Family life is associated with a variety of unique difficulties that can arise throughout the partnership. As in any dynamic system, there are periods in the family called crisis periods. During them, hidden and unresolved problems escalate, and conflicts or quarrels become more frequent. Many families will struggle to deal with such times and have their situation permanently changed. Some will separate permanently, which affects both the partners and those around them, most importantly children. Marital infidelity is one factor that frequently leads to divorces, as it often cannot be resolved. This essay will attempt to address and explain its causes as well as elaborate on its effects on marriage.
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A large number of factors, most of which cannot be considered the sole fault of one party, can serve as a basis for adultery. In particular, the act can be the expression of the problematic situation within the family rather than its cause. Sometimes, due to being unable or unwilling to discuss their problems with the marriage, they will keep silent and not let their significant other know about their distress. Such a spouse may begin looking for a person that they consider more suitable.
This practice can take the form of seeking physical intimacy with a stranger for short-term satisfaction or going to an acquaintance for emotional comfort and eventually taking the relationship further. With the advent of social networks and the ease of communicating with others that they enable, such cases are becoming more common. Ultimately, in this case, both partners are responsible for creating the situation that leads to adultery, though the degree of individual responsibility varies.
With that said, while many instances of cheating are the results of a volatile family situation, there are also personal factors that can push one to commit adultery. The act is seen by society as immoral and taboo, which can lead people with loose inhibitions to commit it for the thrill. Such motivations are also likely the reason why people who cheated on their partners in the past are generally more likely to do so again.
In other cases, mental conditions can influence people and lead to self-destructive behavior. In such cases, the person typically knows that the act will harm the family but commits it regardless. Cheating as revenge after learning of one’s partner’s unfaithfulness should also be considered part of this category. Sometimes, they will even push another person who is committed to a relationship into adultery out of the belief that in doing so, they will share the burden.
Adultery has a substantial adverse effect on both the individual parties and the marriage as a whole. The spouse that has been cheated on feels inadequate and begins looking for personal faults that drove their partner to act as they have. The cheater feels guilty and mentally weak because they could not resist the temptation to betray their spouse. Both parties can manifest significant issues as a result, including depression and, possibly, suicide.
Moreover, partly due to the tendency of cheaters to do so again, marriages often end after adultery is discovered. One or both partners will often see the act as the dissolution of their relationship. Divorce is a natural continuation of this logic, dissolving the partnership in practice as well as theory. Children are likely to be affected adversely as a result, especially because adultery-related divorces tend not to end with the adults being on good terms.
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The institute of marriage is based on deep trust between the two partners that enter into it. Adultery is considered a violation of that faith in each other and a severe betrayal. As such, people do not commit it lightly or for no reason but require a substantial source of motivation to do so. Generally, both parties are at fault, escalating negativity in the family until one or both seek escape in relationships outside of it.
However, some considerations may make a person more likely to cheat, which are mostly related to their mental condition. Ultimately, however, adultery is highly destructive to marriages regardless of the cause and will often lead to their dissolution in the case that the other spouse learns about the act. It is usually best for both parties, but any children they have are likely to be severely and adversely affected.