She fell in love with him, called me up and said, “This one is the real deal!” Needless to say, I was very happy for her, it’s been a while as she went through a bitter divorce, said she was totally done with men. We have been friends for a long time and I was always there for her.
It was almost two months into their friendship, it was time for us to meet. He was smart, very mature and our conversation went very well. When the night was over I could not wait to call her and let her know that I approve, my friend was finally truly happy again and now I do not have to be worrying about her anymore.
It was almost a year now since they have been dating, so apart from the occasional disagreement that most relationship experience it was pretty much smooth sailing. The phone rang and I answered and what I felt when I heard my closest friend screamed on the phone that ‘she was betrayed!’
Apparently, the love of her life is married and she was not aware, how could we have not have figured that out for an entire year? His family was living overseas and had no plans of coming back to the Country of their birth, the relationship was rocky, so her partner was not sure about his future with his wife, instead of saying what the story was he decided to keep it to himself, but now that he and his wife decided to make a final go at it, my friend was left with a broken heart, so there lies the question, ‘why do people cheat?’
We can argue both ways for this particular situation, however, a person might not have a personality prone to cheating, and might be in a perfectly happy relationship, but something about their environment puts them at risk for infidelity. Some situations are more tempting than others. Spending time in settings with many attractive people can make cheating more likely. The nature of a person’s employment is also related to infidelity—individuals whose work involves touching other people, having personal discussions, or a great deal of one-on-one time is more likely to have an affair. When the sex ratio is imbalanced (an overabundance of men or women in the work or campus environment), people are also more likely to experience infidelity. Finally, people who live in urban areas, as opposed to rural, less populated regions, are at greater risk—people in metropolitan locations generally have more liberal attitudes about extramarital sex, and cities simply have more people, creating an environment of higher anonymity and a larger potential group of partners with whom to have sex. A lonely husband who is unsure of his future with family.
How can you protect your relationship from infidelity?
First, talk to your partner about their definition of infidelity. People have different ideas about what constitutes cheating and partners need to develop consensus. It is easier to understand where the boundaries are and what will hurt your partner if you have had an open discussion about it. Most people agree that sex with another person constitutes infidelity but the reaction to other behaviours can be more nuanced. Does going out for lunch with an attractive coworker constitute infidelity? What about sexy chat sessions with strangers online?
Open discussions about such questions will help set boundaries and hopefully avoid hurt feelings down the line. In my friend’s case, she needed to know what the true situation was, the strangest thing about that was after we discovered he was married, we saw things that were strange but the questions were not asked… do not be afraid to ask the hard questions.
If you are a person who struggles with infidelity, as a victim or participant, it is important to get help, through therapy or books by professionals with advanced degrees in psychology. “Once a cheater, always a cheater” does not have to ring true for you. She got over it I guess, still single, however, with the hope of meeting someone special.