This is my attempt to de-bunk some common myths as I know them.
My answers are my answers only and are just based on my knowledge from experience as I know it to be true and not on clinical trials. (unless sited)
* for this particular post, I am drawing on my own experience, experiences of my friends, and from those who attend surviving infidelity workshops with me.
1. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
For serial cheaters, this is absolutely true. However, most affairs do not seem to be committed by serial cheaters. Sadly, most affairs seem to happen “by accident”, or more often circumstances leading up to chance. (break down of the relationship, health problems of either partner, death or loss, financial strain, etc)
2. If you think he’s cheating, he probably is.
Go with your gut on this one.
Trust me, it will save you lots of hurt.
Sadly, it seems, after spending time talking to lots and lots of people who have gone through infidelity, although we “feel blind-sided”, the truth is, the signs were all there and we just choose not to see them.
(because who really wants to?)
Trust me, if you feel it in your gut that something is off… go with it.
Dig, search, find the proof. It’s there
3. A person cheats because their sexual needs aren’t being met in their relationship.
More times than not, this is not true.
The relationship may be completely lacking in the emotional department, but from everything I have gathered after talking to so many women who have been where I am, it wasn’t lacking in the bedroom and for many of those relationships, it never decreased even during the affair.
For others, once the guilt from the affair starts to “kick in” for the cheater, the sexual relationship with the spouse drops off dramatically.
4. It’s easier to walk away.
This seems to be true, although “easy” might be an unfair choice of words.
NOTHING is easy about surviving infidelity, whether you choose to walk away or try to reconcile.
If you choose to reconcile, you are constantly reliving moments throughout recovery that re-hash hurt over and over. Every time you think you’re moving forward, something will trigger a memory and you’re starting the healing all over again. (this goes for both the wayward spouse and the betrayed spouse)
However, if you choose to move on, you may be hanging on to feelings of betrayal and end up having trouble trusting anyone in a relationship.
Either way, it’s not an easy choice, unless, of course, it’s made for you by the wayward spouse.
5. It’s worse when a minister cheats.
False. False. False.
It is equally horrible no matter who cheats.
Ministers are only human.
They make mistakes just like everyone else.
6. Most men who cheat don’t use birth control.
Sadly, this seems to be true for both men and women who cheat.
The assumption is that most affairs aren’t planned, therefore, most people who cheat haven’t “planned” for it.
Once the act is committed, the cheater seems to work along the lines of “Oh well. I didn’t use it the first time, why bother now?”
STDs and children from infidelity* happen more times that anyone is aware.
7. Most affairs end in divorce.
It is actually much closer to 50/50.
You would be surprised just how many relationships are really dealing with infidelity.
Many couples that are attempting reconciliation do not tell anyone that there has been infidelity because they don’t want to deal with the negative attitudes that will be geared towards both the wayward spouse and the betrayed spouse. (family & friends think they’re being helpful, but it is actually harder on everyone involved. Trust me.) There is also a large segment of people who just can’t handle/accept the forgiveness and will inevitably end the friendship rather than seek understanding, which is incredibly hard on the betrayed spouse.
8. Most affairs are about “trading up”.
I have found this to absolutely not be true.
It’s something I can laugh about now, but at the time of “discovery” it wasn’t funny.
After talking to lots of men & women who have experienced infidelity on the “betrayed” side, it seems most cheaters trade way down…
it’s not always a physically low trade, but always a morally low trade…absolutely.
Sadly, most betrayed spouses beat themselves up and allow their self-esteem to sink incredibly low, but the truth is, no matter how low it feels like it’s gotten, it will never reach the level of self-loathing that both cheaters achieved.
9. He doesn’t love her.
9 times out of 10, he doesn’t.
It was just sex, just like he tells you.
And, somehow, he still loved you even while he was betraying your love.
(and very often, he was even telling her that throughout the entire affair.)
10. A marriage can survive an affair.
If both sides are willing, anything is possible.
*Many of those pregnancies are planned as a means to “trap” the wayward husband.
This is a new series of posts I have started. I’ll be de-bunking myths from my experiences.
Future posts: adoption, foster care, parenting a mega family, autism, raising boys, homeschooling… to name a few