This a Review from an article in Newsweek 12-30-96 written by Sharon Begley “Infidelity and the Science of Cheating”
Through research psychologists and other researchers have claimed that sexual infidelity effects both men and women differently. In addition, their beliefs on sexual infidelity differ. There have been many theories about the occurrence of infidelity, and most researchers have different opinions about these theories.
Researchers from the article Infidelity and the Science of Cheating, written by Sharon Begley, have asked the following question to different ethnic groups of all ages and of both sexes: what distresses them more, emotional infidelity or sexual betrayal. The results were women find emotional infidelity more disturbing than men do, and men find sexual betrayal more disturbing than women do. These results varied slightly depending on how the question was asked, but the ratio remained almost the same.
Researchers found that men and women have different beliefs about sexual infidelity. Do women believe that men think that love implies sex more often then sex implies love (59), and men believe that women think that sex implies love about as strong as love implies sex (59). The difference researchers explain is that there is an existence of a jealousy gender gap. In order to explain what causes the jealousy between genders scientists are now creating tests to prove whether the mind?s ability to reason, rather than genes, can explain the jealousy gender gap (59).
Scientists? theories differ on the science of sexual infidelity. Some scientists use a theory referred to as the genes that made me think it (58). This theory proposes that jealousy is triggered depending on our genes being passed down from Neanderthal days. Evolutionary psychologists argue that the jealousy gender gap is a legacy to humankind’s past, and these genes shape how we think feel and act. These psychologists believe the reason why men go crazy over adultery is that it is embedded in their genes.
This bothers men because they can never be sure of paternity. For example, if a woman strays from her partner there are possibilities she could become impregnated. Hence, her partner would be supporting another man’s child. Another theory scientists offer to explain sexual infidelity looks at reasonable differences between the sexes in how they interpret evidence of infidelity (58). This may explain the gender gap.
This means that a man thinks that a woman will only have sex when she is in love, and if she has sex with someone else she loves him too. So, as Sharon Begley states, sexual infidelity means emotional infidelity as well (58).? However, men also believe that a woman can also have an emotionally intimate, non-sexual relationship with another man. This is what university psychologists call a double shot (59)? of infidelity. Therefore, sexual infidelity is more threatening to either men or women than simply emotional infidelity.
Sharon Begley believes that women are evolutionarily programmed to become more distressed at emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity (58). She believes this because women notice that men having sex are not necessarily in love and that men do not form emotional attachments easily. On the other hand, if a man becomes emotionally involved with the other woman, their relationship may be jeopardized. He may desert his first wife. Consequently, it would be difficult for his first wife to bring up her children as a single parent.
This article was written to help educate our society on how men and women feel about infidelity by providing the reader with statistics and beliefs of both sexes. In addition, supplying the reader with comments and theories from psychologists, scientists, and researchers helps the reader develop an understanding of the difference of opinions on the same subject by those who study our societies.
Sharon Begley explains, in an unbiased way, how men and women feel about the subject of infidelity and their beliefs. It has been proven that men are more bothered by sexual infidelity and women are more bothered by emotional infidelity. She points out that a man feels that a woman will only have sex if she is in love, and a woman feels a man having sex is not necessarily in love. For this reason, adultery bothers a woman less than it bothers a man.
Sharon Begley?s founded opinion is that if there is a lesson here, it maybe this: be wary of single bullet theories advanced so brilliantly that their dazzle gets in the way of their content (59). What she is implying is to not believe everything you hear. Be sure you look beneath the surface to understand the theory?s meaning. She also states that for all the brickbats being hurled there is some common ground between the opposing camps (59).? What she is saying here is that there are many theories on the occurrence of infidelity and that it all boils down to be that each theory draws the same conclusion.
In my opinion, Sharon Begley does not provide the reader with substantial information. Although she includes theories, factual statements, and factual statistics, there was not much variation on the subject of infidelity, and she does not explain or educate about the science of cheating. Her arguments are weak and do not hold the reader?s interest. She misleads her readers by slightly addressing the issue of infidelity, and by not addressing the issue of the science of cheating, which is the more important part of the article.
