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'infidelity is caused by problems in the marriage'(240 Posts)
This has come up again in a thread.
I can't cut and paste (copyright), but would like to post three links of differing views, and ask people's input of what they think of them?
What do you think?
Or perhaps infidelity is caused by a failure of one partner to more constructively address (or even raise/discuss) the problems they're experiencing (either in the marriage or elsewhere).
Saying that infidelity is caused by marital problems is to give some responsibility to the person who got cheated on. The unfaithful partner always had other options if they were experiencing problems - options which wouldn't shatter trust, make their partner feel worthless, betrayed etc...
There were problems in my marriage before his infidelity. However, many of those problems were that my H was a selfish and unsupportive gut, and in reality I thought he might change if I moaned enough.
Also, I agree it can be a hobby for some. My H had a string of Internet based liaisons ( a fucking long string), and he said he did not even consider it to relate to me in any way.
I do like the Frank Pittman classification of affairs in Private Lies. He talks about 4 types, based on his counselling career.
Wobbly, you had a link for that, didn't you?
'Problems in a marriage may lead to infidelity' is a better way of putting it. An affair may be the symptom of a disconnection in a marriage. But equally it may not be.
I also think that a lot of affair havers, if male, have a skewed sense of women anyway. Often a hint or more if Madonna /whore.
There was nothing wrong with my marriage when my ex had an affair.
Even to this day he doesn't know why he risked everything (and lost).
The opportunity arose and he took it.
I think some men (and women!) have a mid life crisis and just do it because they can.
Frank Pittman article
Yup, the cheater is usually the one contributing the LEAST to the relationship. And just before & during the affair the marriage usually suffers as a result of the deceit, self justification, selfishness
Well, what constitutes a problem - new baby who won't settle and wife is exhausted? new job which is making them depressed and effecting their confidence and self-esteem? money problems due to anything under the sun? ---- so all those involved are possibly going to have an affair when they wouldn't have otherwise???
Too much generalisation in the statement so impossible to answer.
I think the statement also comes from the wronged partner trying to explain it. So we think, "what did I do that contributed to this? It's often normal to wonder what we did wrong. After the affair, we look back and see big problems were there may well have been perfectly normal relationship issues. And we see them getting worse. In fact, there may have been nothing wrong until it started. As was pointed out earlier, the deceit will cause strain on the partner who is unaware. So they may blame themselves when it is the fact that the cheating partner should just have not looked elsewhere for attention.
I think exactly what Cogito said in the first post, but I do think that overwhelmingly it does indicate problems or emptiness in the marriage.
What's actually caused the affair may be the insecuritis of the cheating partner. For example, I have never cheated on DW. I am happy to come home to one woman who loves me and finds me attractive, and that is all the validation I need.
She, on the other hand, feels insecure about her appearance after having 3 kids. I still find her attractive, but she says that it doesn't help because I'm honour bound to. She seeks attention from other men to make her feel sexy again. She is now involved in what I can only discribe as an emotional affair. We are now having major issues because of it, and she refuses to reduce it back to what is a normal friendship. Tonight, she is going to get up at 10-12 o'clock at night and go out with him for 4 hours wearing her sexiest underwear. She does this a lot with him. They she will go and pick him up in the car, go for a ride, have food and sit "chatting". And I am told it is only my jealously that is the problem here. Sorry for hijacking, this, amongst other things, is driving me insane.
TheKnight - and what consequences are there for your wife?
It has been said on here several times - the only thing that motivates cheaters is loss. You can't stop her but you can change how you deal with it.
Personally I think that done people just can't keep their pants on. Why is it something wrong with the marriage rather than something wrong with the person?
I don't know what to do. I've confronted her about it several times, she swears they have not slept together. And she told me that if I confront her about it again, we will split up. She knows that I am afraid of that because I don't want to lose my children, and I still have some hope that things can return to normal one day.
Other than that, they exchange several thousand texts amonth (which means she never puts her phone down) and doesn't speak to me much. She deletes all their texts to him in case I look through her phone. And spend several hours on the phone most days. They go on clubbing nights out and sometimes meet up in the day while I'm in work.
It's driving me mad. At what point does friendship go too far? I've never had a problem with her having male friends and I'm not a jealous person normally. But this is too much for me to keep coping with. What consequences? I don't know. If I leave, she's admitted he'll move in and they'll "give it a go."
Can it be me being jealous of a friendship or is this beyond what you'd accept? Oh, and they do sometimes cuddle up, she has admitted.
It sounds like a real affair..how awful it must be for you. Its a matter of time before she leaves you.
