Clayton Olson of YourTango.com wrote an opinion piece about the ultimate relationship betrayal, cheating, and how it is not just a random act of trashing their marriage. Olson says that infidelity is a slowly brewing storm, starting with these 7 less obvious ways people cheat on their spouses before committing the physical act:
1. Secret relationships.
We all have multiple healthy relationships outside of marriages with friends, co-workers, sometimes even our exes. But Olson asks this crucial question: Would you act the same with this other person if your significant other was watching? If the answer is “No,” some serious boundaries are being crossed.
2. Hidden money.
Maybe your spouse has a spending problem, a gambling habit, or maintains private accounts that you don’t know about. The betrayal happens when it’s hidden from your spouse.
3. Your spouse complains about you to others.
We’re not talking about the normal venting process to your best friend. We mean straight up trash talking your significant other. This is a blatant form of disrespect and paints a terrible picture of you to others.
4. Your spouse undermines you in public.
Your spouse is supposed to be your partner and your biggest fan. After all, they chose you! So when your spouse undermines you in public, you feel hurt, betrayed, embarrassed. Olson writes, “You know what I mean: That roll of your eyes, that sarcastic remark, the cheap shot you take when they piss you off.”
5. Emotional dishonesty.
This category is very broad, and for good reason. There are so many behaviors that can demonstrate emotional dishonesty in a relationship that we simply cannot name them all. But according to Olson, some common forms include “committing to something you don’t really want to do, to saying that you’re ‘fine’ (when you’re actually boiling with disdain), all the way to faking an orgasm.” But this is where it starts to get dangerous…when it’s used to justify wrongdoings. Your partner may manipulate you into thinking that something is right, even though he or she knows it’s wrong.
6. Your spouse is straight up selfish.
By selfish, we mean your spouse is selfish with their time, devotion to giving you attention (or lack there of), during sex, etc. However, your spouse’s selfishness can be most hurtful when they try to invalidate your feelings. Your spouse’s feelings are never wrong, but when you bring your feelings to light, they are discredited. It makes you feel angry, divided, disrespected, irrelevant, and manipulated.
The dictionary term of stonewalling reads, “
Olson believes, according to this piece, that the “wrecking ball is often set into motion long before the big offense.” What are your thoughts?
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After the Ashley Madison leak, AskMen asked their readers, 1,257 men to be exact, what they thought about cheating and what they may have done or how far they went. Take a look at this infographic below featuring the results of the survey:
Now…to interpret the data!
Where respondents live:
United States – 643
Canada – 117
Then, residents in multiple countries in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia make up the rest of the respondents.
33% In a monogamous relationship
2% Open relationship
Married or Monogamous: Did you have an Ashley Madison account?
4% Yes, I’m busted.
8% Thought about it, thank God I didn’t sign up.
88% Nope, clean as a whistle.
Have you ever flirted heavily with someone you wanted to cheat with, without crossing the line?
222 responded “Yes, but by text message/online chat rather than in person.”
542 responded “Yes, in person.”
98 responded “No, I go all the way.”
394 responded “No, I believe flirting is just as wrong.”
Be honest, have you ever cheated?
320 responded “Yes, multiple times.”
162 responded “Yes, but just once.”
298 responded “No, but sometimes I wish I could.”
476 responded “No, I would never.”
Is this leak what the cheaters deserve (in reference to Ashley Madison)?
39% responded “Yes, they deserve what they got.”
61% responded “No, the hack was illegal.”
Do you think people who cheat are scumbags?
28% responded “Yes.”
55% responded “Depends. Some are mistakes.”
17% responded “No, it’s human nature to seek pleasure.”
Do you think a relationship can recover after one person has cheated?
306 responded “Yes, but not if the other person finds out.”
480 responded “Yes, but only if the other person finds out.”
470 responded “No, that relationship is done for.”
What are YOUR thoughts on cheating today?
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According to www.sheknows.com, online legal marketplace Avvo, Inc. recently conducted a study about the state of relationships and fidelity in the United States and worked in conjunction with Pepper Schwartz, sexologist at the University of Washington, to interpret the data.
Listed below are several key points and interpretations from the study:
1. As Americans, we are more open to open relationships.
The study revealed that only 45% of men and 62% of women are morally OPPOSED to open relationships. However, Schwartz states that just because people express these attitudes, doesn’t mean they’ll actually feel that way if they were to be involved in an open relationship. Human beings tend to be territorial and jealous about the partners they love.
2. Most Faithful Region in the US: the Midwest.
One in six people report cheating on a partner (that’s the national rate). But if you’re looking for a faithful partner, head to the Midwest. The study found that only one in 10 Midwesterners reports cheating on a partner, making the Midwest the lowest regional rate of cheating in the entire study.
3. Most likely to date a married partner: Northeasterners.
The study also showed that Northeasterners are the most likely to date a person who is married. Ah, the homewrecker region. Shockingly, more than HALF of the study respondents from the Northeast were not opposed to dating a married partner.
