Infidelity and Divorce

Published: 10th May 2007
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According to a survey conducted by Grant Thornton, extramarital affairs were the reason behind the breakdown of nearly 27% of marriages as compared to other reasons. Men are responsible for committing adultery about 75% of the times.

Reasons behind Infidelity

Researchers believe that opportunity is the root cause of infidelity. There may be a number of reasons leading to extramarital affairs. However, most commonly a man tends to have an affair when his woman is unable to satisfy him in sex and a woman tends to indulge in infidelity when her husband is not able to satisfy her emotional needs. The other reasons for infidelity could be as simple as the person being bored in his married life or wanting to relive the excitement that one feels during the initial phase of any relationship.

However, not everyone who has an affair gets into it with prior planning. Sometimes, being emotionally close with someone at the workplace or living away from the spouse on an official trip can also trigger a person to involve in adultery. This might be due to heat of the moment and they might repent for these actions once they realise their mistakes.

Emotional Implications

Although people's opinion has undergone a lot of change on issues pertaining to premarital sex, cohabitation, etc, fortunately the society is still intolerant when it comes to infidelity. In a survey conducted in Britain, more than 60% of the respondents were against extramarital affairs.

When a person learns about his spouse's adultery, his first reaction would be a shock. Especially, if the couple have been leading a happy life together, such acts will lead to confusion in understanding the reason behind spouse's action. This would be accompanied by feelings of humiliation, anger, frustration and aggression.

Sometimes, the feeling of betrayal might affect a person tremendously that he might never be able to trust anyone else in the future. This can affect his relationship with other members in the family and friends. He might be too stressed to cope with the reality and feel as if he has been abused.

On the other hand, the person who has committed the adultery experiences severe guilt. Being unable to justify his actions to his children lowers a person's self-esteem. He is also frustrated and feels angry with himself.

Consequence of Infidelity

Discovering an affair might lead to emotional devastation and could even affect a person's physical well-being. It can lead to constant fights between the couple affecting the peaceful atmosphere in the family. Studies indicate that men are less forgiving than women and resort to divorce, if they found their spouse having an affair.

An affair breaks the trust and the bonding between the couple, which are the fundamental requirements for any successful relationship. The couple might be able to rebuild the relationship with the reassurance of the one who has committed adultery and a sincere effort from the other. However, it is very rare. In these cases, the spouse might tolerate with the cheating partner just for once and if it were to happen again, they usually tend to break the relationship forever.

Extramarital affairs usually break a relationship. The couple might go in for separation and, if after a few years, they are able to revive the love and trust, they might be able to build a stronger relationship together.

Sometimes, even people who lead an extremely happy life with their spouse tend to indulge in adultery. However, researches suggest that infidelity is common in unhappy marriages. So, when a man finds that his wife has an extramarital affair and he is already unhappy spending his life with her, he resorts to divorce. However, a woman who has found her husband to be cheating on her would resort to divorce if she feels she is too good for him or is convinced about him not mending his ways in the future. In the worst case, a person might abandon his spouse and live with the one whom he has had an affair with.

A person's affair does not only shatter just his marriage but also the happiness of the whole family including him. Just with a little effort, he can revive the excitement in his marriage instead of having a fling that could wreck his entire life and leave undesirable questions about his moral and religious values

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. For more information on how to get a Divorce using online services see

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