Infidelity – the action or state of being sexually unfaithful – Readers Digest Dictionary.

Is that all it is?

Why do we humans place so much value on being faithful and, yet, if we are to believe what we hear about the recent Ashley Maddison hack, thousands of people choose to be unfaithful.

We are all different with different needs and while many people value being faithful to one person, at least during the course of the relationship because it gives them a feeling of certainty and safety which, in time, becomes a basis for trust, there are other people who thrive on uncertainty, on living on the edge.  These people find it exciting and adventurous. We all have our reasons for doing what we do.

However, when two people have an understanding that they “belong” to each other, there is a commitment to a relationship between them and one person strays for some reason, a promise has been broken, a trust has been breach and there is a misalignment of values. Once the trust has been eroded nothing is ever the same again – after all, if you’ve broken your promise once, who’s to say you won’t do it again? The dynamics between the two people have changed completely and it’s all downhill from there.

I think it all comes down to knowing what you want and being very clear on that. Knowing where your boundaries are and sticking to them, what are the rules in your relationship and what do you expect from both yourself and the other person.

Most of us can remember hearing about Bill Clinton’s indiscretions – and none of us probably knows how Hilary felt about that. I seem to recall a journalist having asked Hilary how she felt at one stage and her response was – Well, you can’t expect an old dog to stay on the porch forever. Personally, I thought that response was pure gold because it quelled all the curiosity and media interest and Hilary did not allow herself to be a victim. Who knows what she really thinks – that’s really her business.

When you have been cheated on naturally you are going to have some feelings about it. So first up, let’s take a look at your values. How important is it to you to have a faithful partner? What does being faithful look like to you? What will that give you? Are you prepared to be faithful to your partner too?

I know how I feel about it but I don’t know how you might feel about it. Perhaps you’re like Hilary or perhaps you have chosen to be the victim in the situation.

There are thousands of reasons why the system under which we live has been set up to promote monogamy and some of those relate to who we are, who our parents were and how we all relate to each other. It is important from the point of view of having children to ensure the blood lines are not too close as this can negatively impact on the health of the child. It can be important for the survival of the family that people team up and stay together to build their empire or whatever. It can be important from an emotional point of view; we like to be stable which allows us to perform and function at a higher level. We like to have support and to know someone cares.

So why do some people stray? Are they bored, are they unhappy? Whatever the reason, it is because a certain need or needs are not being met and the straying person is seeking that need some place else. To use the dog analogy again – it is also said a well fed dog doesn’t stray.

What is infidelity at any rate? I know what the dictionary says about being sexually unfaithful and yet – can it be more than that? Think about the workaholic partner who is totally devoted to his/her work and the other person is left hanging? Is that an act of unfaithfulness or dedication or neglect? It all depends on how you look at it and what’s important to you.

So how do you ensure your partner remains faithful? Personally, after 40+ years of marriage I think it comes down to being totally honest first with yourself about what you want out of the relationship and when you communicate that to the other person and ensure your values are aligned, you usually have a fairly solid base on which to build your house. It’s respect for the other person and yourself and ensuring each of your needs are being met. Be honest and communicate about what’s important to you both, be there for the other person – who knows, we might even call that love.

If you’d like to explore this further, please feel free to contact me for a free session – that is free of obligation, free of judgment and free of charge – just go to fill out the form and, hey presto, I will get back to you to make a time for a chat.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time