4. Relationship satisfaction does not correlate with monogamy.
Www.sheknows.com highlights the most unfortunate and perhaps saddening conclusion drawn from the study: “First, the good news. Seventy percent of U.S. adults are currently in a relationship of some kind, and more than nine in 10 of these couples are satisfied with their relationship. Great, right? Sure, except that cheating rates are the same across relationship satisfaction levels — so satisfaction isn’t exactly tied to monogamy.” We know it happens, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. But people step out on happy marriages quite often.
5. Cheating skyrockets in big cities and on the coasts.
Stay away from big cities and the coasts (in other words, move to the Midwest)! We’re kidding, however, Schwartz found that cheating rates tend to vary by location, and can reflect the values of the city or region in which a couple lives. “Of course it is true that cheating tends to occur more frequently on the coasts and big cities like New York City and Los Angeles,” she explains. Why? What does a geographical location have to do with whether or not partners have a higher chance of getting cheating on? Ask, and you shall receive. “They have a higher population which generally hold more liberal values,” says Schwartz. Case in point? The West Coast is the most accepting of open relationships.
6. A man’s social status influences cheating.
An interesting conclusion pertaining to the differences between working class men and men with higher job status and education in reference to faithfulness: “There are some older studies that indicate men from working class backgrounds cheated more when they were younger but quit when they were older,” Schwartz explains. “Men with more advanced education and higher status jobs, however, tend towards monogamy when they are young, but are more likely to be non-monogamous than blue collar guys by the time they reach 40.”
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Dr. Debra Laino of ShaveMagazine highlights 10 common reasons that women cheat (#1 being the most common):
1. “Not having her needs met emotionally. This is the most common reason women give. This means, for whatever reason, feeling undervalued, unappreciated, disrespected and generally disconnected. Affection and communication are two of the biggest areas where men can leave women feeling unfulfilled emotionally.”
2. “Resentment. Anger and frustration that women may harbor towards their significant other can create feelings of isolation and loneliness. After a prolonged period, some of these women start to seek companionship elsewhere.”
3. “Because they can. Many women are disproportionately exposed to men than women in the workplace, as a direct consequence, many have more options and chances to cheat. Like many people, some women just do it because the opportunity struck. Right or wrong were never factored in. This is probably one of the worst reasons given, but true.”
4. “Because they are longing for better sex. Plenty of cheating women are so unsatisfied with their sexual relationship that they eventually seek fulfillment elsewhere.”
5. “Revenge. Plenty of cheating women see their actions as a form of justice against a partner who has wronged them in some way.”
6. “When there seems to be too much ‘baggage’ in the relationship. A woman will only take so much. Unfortunately in the beginning of a relationship a woman can take more because her hormones are surging. Once the honeymoon phase wears off the baggage better wear off as well, otherwise she may start looking at her options. Baggage can be Ex’s, out of control kids, overbearing family members, intrusive friends, etc.”
7. “Boredom. Bored women may seek an escape from the mundane. Cheating may be viewed as a way to add some excitement into her life. The thrill of doing something wrong or of potentially getting caught.”
8. “Feeling unattractive to her partner. If another guy comes along and starts telling her how beautiful she is and how special she is, she may start to feel better around him than she feels around her partner. This is especially dangerous because those feelings will cause her to develop an attachment to the other man.”
9. “Low self-esteem. In general sex is a drug; it makes us feel good. It also makes many of us feel desirable which gives us a false sense of self-esteem. Plenty of women will seek out sex, and lots of it, from many partners as a form of validation. This sense of worth and value is short lived and thus these women are caught continually seeking it out.”
10. “Some women cheat as sort of an exit strategy. She doesn’t want to break up with you verbally so behaviorally she goes out and cheats on you so you break up with her. It’s a coward’s way out but, in her eyes, it’s a way out nonetheless.”
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We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill affair here. We’re talking about your spouse actually living a double life, with another home, live-in mistress (even kids!), bank accounts, cell phone numbers, email accounts, you name it. Everything he has with you, he also has with someone else (all except the marriage). If you’re suspicious that your spouse may be having an affair, but you feel it may be much deeper and more complex than you ever imagined, take into consideration these key behavior patterns:
1. Change in sexual appetite.
2. Hidden money or financial records.
3. Regular, nonchalant contact with an ex.
4. Hidden or inaccessible cell phones and/or e-mail accounts.
5. Frequent travel.
6. Exclusion from the usual “couples events.”
7. Deceptive body language.
8. Mysterious use of cash for “incidentals” or poorly explained expenses.
Now, these behaviors don’t necessarily mean that your spouse is truly living a double life. But the financials, multiple cell phones, and excessive travel are a little more involved than just an ordinary affair. There have been plenty of cases we approached with the suspicion that the other spouse was stepping out on the marriage, but uncovered and documented a whole secret world.
Don’t ever feel guilty for protecting yourself.
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