Infidelity is perhaps the greatest challenge facing families in contemporary society. Virtually all divorces are due to, in one way or another, cheating spouses in a marriage. Infidelity and divorce are very old yet their levels seem to increase with time.
One wonders why man has been, apparently, unable to learn from the past and eradicate infidelity in marriages which would, in turn, reduce the rates of divorce. This paper deeply analyses the problem of infidelity by looking into the possible causes of the vice, its effects on families, and the possible measures that can be taken to curb it.
Causes of infidelity
For people whose marriages are on the rocks due to infidelity, an understanding of the reasons why people cheat in marriages can be very instrumental in helping them salvage their marriages. One of the main causes of infidelity in marriages is the inability of one person in a marriage to meet the needs, expectations, and desires of his/her spouse (Pawlik 1).
This makes the spouse seek satisfaction elsewhere. Some other couples get into or remain in a marriage that is not based on love. This is also a major reason why people become unfaithful in marriage since relationships and marriages are founded on love. Another leading cause of infidelity is the habit of spending insufficient time with one’s spouse (Sanford 1).
This may be due to commitments at work, other social commitments or even addiction to drugs. Infidelity can also occur in cases where partners in a marriage have unrealistic expectations regarding marriage. In such a case, the couple may get bored in the course of their marriage since marriage has its flaws and anyone with unrealistic expectations will indubitably get disappointed at his/her spouse.
Effects of infidelity
Infidelity is one of the main causes of serious upsets to family bliss and thus its effects to the family are innumerable. The effects are also so immense that they can, possibly, ruin the family completely. When one partner in a marriage learns of his/her partner’s unfaithfulness, this may completely crush her emotions that he/she cannot continue relating normally with his/her spouse.
There are even cases where people go to the extent of killing their spouses after learning of their infidelity. In most cases however, the affected partner quits performing his/her matrimonial duties (Archer 1). This may eventually lead to a divorce. Whether the divorce occurs immediately after infidelity or after some time, it affects the couple’s children greatly.
Children may be forced to live with one parent and have minimal contact with their other parent. This means that the children will not be raised with the loving care of both their parents and thus they will be lacking a very important part of their family. An obvious effect on infidelity in marriage is the fact that the habit may prove to be very unhealthy.
A married couple in which one partner is unfaithful will have a very high chance of contracting venereal diseases such as gonorrhea, HIV and the like. Some of these diseases like HIV/AIDS are terminal and they may even be passed to children. Whether or not the diseases are passed to children, they affect the family adversely since parents will have a hard time coping with them, both emotionally and financially.
How to avoid infidelity in marriages
It is very hard to rebuild a marriage if it is not based on trust. Thus being faithful in marriage and ensuring that your partner is also faithful are very important things that every married person should embrace. One way to ensure that the chances of infidelity in a marriage are minimized is by ensuring that individuals get married to people they truly love (Long 1).
Otherwise, there will be a lot of cases of infidelity due to a loveless marriage. Couples should also ensure that they adequately spend time together and communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings which could lead to infidelity. Each of the spouses in a marriage should also avoid keeping close and secret friends of the opposite sex since this could fuel infidelity.
I undoubtedly think that the person who cheated, if they remain with their spouse, will always feel some sort of guilt and regret about it. Anger too. When someone cheats, it doesn’t always mean that is who they are as a person, it means that something was wrong which caused this to happen.
Staying in the marriage takes a lot of work on both sides. It takes the one who was cheated on to work on forgiving that person and getting through the pain it caused them, this is extremely difficult. For the person that cheated, I feel it is their responsibility to take full responsibility for their actions, work on improving who they are so they are not the same person that cheated on their spouse. Doing all that can keep you in the marriage. But it doesn’t take away the pain and hurt it caused. You work together and take things day by day.
