When ever I hear about partners that happen to be cheating on their partners, my first reaction would be to feel for the spouse that doesn't know. You know, the one that is living their life in a Utopian-type of existence, fooled by the presumption that their partner is really as committed and faithful to them as they are.
It's a cozy feeling, seeing and reading of other couples cheating issues, not thinking for a second that it could be occurring to you.
Until reality bites...
If the reality of infidelity or uncertainty has bitten your romantic relationship, bite back:
It may be a gradual feeling of unease, a noticed brief moment of eye contact between your spouse and another, a comment outside of context by way of a close friend or colleague, a story that does not quite make sense. However in that brief moment, the building blocks of confidence put in your spouse and marriage starts to crumble, and you want to catch a spouse cheating.
Following the initial shock that it could even be going on, many people vow payback, vengeance, and one of the more common reactions in terms of payback may be the temptation to have an affair in retaliation.
A retaliatory affair appears to be probably the most improbable thing to do, taking into consideration the pain that the first affair induced, but it looks like it's a growing trend, at least through the reasonably limited study I have completed with members who have kindly offered feedback. To be honest, a retaliatory affair was the last kind of response I'd have anticipated.
Sure, the anger is real, as are the feelings of hurt and disloyalty, but oddly enough many men and women who spoke to me were motivated that they wouldn't be seen as victims. Far from it, in fact, many were determined to get back and do it in such a way that their spouse may feel a lot of the hurt they felt at the time.
Let's be honest. Every one of us have times in our lives when we see someone who we have to say is great looking, sometimes a beatiful face, an attractive smile, a beautifully proportioned body, or a confident manner that seemed both charismatic and magnetic. Good looking individuals are all around us. Yet it would never occur to us to take our initial attention or attraction with a person so much that we would think about stepping into a sexual relationship with them. After all, being married is really a commitment, a promise of fidelity, a vow to honor one another.
Nevertheless whenever your partner departs from this commitment in such a shocking and hurtful manner, it leaves many questioning their beliefs, and indeed their fidelity. If their fidelity has resulted in them being cheated on and hurt so badly, surely it is OK to sleep with another person to 'even up the score,' as it were?
That co-worker which has made fleeting eye contact with you at the copier machine, the shop assistant that's inadvertently flirted with you, the friend of a friend that has made a point of conversing with you at parties and comments on your looks, an ex whose contact details you still have or remember, all of these people are now potential play pals. All things considered, if it's good enough for your spouse to accomplish it, surely there's nothing wrong with you carrying it out too?
Now I'm not really saying all victims of cheating wind up carrying this out, because many don't. Even so the knee-jerk response is to get out there and experience an affair as well is a common reaction that lots of people seriously consider and follow through.
But if it's something that you are seriously looking at, have you given it adequate thought? How will you feel at the moment you happen to be cheating on your spouse? How are you going to feel after? Is it possible to live with the knowledge and the consequences of your actions?
For many, it's a 'yes.' But for many others, it brings an entire new raft of issues to what has already been an emotionally-charged situation.
Intriguing thought though. Is retaliation in the form of an affair okay or not? Will it cause you to feel better or worse?
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