Infidelity in the 21st Century
On May 9th, Former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that they would be filing for divorce. While exact reasons were unknown at the time, only days later on May 16th, The Los Angeles Times revealed that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with a household employee more than a decade earlier. Unbeknownst to Shriver, the former Governor has provided financial support for the child, a boy who is now 14 years old, since his birth.
While no marriage is perfect, Schwarzenegger and Shriver’s appeared to come close. The 25-year marriage of the member of the Democratic Kennedy dynasty to the former-actor-turned-Republican-Governor emanated a constant projection of smiles and married as well as familial bliss. The pair has four children ranging in ages from 13-21 years old. The infidelity and betrayal of their marriage came as a shock, not only to Shriver, but to the nation as whole, leaving everyone wondering: how can such a seemingly happy power couple fall prey to the deception and turmoil of infidelity? And more importantly… is there any hope for the rest of us?
Like marriage and family dynamics, the face of infidelity has also changed dramatically in recent years and exponentially in the 21st Century. Statistics report that anywhere from 40-60 percent of adults in committed relationships have committed acts of infidelity and despite popular opinion, there’s not a huge difference in these percentages between men and women. Infidelity has not only become increasingly more commonplace, but it has also become easier to commit infidelity through the Internet and social networking sites. Recent media attention has been drawn to AshleyMadison.com, a site specifically for married men and women to find other married individuals to have an affair with. The site’s tagline boldly proclaims, “Life is short. Have an affair.” The company assures the public and the media that it “preserves more marriages than it breaks up” by giving unhappy spouses an outlet for the common frustrations of marriage rather than sending them straight to divorce lawyers. However, whatever Ashley Madison’s arguments in support of infidelity may be, they are certainly downplaying the consequences and hurt that come from infidelity and the important role that honesty and trust play in a successful marriage.
It’s not just websites designed for purposes of infidelity that propagate the idea of cheating on your spouse. The social networking explosion of the 21st Century has made it easy to connect and reconnect with everyone from your grandmother to your high school sweetheart. There are an abundance of stories that can be found anywhere from the Internet to even a close friend of the reigniting of a “lost love.”It is not uncommon for people to search for old flames via social networking sites, such as Facebook. With a lull in passion that is expected from any marriage, individuals are likely to glorify and mentally edit past relationships, putting old flames in a more positive light. Now with the popularity of social networking, these past loves are just a simple Facebook search away. While reconnecting with a former love may at first appear harmless, it can often evolve to an obsession with the past relationship, “emotional infidelity” and eventually even lead to physical infidelity.
While emotional infidelity, which is by definition involvement that includes emotional intimacy without actual physical intimacy, is an old concept it’s becoming more and more talked about in today’s society, With the growing popularity of email, text messaging, and social networking sites, the ease of modern technology is making it easier for more people to engage in emotional cheating. In her book NOT ‘Just Friends’, Shirley Glass reports that 44 percent of husbands and 57 percent of wives indicated that in their affair they had a strong emotional involvement with the other person without intercourse. While it’s difficult to define what exactly constitutes infidelity, and the definition does change depending on who you ask, it’s important to not undermine the consequences of emotional cheating, which can oftentimes be more devastating than physical infidelities or a one-night stand.
According to David Moultrup, an extramarital affair is “a relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that has an impact on the level of intimacy. The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage.” It should be noted that this definition, accepted by many, contains no reference to physical intimacy, it is simply (or not so simply) a relationship with another that draws from and detracts from the intimacy and emotional connection between committed partners.
This puts an interesting perspective on the consequences of an emotional affair; While the partner committing emotional infidelity may be receiving additional benefits from intimacy outside the marriage, the benefits may be taken away from his or her spouse. This should be understood when considering the impact an emotional affair can have on the other partner; Although no betrayal of physical intimacy is being committed against a partner, emotional cheating can be hurtful when attention and intimacy that would be directed toward your partner is instead given to someone else. While an openly close friendship outside the marriage may not be a threat, it can be hurtful when it leads to a rejection between a couple.