Infidelity has been and it remains to be one of the greatest problems facing marriages. It is estimated that 40% of people’s wives and 60% of people’s husbands have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage life. Research also suggests that 15%and 25% of these extramarital affairs involve sexual intercourse. No matter the motivation for infidelity, people in marriage should ensure that they stick to their spouses and avoid temptations for infidelity as much as they can since infidelity has a lot of bad effects on families.
They should also be keen to notice when their partners are cheating and take appropriate measures to ensure that the habit does not continue since the faithfulness of their partners has a direct relationship with their happiness and health. In a nutshell, infidelity is a very huge vice that should never be tolerated and which should be avoided with all efforts by married people.
Betrayal at Age Seven One incident in my life was so traumatic and disturbing that it haunts me to this day. I have not censored anything that I recall about this episode so reader discretion is advised. I have lived a very soap opera-like life. I have survived nearly every experience that is capable of destroying families. The main obstacle that I had to overcome, though, occurred when I was seven years old. I had come back from church with my aunt and uncle at about 11:00 p.m.
Being tired, I brushed my teeth and went straight to bed. I woke up about two hours later and had to go to the bathroom. As I opened the door and started down the hall, I looked into the kitchen. To my surprise, I found my mother with her shirt unbuttoned and her breasts in a man?s mouth. It was even more traumatic to realize that the man who she was straddling was not my father. It was my uncle Jason, my father’s brother and best friend. This whole incident is blurred because I have tried to block it out of memory for such a long time now. I recall that I quietly turned around and went back to bed. I must have cried for hours that night, helplessly crying myself to sleep.
My mother must have heard me because she came in to see what was the matter. I told her what I saw and asked her why, why she was doing that with my uncle. I’m not sure what she said, but I remember her telling me that it would never happen again. It was already too late–my childhood life was destroyed. My picture of the perfect American family was completely shattered. How does a seven-year-old boy handle such a situation? How does one respond to finding his father sleeping soundly in bed–probably having dreams of his wedding day while his mother moans in ecstasy with her breasts in her brother-in-law’s mouth?
The next day, I woke up and immediately attempted to block the horrible image from my mind. I tried as hard as possible to imagine my parents standing together and being happy. The sad part is that my father was under the same false impression. My father is the oldest male in a family of nineteen. He has three older sisters, six younger sisters, and seven younger brothers.
His father had passed away when he was sixteen, so his mother asked him to drop out of high school. He was left with the responsibility of taking care of the family farm and raising his younger siblings. My dad’s brother, who is five years younger than my father, became his brother. He had a normal relationship with the rest of his siblings, but he treated Jason as he would have his own son. Since the day his father died, my dad had raised each and every brother and sister, even the older ones.
He disciplined each and everyone until they were old enough to get married and move off the farm. When my dad was 21, he married my mother, who already had two kids–my older brother and me. My mother had lived in California where she had met my biological father, but he treated her badly and abused my older brother. After becoming pregnant with me, my mother divorced him in order to prevent future abuse.
She moved back to Kentucky and lived with her parents in Lawrence County, where I was born. My brother was three and I was eleven months old when my mother and my current father got married. The only man that I have ever known as a father, is the incredible man who is my father now. I consider him to be my only father. Even at the age of seven, I knew that I had to do everything necessary to keep my father from finding out about my mother?s affair.
I knew if he were to find out, his world would be totally dilapidated. My father is a very delicate and caring man. He loved his brother with all his heart, so much that he let Jason move in with us when he had no place to go. Yes, my uncle lived with us when all this occurred. All was fine for several years–that is, until my seventh-grade term. I was then thirteen, barely a teenager. I still wanted to trust that my mother did not lie to me that night when she told me that it would never happen again. I soon found out about her deception.
On the Saturday morning before the Kentucky Academic Achievement Tests, I woke up to the sounds of a shattering mirror, the cries of my mother, the screams of my dad, and the bangs of my uncle?s head against my bedroom wall. I knew exactly what was going on. I began to cry and walked out of my bedroom to see my uncle lying on the living room floor with blood all over his face.
