Infidelity

Infidelity, Here and Now

By Truth About Deception

New research highlights the latest trends in patterns of infidelity. Here are some of the more interesting findings:

  • People are more likely to cheat during the summer months
  • At a minimum, it’s estimated that cheating happens in 20-25% of marriages
  • Rates of infidelity are increasing the fastest among older men (thanks, Viagra).
  • Infidelity is the number one reason for divorce
  • Cheating is more likely for individuals who have a dismissing or anxious style of attachment
  • Growing up in a house where infidelity occurred increases one’s odds of cheating
  • Living together before getting married is linked to increased infidelity
  • More opportunities to meet people at work increases the likelihood of cheating

Source: Fincham, F. D., & May, R. W. (2017). Infidelity in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 70-74.

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Attachment and Hiding Online Activities with Others

By Truth About Deception

New research reveals that individuals with an insecure style of attachment – individuals who have an anxious or dismissing attachment style are more likely to engage in infidelity-related behaviors online.

When it comes to online activity people who have an anxious or dismissing style of attachment are more likely to…

  • Engage in intimate information sharing with others
  • Keep in touch with ex-partners
  • Behave in ways they try to hide from their partners
  • Hide online chats from their partners
  • Get angry and defensive when questioned about their online behavior
  • Believe their partners would be upset if they knew the truth about their online activities

Source: McDaniel, B. T., Drouin, M., & Cravens, J. D. (2017). Do you have anything to hide? Infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites and marital satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 88-95.

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Breaking up the Mean Way

By Truth About Deception

Individuals with Machiavellian personality traits, people who have little emotional investment in their relationships, the tendency to exploit their partners, and often engage in deception and infidelity, are not only likely to take advantage of their partners, but also approach breakups in a cruel manner.

New research shows that women with Machiavellian personality traits are likely to initiate breakups using the following tactics:

  • avoiding their partner and becoming more distant
  • acting in ways that make the relationship more costly to their partner (i.e., purposely being difficult)
  • breaking up via text message, email, voice message

Essentially, women with Machiavellian personality traits don’t take a proactive and considerate approach when trying to breakup.

You can take an online Machiavellian personality test here.

Source: Brewer, G., & Abell, L. (2017). Machiavellianism and romantic relationship dissolution. Personality and Individual Differences, 106, 226-230.

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An Insider’s View of Infidelity

By Truth About Deception

New research explores how individuals who betray their spouses think about their actions.

Essentially, this research tries to address what people were thinking as they started an affair.

The findings of the study reveal that individuals who start an affair:

  1. They tend to be unhappily married. They believe there are unresolved problems in their relationship.
  2. They also tend to have a fixed mindset when thinking about the problems they encounter in their marriage. They don’t think that their problems can be solved.
  3. They believe that they have a greater desire for passion and sexual novelty than their spouse does.
  4. They believe that sexual gratification is an important aspect of their lives.
  5. They tend to put their own concerns over consideration for what their spouse is experiencing.
  6. They don’t believe that divorce is an option.

Individuals with the above mindset don’t necessarily set out to have an affair or recognize that their actions are putting them on the path to cheating.

Instead, individuals may meet someone who is fun and interesting and start spending more time with that person. Increased time and activities lead to a greater sense of connection with the other person. Eventually, passion overrides reason and judgment. Again, people don’t see the affair coming, until after it happens.

However, once individuals cheat on their spouse, feelings of regret are common.

Source: Zapien, N. (2016). The Beginning of an Extra-Marital Affair: A Descriptive Phenomenological Psychological Study and Clinical Implications. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 47(2), 134-155.

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If You Don’t Trust Your Spouse, Are You Destined for Divorce?

By Brian Bayati

Trust is essential in a successful marriage. Some people consider it the foundation of a healthy relationship. In some cases, a partner’s trust has been violated, and the marriage is in danger. People suffer from trust issues for many reasons. Whether there has been infidelity or not, couples must restore the trust in their relationship before they can work on rebuilding the marriage. Is divorce inevitable without trust? The answer is sometimes. Before you can understand trust issues, you must first understand the complex nature of trust in a committed relationship.

Trust

Trust is both a feeling and choice. To trust someone, we believe in them, rely on them, and we place confidence in them. Trust can feel safe and secure, as well as allow you to decide whether a person is honest or reliable. The strongest friendships and the most stable marriages are built on this kind of trust. While it may take years to build a relationship, it can rapidly fade if there are any issues causing friction in the marriage. Once it is gone, trust is difficult to restore, but not impossible.

Infidelity

When someone cheats or has an affair during a marriage, confidence is broken. Infidelity is a violation of the boundaries of their marriage vows and one of the main reasons couples file for divorce. By law, adultery is considered offensive and immoral. However, divorce is not the only option for couples experiencing adultery. Counseling and professional help can be useful once the guilty spouse decides to apologize and remain faithful. At that point, the couple can begin to rebuild the trust in their marriage.

If infidelity has destroyed your marriage, then divorce might be inevitable. You will need to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can explain your rights and file a divorce on your behalf. People used to believe the innocent spouse was somehow at fault. However, this is not true, and often the guilty spouse feels compelled to cheat due to a lack of intimacy. If spouses are not diligent about strengthening their relationship, they will gradually grow apart.

Other Trust Issues

A wife or husband may want to obtain a divorce regardless of whether infidelity affected their relationship. Many trust issues can indicate the marriage is falling apart. No one wants to be treated like a child or accused of cheating if they are faithful. Couples must practice effective communication to avoid the following trust issues. Here are some other examples:

Finances

  • Each spouse in the marriage should have the authority to handle their finances, as well as discuss any mutual finances in the household. Unless your spouse has mishandled money or has been spending money that does not belong to them, you have no right to demand an accounting for every dollar spent. It is more efficient to plan a budget as a couple and spend accordingly. During a divorce, the court will review your financial records and determine support based on any earnings or property acquired during the marriage.

Cell Phone & Computer

  • Technology and the Internet have revolutionized how people communicate and share information. Everyone has a right to their privacy, but if your spouse seems secretive and their cell phone and computer are inaccessible, you may want to discuss possible trust issues. This behavior may be considered suspicious. If you cannot trust your partner on their phone or computer, this can become a bigger problem unless you decide to talk about it. Protect yourself from suspicious activity on cell phones and computers by being aware any incriminating evidence or behavior that seems distrustful.

Are You Destined for Divorce?

Many people need help getting over the pain of an affair, the aggravation of an overbearing spouse, or a partner who behaves as if they are still single. It takes honesty and commitment from both parties to overcome trust issues. It also usually requires the help of a therapist, spiritual leader, or marriage counselor. Regaining trust takes time, and you cannot force the relationship to improve immediately.

If neither spouse is interested in saving the marriage, divorce may be your only option. You would be wise to seek the advice of a family lawyer, especially if children are involved. Children are witnesses to the mistrust and hostility at home. You must continue to co-parent with respect and figure out what the best interest of the children is with the help a good attorney by your side.

Divorce may or may not be the answer. Only you and your spouse know the truth. Do not delay, speak to a divorce attorney and then decide. You cannot change the past, but you do have the power to get the help you need to either rebuild your marriage or obtain a divorce.

Brian Bayati is an attorney who practices family law Orange County.

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