Go and get some legal advice to see where you stand with regards to child access and finances. You might be surprised to realise that your position is stronger than you think. 50:50 child access is becoming the norm.
She is bullshitting you pal....my ex said this to me. We just talk, we haven't done anything etc etc....to be fair she at least then had the balls to tell me it was over and she wanted out. However it came out later than she had been sleeping with him since the start...
Take back control. Tell her to get out and fight for your kids. See how she likes that....
Knights - I think you've hit the nail on the head with "Infidelity is often caused by how people deal with problems in their marriage." - as opposed to being caused by the problems.
My first marriage was very unhappy but we were both basically decent, nice people. My Ex cheated because he was unhappy - he needed the validation he wasn't getting from me, I suppose. That's how he dealt with the problems. And I can't say that if some nice young thing had come along at the right time and given me validation, it wouldn't have been me who was the cheater. That could well have been a way out of my misery.
And Knights - I'm sorry you're going through this. You do need to have a long hard think (and do some serious research) about the practicalities of a split, and whether you could cope with those practicalities. The current set-up is no way to go on, though.
Oh dear knights
Yes of course she is bullshitting you!
It's an affair - end of!
Whether it's emotional with some cuddling and kissing thrown in or whether it's a full blown sexual affair, doesn't matter.
She's getting emotional fulfilment from another man and that is an affair.
You should really start your own thread on this to see what everyone has to say.
But I can tell you one this for almost certain - she is having a fully physical, sexual affair!
Why else would she need her sexiest underwear if he isn't even gonna see it.
You need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Legal advice and kick her out. She needs to understand what she is about to lose!
I really hope you can get the help and support you need.
Please realise she is really messing you around and you are letting her!
I'd think that infidelity is caused by one problem in the marriage: an unfaithful partner.
If the problems are enough that someone needs a new partner, they should leave.
I used to think that infidelity was the fault of both people. I even thought that as someone whose ex-H had an affair but in the 10 years since that happened, I have changed my mind.
Infidelity happens because one person makes a conscious decision to make it happen. A one night stand might be a drunken accident (still not defensible IMO) but long term or often repeated infidelity is a very conscious choice by one person who is in a committed relationship.
Even if the non-affair partner in the relationship has turned into a psychopath, put on 20 stone, refuses to have sex etc, I still don't think that those wrongs can justify the other person having the affair. They may justify the person leaving the relationship but not the affair.
So, IMO infidelity is not caused by problems in the marriage, but by one person in the marriage consciously choosing to renege on their commitments / promises.
Wellwobbly - great links! My favourite quote (from david clark) 'Did Nathan say David's wives and concubines hadn't met his needs?'
I think Chump Lady has it nailed.
And I agree with FrancescaBell - about several things - but especially about boundaries. We were not good at boundaries and I was far too generous about the behaviour of female friends. The only person who in any way attributed my dh's affair to me was a friend of long-standing who herself had an affair (it ended her marriage). She managed to avoid learning anything at all from the experience except that she was entitled to everything she did and that none of the theories about affairs apply to her at all in any way, even the statistics - she's unique. It's a miracle.
Most of her friends deserted her - not me - I am prime Chump material. I mean - WAS.
Other friend (of many years) was my dh's confidante - he didn't want to face a male friend who might not soothe his ego to the same extent. 'We must think of his needs,' she told me, at the point where the dcs and I were facing the possible loss of their father, home and way of life over a bunk up at a convention with an ow my dh didn't even care about. And later, disappointed possibly by dh's evident remorse: 'He shouldn't be sorry about the affair and I don't share your boundaries.' Out she goes.
This shit brings out the worst in people, like house buying or the disposal of a body.
On the other hand we have a great couple therapist who doesn't blame me and sees the affair as a distinct event, whatever else may have been happening (and I don't mind admitting to my faults). He is nothing to do with Relate.
"However, many of those problems were that my H was a selfish and unsupportive git, and in reality I thought he might change if I moaned enough."
You nailed it - and I am still wrestling with whether that makes me an abusive person (because a lot of my moaning wasn't very nice - eventually delivered with sarcasm put downs and verbal abuse when all other attempts to be heard had failed, which I feel remorseful about).
Wow - there has just been an academic study published - ON THE CHEATER'S HIGH. Read it here : http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-a0034231.pdf
OMG. The study says: cheating produces a gain in self-satfisfaction and even more so when they feel they have got one over someone else!!! OFFICIAL AND ACADEMICALLY PROVEN.
(can someone teach me how to do a blue link on apple mac????)
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