Anyone who’s been cheated on, or even cheated themselves, knows the emotional toll it can take on your relationship and you as an individual, including loss of self-esteem, anger, and depression. Infidelity is the number one reason cited for divorce, and although infidelity may be a by-product of an already failing relationship, it is frequently the nail in the coffin for marriages.
While infidelity is nothing new, the ways and ease in which it is committed changes rapidly and often. Sites like Ashley Madison outwardly support having an affair and social networking sites like Facebook make it easier to connect with old lovers and possibly reignite a past relationship. The changing face of infidelity makes it difficult to define exactly what constitutes an affair but it’s important to note that it is not just the increasing prevalence of physical or emotional affairs that are worth evaluating, but the increasing number of deceptions, secrets, and betrayals that are building up as a result. While the face and definition of infidelity are changing constantly, the hurt and consequences suffered due to lies and betrayals remain the same.Tags: communication, couple, fantasy bond, fear of intimacy, intimacy, intimacy problems, loneliness, love, marriage, personal growth, relationship advice, relationship problems, relationships, worry
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I guess I look at these things as a blessing I might not have known so soon after hooking up with a charming prince. If you suspect or just think it’s a test they need to check their will power to resist a proposition from a beautiful woman, or fall into stupid over the need to conquest a beautiful body, or kinky fetish they know you aren’t into. You’ll can hire companies who set these things up in person or you can make a FB profile tailored to your mates likes when it comes to women, hobbies, taste in music etc etc etc…….best to find yourself a few friends first so you look legit. Put up posts on quotes and flowers, look for pictures you can use as shots at a distance of you . Put puppy pics, pics of off road vehicles in motion if that’s your mans favorite thing to do. If he into sail boats post pics of ones he will find worthy of liking on your page. Once friends start chatting but word things like a different person. Don’t type words and spell like you do or it’s a red flag they’ll pick up on quickly as maybe being you. I know we need to trust people and that kind of thing is looked down upon but I say why not know at the start or four -6 months into your relationship? Easier to walk away from.
Husbands who come home from work and retreat into their garage to work on their restoration project car every night are in an emotional affair with their car. Though it’s not same as a relationship with a woman it still robs the wife of experiences and the closeness of having her husband come home to her every night after work and sharing his day with her and vise Versa. Some wives who for one reason or another don’t like their husbands too much after saying I do like that because it gives them the A okay to Perdue that relationship that’s strictly platonic with the neighbor down the street who is a stay at home dad. This neighbor has time to pay attention to the wife and they aren’t doing anything wrong they think taking the kids to the park every afternoon. They kids are outside in the fresh air playing while the two parents sit on a bench and share things with each other meant to share with their spouse. These relationships fill a void in the marriage that the one conducting extra martial emotional only infidelity doesn’t at all think their mate can fill themselves.
The work place is I think the number one place people get together and form bonds with people besides their spouse. A person still not mature will get on Facebook and go crazy with it at first sign of trouble in their marriage. Instead of putting energy into making their marriage better, they put energy into stroking their egos and further wedges
I once had a boyfriend I loved more than anything. He was not as mature as I would have hoped he be. I signed up for a program that was a year long, no early terminations. He drove me there and dropped me off. I was there just three days and had to leave. It just wasn’t going to workout for me for a year like I had thought. I called him to pick me up and him and his friend came and got me. I guess he thought his friend was gonna rat him out or something, because he blurted out he had been persueing the first girl he ever had sex with at 13. They were to meet up that night. I realized right then and his Facebook page confirmed that he had been looking for my replacement for over a month. Not even waiting to miss me first.
So I see Facebook as a useful tool now. And I agree with you that it’s easier to hook up these days with past loves or new fresh people sitting right in the house you share with your spouse. I think marriage is only for the most mature people capable of working on what they dished out onto their plate first. Who can enjoy conversations with opposite sex or even old flames and understand that was past and their marriage now is real and not worth the mess they would make stepping over that line that destroys marriages and trust sometimes forever.
Typos? I’m sorry gotta run