Home Essays Infidelity In Relationships: Causes And Effects by Emmanuel Enaku.

Infidelity In Relationships: Causes And Effects by Emmanuel Enaku.



The current infidelity statistics, courtesy of “Journal Of Marital And Family Therapy” reveals that 57% of men overall admit to committing infidelity at some point in their lives; 54% of women also admits to committing the dastardly act in one or more of their relationships. Again, 22% of married men against 14% of married women admits to having an affair during their marriage(s). It is therefore pertinent that the saying “men are cheats” is only a half-baked, ill informed and unjustly propagated stereotype. Women are proven to be caught in this mire also. Hence, rather than waste time playing the blame games, it would be ethical channeling our resources into fishing out the causes, identifying effects and brainstorming on the possible solutions  to the menace called infidelity.

Infidelity often referred to as “cheating” could be defined as being unfaithful to a spouse or other partner. Infidelity as a broad topic can be narrowed down into two forms;  the physical form (which has to do with having illicit sexual affairs with another) and the emotional form (which involves the sharing of deep secrets with any other than one’s spouse).

Approaching and dealing with infidelity could often times pose a difficult  task. There are no silver bullets or 100% guidelines to completely eradicating it from our society. However, to make significant progress in the fight against infidelity, there has to be adequate knowledge on the topic.

Currently,  there are five recognized types of infidelity which may come under any of the two forms of infidelity highlighted above. They, as well as their causes are expatiated on in the subsequent paragraphs.

Opportunistic infidelity: this occurs when a partner, despite being in a healthy relationship, succumbs to their sexual desire for someone else.  Typically, this type of cheating is driven by opportunity, risk-taking behavior  or drug use. The effect of this however is that the more involved a cheating partner is with his/her spouse, the higher the feeling of guilt as a result if their sexual encounter though, the guilty feeling may fade as the fear of being caught subsides.

Obligatory infidelity: this type of infidelity is based on the fear that resisting sexual advances will result in rejection by friend or peers. The need for approval  could cause a person to act in ways that are at odds with the feeling they have for their partners. So to say,  people cheat not because they want to but because they desire the approval  that comes with being the attention  of others.

Romantic infidelity: which I would call the turned-off infidelity occurs when a partner has little emotional attachment  to their partner. They may be committed to their relationship  and not willing to severe ties with their partner but the longing for an intimate and romantic connection  becomes an obsession they soon give into.

The conflicted romantic infidelity: funny it may seem but quite possible. This type of infidelity occurs when people experience  genuine love and sexual desire for more than one person at a time.  It is a very complicated  case and tend to create a lot of anxiety and stress.  Hence, cheating partners in their attempt not to cause anyone harm end up hurting  everyone.

Commemorative infidelity: this is when there is no love,  sexual desire or attachment to a partner. The only thing that keeps the relationship gong is a sense of commitment. The cheating  partner does not want to be seen as a failure in the eyes of the public or is in the relationship  for gratifying reasons. As a result, these people justify cheating by telling themselves that they have the right to seek outside what they lack in the present relationship.

Although, major causes have been enumerated along with the most often recognized types of infidelity above, other factors play some vital roles in why spouses cheat and they include; the feeling of being in a one-sided relationship, lack of communication, Unsatisfied sex life, unfulfilled sex drive,  a revenge for past infidelity,  peer influence/negative advice and a godless commitment.

Infidelity in a relationship  has the tendency to severely strain a relationship  and the people involved both psychologically and emotionally. An affair by a cheating partner could leave the other person feeling devastated,  alone, betrayed and confused. There are cases where victims take their own life out of pain and frustration. It has the ability to cause damage to self esteem, loss if trust in the cheating spouse, a sense of emotional instability and negative impact in all areas of one’s life.

Though,  as said earlier, there are no silver bullets that could immediately  solve the problem of infidelity, the following are well thought out suggestions that could go a long way in effectively combating infidelity in our society.

  • Seek godly relationships. As long as a relationship lacks the essence of God,  it lacks the principal ingredients for happiness.
  • Needs should be examined and processed. What needs are not being met? Well,  some needs could never feel met but could it be something  indispensable ? After identifying  your needs, engage in dialogues.
  • Reduce the opportunity to cheat. Avoid conversations about one’s relationship with an opposite sex, take note of attraction towards an opposite sex and exercise adequate
  • Learn to control impulses and maintain boundaries.
  • Seek help with a therapist or relationship councilor.



In conclusion, infidelity may seem a big deal but our day to day actions will determine if it will become a stumbling block in our relationship. It all depends on us to make the right decisions at all times and keep at bay this menace called infidelity.  Together,  we can build a society without cases of infidelity; relationships that are phenomenally successful.

Emmanuel wrote in via enakuemmanuel@gmail.com

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