In today’s society, infidelity is one of the leading causes of marital disruption and divorce. In accordance with societal norms many myths have been associated with infidelity. The following myths and their effects on marriage will be discussed: Everyone has affairs, the affair is the direct result of the faithful mate and, the marriage must end in divorce. In examining the various myths, this paper will challenge the greater issue, can marriage survive infidelity?
There was a time when more smart-conscious decisions were made relating to sexual relationships. In particular, sexual relationships within a marriage. However, times have changed. The pillars that hold up our individual sexual values have started to crumble. It is estimated that two out of three marriages fail due to infidelity. This is a scary statistic considering that people believe a marriage can survive infidelity. This brings us to our first myth: Everyone has affairs.
People tend to associate with others who share the same values and morals as they do. People who are unfaithful tend to assume that everyone is, while those who remain faithful tend to believe that extramarital affairs are unusual. Since infidelity takes on several different forms, it is appropriate to consider the fact that many people believe that this sort of behaviour would be considered acceptable.
The first form of adultery is Accidental Infidelity. This can happen to the more careless person, but at the same time, to the person whose values and commitments are tenuous. They lack self-control and respect for both themselves and their spouse. Any situation where they are left alone with the opposite sex is an opportunity for an “accident” to occur. It was shocking to find out that most cases of infidelity occur with couples who are less than twenty -five years old, one would have thought early marriages where happy and care free (figure one).
The second form of adultery is the Romantic Affair. This is usually considered the most disruptive affair because it involves such intense feelings and is a big threat to a marriage. The Romantic Affair usually occurs at a point of crisis in a marriage and is short-lived; it usually burns out quickly.
The last type of affair that is common in several relationships is Philandering. It is known as co...
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... Imagine how difficult it would be to trust one’s spouse again. It would be like starting all over. Many believe that “once a cheat always a cheat”, people who have several affairs have a higher divorce rate (figure 7). One would have to put forth time, and effort to restore something that they did not destroy. All of the years of marriage, all that was shared and considered sacred is gone. How can one be expected to believe that the affair was an isolated incident that never took place earlier on in the marriage? It is with all of these doubts and unanswered questions that it becomes evident that adultery destroys marriages and therefore marriage cannot survive infidelity. Infidelity not only destroys marriages, it also destroys families. Children turn away from their mothers or fathers, and it is at that point that the marriage should be considered null and void. The possibility of a marriage being able to survive infidelity is far fetched. Therefore, the answer to the question: ‘can marriage survive infidelity’ is evident.
It simply cannot, too much has been lost. Perhaps Edgar Allan Poe sums it up best: “Years of love have been forgot in the hatred of a minute.”
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