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth, first published in 1989 by Newmarket Press (third edition published 2003).
Safeguard Your Relationship
Dishonesty and deception cause infidelity to flourish. Being open about telling your partner you have an attraction towards someone could help you not to stray. Be alert to forming an emotional connection with someone outside your marriage, you may be able to stop it from going too far. Beware of the ‘lure of the internet’. It may seem innocent but affairs can start online then develop into a physical act of having the affair.
Affairs can develop at work. Avoid situations that can lead to romance or emotional bonding such as private lunches and regular coffee breaks. Keep ‘old flames’ away. Stay away from old partners from your past relationship. If you do decide to see them, bring your current partner along. Spend time with friends and family who value marriage and respect monogamous relationships. Notice some of the signs Infidelity Expert Ruth Houston says to look for if you suspect your partner is having an affair: (http://www.infidelityadvice.com/)
Signs of an Affair
- Work Habits - Work is commonly used as an excuse for large blocks of time away from home, a place used by cheating partners to cover up their affairs. As the affair unfolds work habits will change.
- Telephone Tip-Offs - Illicit affairs depend on repeated contact. Cheaters have to communicate and many take the risk of calling their ’secret lovers’ from home or have their lovers call them at home.
- Gifts - Cheating partners often exchange gifts throughout the year. You may find gifts or cards hidden around the home or car. Look out for receipts or credit card bills for gifts that turn up before or shortly after the holidays. Sooner or later this will reflect in the family finances.
- Physical Appearance - Your partner will suddenly become preoccupied with improving his/her appearance to make themselves more attractive. Be alert to changes in wardrobe, grooming and body. Drastic changes could mean he/she is trying to impress someone other than yourself.
- Personality or Behavioral Changes - Be alert for changes in his/her attitude, personality or behavior whether drastic or subtle could indicate your partner is having an affair.
- Eating Habits - A cheating partner’s eating habits can be influenced by his or her lover. They can develop a preference for the kind of food their ‘lover’ likes to eat.
- Sex - Changes in the frequency or quality of your sex life together. If you suspect an affair, take measures to protect yourself from the risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Relating to You - Your partner’s involvement with someone else will cause him/her to treat you differently even on a subconscious level. Conversation changes in what he/she chooses or refuses to talk about, even in their tone of voice can be a sign of an affair.
- Home Invasion - It’s not uncommon for a cheating partner to invite his/her lover home. Usually evidence of personal items are left behind. Also, physical evidence can be located in clothes pockets, purses, wallets, closets, tool boxes, jewelry cases, filing cabinets, workshop, garage, etc.
- Smells and Tastes - Everyone has a unique smell or taste which could go unnoticed until it is replaced with something else. This could include kisses that taste different or something in your home or car that smells ‘different’.
Having an affair is a selfish act that harms a relationship, the trust between two people, spouses and children who are affected. If you find yourself forming an emotional attachment to someone other than the person you’re committed to, break off ties immediately. Flirting is not innocent fun but is deliberately expressing interest in an individual which opens the door to having an affair.