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 Adultery and Infidelity: Why People Cheat 
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Post Adultery and Infidelity: Why People Cheat
Adultery and Infidelity: Why People Cheat
by: Emily Kensington

As someone who makes a living giving relationship advice, I know that adultery is widespread in our culture. In fact, one study conducted by the University of Hawaii indicated that 60-70% of victims of infidelity are women. The stereotypical myths associated with such behavior include a middle-class husband purchasing a sports car and fooling around with the secretary, who is often a young blonde with whom he works closely. The unsuspecting wife, busy with care-taking and driving the kids to soccer games, is devastated by the discovery. At this point, the husband justifies his actions: It's the frequent business trips, working late into the night, and the fact that the new woman doesn't “nag” him. Therefore, it was bound to happen, right? Wrong.

The reality is that infidelity is most often a symptom of internal conflict within the cheating spouse which has little to with non-cheating partner. In fact, my experience as a couples and marriage therapist indicates that cheating husbands are most often running away from themselves.

Sadly, while the cheating husband may appear to be enjoying himself, by not facing his problems he is condemning himself to repeating them. In short, he's emotionally stuck. How do I know this? They tell me!

Take this following example: The husband didn't wake up one morning and suddenly choose to commit adultery. Rather the husband, doubting his self-worth and possibly tired of routine married life, becomes flattered by the attention of another, often younger, woman. Not only is the appeal of something new very exciting, but this new woman tends to have a “sympathetic ear” that he thinks his wife lacks. As a result, he often takes the path of least resistance and finds it easier to be with this more “fun” or “understanding” woman. Eventually, he may get divorced and even marry the new woman. Then, after a year or two, he begins to feel similarly negative about his new relationship. At which point, he begins to realize that his current relationship is not much different than his previous relationship.

About The Author

Emily Kensington is a psychotherapist specializing in couples and marital therapy. Her website is

Copyright 2007. Reprint permission granted ONLY if author link, name, and full credit are included.

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Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:19 am
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