My father had busted his fist through the mirror on the wall when he caught them, and then he broke my uncle’s nose and knocked two of his teeth out. My mother had gone into her bedroom, still sobbing. After kicking my uncle out of the house, my father sat down on the couch and cried. My brother and I walked over and hugged him, crying in his arms. He got up and walked into his bedroom to talk to his unfaithful wife.
I listened as he asked her how long it had been going on. He asked her why she had done such an unspeakable thing to him? If it had gone on every night after tucking him into bed? If she would climb out of his arm’s and onto the couch with his brother? Since then, my brother and I have been closer to each other and to my father than most people I know. We have never cared as much about our mother, though. By some miracle, my parents are still together.
They have been through a whole lot, but my father has stuck by her through it all, even when he learned of her affair, he would remain in blissful disbelief and stay by her side. He is far more of a man than I will ever be because if that were my wife sleeping with my brother, I would have taken my kids and left. I have faced many hardships in my life.
I have never seen my biological father – not even a picture. I had to mature at the age of seven and face the ugliness of the real world. I have had to live with not being able to trust or love my mother again. I had to skip childhood and become mature enough to handle an adulterous affair. These factors have altered my life greatly. At the age of eighteen, I am as immature as I was when I was six.
This is due to the fact that I was forced to grow up at age seven. I am now having the childhood fun of which I was earlier robbed and I’m still trying to rebuild the concept of relationships, trust, and faith. I give my girlfriend much credit for my progress because she has been incredible and faithful to me.
I know that she would never do anything to hurt me or destroy what little notion of trust and faithfulness that I have managed to rebuild. I can relate to the phrase. What does not kill you only makes you stronger,? after having had such a rough childhood. I am now as wise to the expectations and cruelty of the real world? as most adults are. I have learned that trust is not something that is inherited but is something that is built up over a period of time. There are only eight people who have my full trust—my girlfriend, my father, my brother, my girlfriend’s parents, and of three my high school friends.
Life has taught me a lot. I hope that some of the hardships I have faced will not come back to haunt me in the future. I hope that no one has to go through what I have gone through. If they do, I hope they handle it as well as, if not better than, I did. Most importantly, I know that God has been with me through it all and has given me a chance to have an incredible life with the girl I love.
In today’s society, infidelity is one of the leading causes of marital disruption and divorce. In accordance with societal norms, many myths have been associated with infidelity. The following myths and their effects on marriage will be discussed: Everyone has affairs, the affair is the direct result of the faithful mate and, the marriage must end in divorce. In examining the various myths, this paper will challenge the greater issue, can a marriage survive infidelity?
There was a time when more smart-conscious decisions were made relating to sexual relationships. In particular, sexual relationships within a marriage. However, times have changed. The pillars that hold up our individual sexual values have started to crumble…
This sort of affair is usually committed by men who are afraid of control by women, and who are in love with their masculinity. They believe that “love” is a game that they are constantly playing. They are no good at marriage since the game involves obtaining women and discarding them. Each one is like a trophy. The Accidental, Romantic, and Philanders affairs are the three most common and therefore it is easy to see why many believe that “everyone has affairs”.
The truth is that not everyone has affairs. In fact, affairs are not normal behavior, rather they are a symptom of a missing element or a problem that exists in a marriage. When conducting the survey, needs to be met by an affair that is different for males and females. Males want sex and freedom, whereas females want to be needed and loved. Although they may be many reasons why a spouse may cheat, females have a tendency to feel emotionally empty (figure 2). Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. Adults are able to make rational decisions for themselves.
However, the second myth that evolves from infidelity in marriage is the idea that the affair was the direct result of the faithful spouse – “you made me do it.” However, Frank Pittman, a family therapist believes that “the relationship between the affair and the problems blamed for the affair becomes increasingly confusing. It is often difficult to believe that there is any relationship.”