THE (IN)FIDELITY FACTOR
: Points to Ponder Before You Cheat
Relationships are a beautiful thing, well, they can be when mates are dedicated to building a solid foundation. Love of course, is a fantastic precursor, but it also takes time, and a good dose of growing pains. Some weather the storms, others not so much. Those who can’t deal, don’t, and usually find themselves in the arms of someone else who momentarily takes their mind off of the troubles at home. In other words: infidelity.
It seems to me that infidelity, cheating, betrayal — has gone completely wild, so I decided to write a book about it. When I first had the idea to do this I received some interesting feedback. One friend asked, “Are you okay?” He obviously assumed that I must be out of my mind to tackle such a complex subject matter. Another inquired, “What’s gotten into you?” Probably for the same reason as friend number one. Honestly, I just got tired of reading yet another sensational headline about the latest infidelity scandal. It was annoying!
Political figures, captains of industry, devout Christians, A-Z list actors, your Uncle Joe, the local grocer and everyone else in between are susceptible to slipping away from fidelity while in a committed relationship. This issue encompasses every color, creed, class, and intellect. Maserati or turnip truck — infidelity proves to be a great equalizer. It’s quite evident that emotional intelligence and common sense are not mutually inclusive where an impressive I.Q. and worldly accomplishments are concerned. We’ve all heard, know, or have been personally affected by the fall-out from indiscretions. Not pretty.
For the record, I am not an expert, as in a clinical psychologist, or a Ph D in anything (B.A., yes), but having had the experience on both sides of the fence (my ex husband cheated on me and I’ve been the other woman), I speak authentically. I know the struggles. This condition is running amuck in our society. People cheat, move on, leave a tattered trail behind them and repeat the cycle ad nauseam: cheat, repeat, defeat.
Like the rest of us I’ve made mistakes large and small. I’ll undoubtedly continue to blunder in other areas, personal evolution being what it is – ongoing. But, I will not likely compromise my values again. I’m choosing to use my frontal lobe for good. Through my research, I’ve been able to understand infidelity in more ways than I ever thought possible. I’ve had to challenge my preconceived notions and continually push back my boundaries to accommodate the stories, and there are many! Thankfully, I gained eye-opening knowledge.
With lessons learned come awareness and responsibility. Whether you are the recipient of fidelity gone wrong or the one coloring outside the lines, chances are, you are culpable on some level. Innocent parties are rare in these situations. I realize that’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true. I know, I had that pill stuck in my throat a time or two, or three! I had to acknowledge my part in the demise of my marriage even though my husband was the one who cheated on me. Don’t get me wrong, his actions fell squarely on his shoulders, but mine also contributed to our disconnect; more on that later.
I understand there are not altogether simple solutions for conditions that may prove to be more complicated and outside the scope of everyday thought. We all have a history. Some are more dark than others. Some histories contribute to chronic hesitancy and internal apprehension that prevent one from inner exploration and outward forward motion, which in turn leads to unhealthy patterns; infidelity being one of them. My book does not fully address the multipart, steadfastly rooted backstories that inhibit and sometime cripple personal growth. If you find yourself in this category, seek trained advisors to address these issues, or read books that may prove beneficial as stepping stones toward living a more complete life. Do something; start with baby steps to help release your limitations. Fortunately, a segment of this particular population has overcome deep-seated injuries that stem from a troubled upbringing, abuse, disorders or other debilitating events. These folks have reclaimed themselves through intense self-reflection, self love, faith, mental health counseling, support groups, etc. And, I know you can too. Choose growth. Choose awareness. Choose to be part of the change up. Healthy individuals help create healthy relationships. Truth!