A good marriage is no guarantee against infidelity.
Cheating happens in happy marriages also.
The popular belief about infidelity in a committed long-term relationship is that cheating happens because of two reasons (in many variations)
- unresolved emotional issues (or trauma) from childhood
- unfulfilled needs of one partner in a relationship
Either way, there are problems with one partner (or both) or with a relationship itself that causes cheating.
On the other hand, there are couples, who do not have such problems. They have completely resolved past emotional issues or have happy childhood memories. They love and enjoy each other, have a stable home and no financial issue. There are no apparent reasons for looking outside of the relationship for love.
There is no apparent reason on the outside for cheating. If we compare them with the description of a successful long-term committed relationship they have it all.
However, the relationship is something that is alive, it could never fit completely into any description. Here you have two fully alive human beings.
They are so much more than just a bunch of words that describe their happy marriage.
The person who cheats is missing something without knowing what it is. As we all, being in a relationship or single.
It starts with questions like:
Who am I?
Who could I be?
Am I missing something?
There must be more to life than this?
More than just being a wife, a mother, a partner, more than my job title?
The main reason for cheating in a happy relationship is:
It is actually beginning of the discovery of your authentic self, that is more than just a bunch of identities.
It is a process of discovering the freedom of being all of YOU, your authentic self.
That’s the main reason for cheating in a happy relationship. It is not a crisis of identity.
I would agree that there are easier ways to do that and less heartbreaking for the partner.
The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman wrote that in modern life,
The person falsely believes that s/he could find the missing piece in another partner.
As it happens with Nataly. Finally, she felt fully alive. At first, she believed that her lover and her affair is the answer to all these questions.
With him, she could step out of all confining roles of her life. The sleeping parts of her authentic self-start to emerge.
Of course, she felt more alive. Because she allowed many parts of her self to be revealed. She felt free. Her freedom did not come, as she assumes
from doing something forbidden, or something new. Her freedom came because she finally admits to herself that there is more inside her, that she was ever willing to admit.
She was more alive because she was showing more of her authentic self while being with her lover.
At the end what she discovers in her love affair was not a new partner, what she discovers is herself.
How to prevent being cheated on for that kind of reasons
- start looking at your partner every day as if you are seeing him for the first time
At the beginning of our relationship, we are usually full of curiosity about our lover, we ask questions, we observe the smallest details, we want to know everything about him or her.
Everything is new for us.
Then with time, we start to assume that we know him. There is nothing new about him. We actually stop seeing him.
More or less we just see the image that we created about him.
When men say about his partner, I know all about her, what I actually hear is I stop seeing her for who she is.
And also start to wondering in which way that will take the feeling of being alive out of their relationship?
- let your partner have his own hobbies or time spent away from you (and family)
- Start asking yourself (and him) What I don’t know about him?
I don’t know why we assume that at some point in our life we stop growing. And believe the same about our partner.
If the only constant in life changes, isn’t then natural that we change, our relationship change, our partner change.
When we start seeing our partner as constantly changing, we support him in that change.
Instead of unkind remark or complains that I hear from time to time between couples: You changed! You are not whom I fell in love with!
See that as an advantage and sooner or later you will see a benefit of that change not just what you lost.
Another benefit would be, why would he stray, if he could be free to change inside your relationship.
- – Start asking yourself weekly Who would I love to become and What I don’t know about that woman that I am becoming?
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You becoming more of who you are, will keep boredom, depression, loneliness, lack out of your relationship and bring more joy to your life. And the joy will spread to him. Another reason why would he try to find joy and novelty outside the relationship, if he could fall in love in new you over and over again.
How to feel fully alive without finding a new partner or cheating
Ester Perel writes (in her book about infidelity: States of affair)