Infidelity is the single biggest contributor towards divorce throughout the world, and stands as a serious issue across a diversity of cultures. In the US in particular, 2009 statistics revealed that 51 percent of divorce petitions cited infidelity as their primary cause, with 41 percent of these involving cases where both partners have committed the acts of adultery. As these figures show, once a relationship has endured such betrayal it is particularly difficult to recover from, and although not impossible such rehabilitation requires commitment, communication and a determination to discover the initial cause of such activity.
Of course, there are many different forms that infidelity takes, and many possible causes of it within a relationship. The exact nature of the acts committed in the name of adultery and their duration are significant factors in the chances of a couple separating or staying together, as are the precise reasons that prompt a person to cheat in the first instance. Whatever the scenario that surrounds the act, the survival of a relationship requires complete honesty from both the guilty partner with regards to what they have done, and the innocent spouse who must resolve whether they can truly forgive the indiscretion or not.
The Different Faces of Infidelity
Part of the problem surrounding infidelity is that there is no precise trigger or definition associated with it. For some, if their partner kisses another person in a moment of drunkenness, then they would consider this to be an act of infidelity. For others, it is only the physical act of love making that would be considered enough to be categorized as cheating. Given this, and given the unpredictable nature of infidelity and when it can afflict a relationship, it is probably pertinent for two partners to discuss there different observations of adultery and what it constitutes at some early juncture in their partnership.
Another consideration that can further darken the waters of interpretation is the concept of emotional infidelity. This term refers to an individual within a relationship sharing an inappropriate amount of intimate time with a particular person outside of that union, so that they develop or appear to develop an emotional attachment. The problem with this notion is that though it is understood amongst the majority of women, many males are either oblivious to or dismissive of its validity as an actual issue. It may well be that male or husband in a relationship shares a particular connection with a female work colleague, which in their eyes is a completely plutonic and innocent friendship. The wife or female in that same couple however may well see this as an inappropriate emotional liaison, meaning that from their perception their partner is guilty of at least some definition of infidelity.
Such diverse expressions create the many faces of infidelity, and only through communication and understanding can any such disagreements and misinterpretations be resolved. Each member of a couple has a duty to themselves and each other to be entirely honest at all times, and to ensure that they discuss at length their comprehension and opinions about infidelity. It is important to remember that frank dialogue and communication should not only be used as a final resort to save or restore a relationship; in fact, it can be utilized as a pre-emptive method against problems originating in the first instance.
Honesty through Communication
While honesty is often referred to in its most vague sense when discussing infidelity, it is its specific applications that directly influence the potential for a relationship to survive. The acts of honesty and reflection are not just the preserve of the adulterer, as the offended party within a relationship is required to decide whether or not they can forgive and move forward from what has happened. The most important consideration in this instance is whether the trust between the couple can be rebuilt and gathers strength through continued union and communication. This is the first stage of the aftermath of adultery, and is the most crucial in determining whether a couple separate or not.
If the victim of adultery can make the decision to attempt the rebuild the relationship, then it is the adulterers turn to be open and honest to seek redemption. This requires them to remove all barriers and emotional frontage, in order that they can engage in dialogue concerning what they have done and the reasons behind their actions. These discussions are bound to be painful and emotive for both parties, but are a necessary discomfort to successfully repair a shattered harmony. Once both parties in the relationship have been honest with themselves in regards to the future, and the adulterer has been honest in regards to his past and motives, then it is a much easier process to decide if and how and relationship can be regenerated.
Marriage and relationship counselling is a widely used service in repairing broken or troubled relationships, and they are a great source to discover new and effective communication and self assessment techniques. They are also a particularly efficient way to move a relationship forward from limbo into a state of repair, helping to engage a couple in discussions concerning their relationship and how it can develop and adapt in the immediate and long term future. These services have proved especially popular in encouraging introvert and introspective individuals to communicate their feeling though a range of forms, such as personal letter writing. This has proved particularly useful in the cases of infidelity, where each party can write down their most intimate and deep feelings concerning the incident. This means that they can be completely truthful and share things that it may not be possible to share through normal conversation.
A Long Term Perspective
Understanding infidelity, its nature and how best to utilize communication to resolve the ensuing conflict is crucial in maintaining an afflicted relationship. This process takes time, and the couple may experience difficulty and hardship through the initial months of rebuilding. It is important that the offending party shows compassion to their spouse through this period, but also crucial that the victim in the relationship resists any temptation to use the transgression as ammunition during arguments and disagreement. As long as the individuals within the relationship can remain honest and continue to implement the principles of frank and open dialogue, then it is possible to survive an initial instance of infidelity.