Infidelity is an EpidemicIt really seems that infidelity is an epidemic these days!

We just received word about two more couples who are separating because of infidelity.  One of the couples we have known for the last 15 years.  Like many of the couples, they have three children, have been married for over 20 years and the husband has found someone new.  I am beginning to wonder what is happening to our world.  Are we really meant to be married forever?

The news is something that I don’t take lightly.  When my friend told me the news, the words hit me like a ton of bricks.  To someone who has not experienced infidelity it may not be as heartbreaking, but after I heard the news I got in my car and broke down like a baby.

I really don’t know how many more stories I can hear without believing that our marriage is destined to fall to that fate. The stories sound so similar to ours that I can’t help but be concerned.  I wonder how we are surviving.   Are we really OK, or will Doug come home one day and break the news that our marriage is over?

As soon as I heard the news I called Doug sobbing.  He kept telling me “We’re ok.  We’re happy.”  I want to believe him but sometimes it seems that the odds are not in our favor.  Why is it that we keep hearing about all the marriages that are breaking apart?  Why don’t we hear about the ones that have worked their butts off to stay together?

Then I began to think about what has really happened to all of these marriages.  I imagine it was the same thing that happened to ours.  We all became very busy with our jobs, our children, our responsibilities, and stopped putting our marriage first.

I  am sure that the husbands felt neglected and lonely, as did their wives.  They probably wondered if that was the way it was going to be for the rest of their lives.  They felt trapped, and the only relief was to find someone new. They found someone whom they believed could make them feel happy and appreciated again.

Forget about pre-marital couples counseling!

I began to think about when Doug and I were preparing to get married and were obligated to attend a marriage class.  During the class we had to listen to couples discuss the struggles that we would face as a married couple.  I remember thinking (while in my infatuated state) that that won’t be us because we love each other, and love does conquer all.  Boy was I stupid.

I believe that our society is in a marriage crisis and something has to been done to educate couples on what it takes to make a marriage survive. We don’t need pre-marriage classes.  What we need are classes after our first child is born and refresher courses throughout the various stages of our marriage.

We need to stop glamorizing infidelity and truly look at the real impact it has on everyone involved.  Most of the time when we hear about infidelity we tend to ostracize the cheating spouse, or we put blame on the betrayed.  We should look at it for what it really is – a sad situation where both partners lost their way and forgot how important their marriage was. We should make it a time for guidance, not judgment.

I really don’t know what the answer is but I hope that someday the couples will wake up and realize that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and that everything they need can be achieved with the person they married.   I wish they would realize that marriages can be repaired after infidelity and come out better than ever.

LINESPACE

    14 replies to "Infidelity is an Epidemic"

    • Anonymous

      I know…it’s so hard to look positively on our situations when we are struggling with the same things that other couples break up over. It’s no secret why infidelity is the top reason for divorce. However, I believe that society is too quick to call it quits when something like this happens…many people (including myself at times) feel that running is much easier than working through the storm. The thing that I focus on is what is best for me and the kids later even though it’s super hard now. Not to say that divorce is easy…not at all. It just seems like the quickest way to repair heartbreak.

    • Alice

      I have mini panic attacks whenever I hear of affairs happening to people I know. It’s almost as if love only exists until someone better comes along. Like you Linda, it makes me question if marriage is meant to last.

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    • Jennifer

      My study group just started reading “Sacred Marriage” and something happened to my husband yesterday morning where he just started crying on the way to church. We had a horrible fight Friday night, he called me names, and we went to bed angry–which does happen sometimes. All the talking I’ve done, the reasoning for him to become more unselfish just didn’t seem to work. While he is no longer with the OW, and I believe that, he was not plugged in to our marriage the way he should be. I was singing Sunday morning, and all of a sudden he reached over and took my hand, and tears were streaming down his face. He apologized quietly, and told me emphatically that we WOULD have a great marriage. Then, our study group discussed the 1st chapter of the book, and folks discussed their own marriages–of course we did not mention what we were going through to everyone (only a few close friends know).
      I was encouraged after yesterday, but still hesitant because his promises have not been sustained. He was more attentive than he has been in the past 4 months since his affair ended, and I told him if he could keep it up, this is exactly what I needed.
      I do recommend the book (I’ve read a LOT), because it talks about the sanctity of marriage and the difference between romantic and real love. It also discusses, for Christians, how marriage is a tool to make us more Holy, not happier. But of course, when we follow God’s instruction in every aspect of our lives, and our partner does the same, we will be happier.

    • Domini

      I agree with anonymous. With or without infidelity people are too quick to bail. Whatever happened to the vows we take when we get married? A vow is a promise and I wonder how many people don’t take that seriously. No integrity! I meant every word I said and it gives me the strength to persevere and try to overcome the heartache that I feel. I can’t bring myself to trade close to 20 years for a 4 month (excrutiating) screwup on my husband’s part. Sometimes I want to, but I can’t until there is no more hope.

    • Ceeg

      I can so relate to this post today. I ask myself questions all the time. “Am I seeing this epidemic more now because of what my wife and I went through?”. “Are we kidding ourselves by trying to work our butts off and make this marriage last until the end?”
      It also pains us now when we meet with other couples and see signs. One works all the time, the other is living their own life. things like that. We see the signs, and think that maybe, just maybe THEY have it worked out. But a gnawing feeling is still there. And now, several times, a few months later we find out that there are major problems in the marriage. Yet I feel that if we sat them down beforehand and said, “guys, your marriage is heading towards a train wreck”, it would necessitate us sharing what we went through. The passion would just be to obvious to the other couple. And sadly, we just don’t always want to go there. It has been nine months since a two month EA I had with a co-worker. Nine months of NC (other than very brief work-related interaction with others around). Nine months of finding out who I really need to be moving forward.
      Even over these past few weeks, there have been very hard times where I have been preoccupied with work tasks and have been less than fully engaged with my wife. This leads her to no good place. To the point where I said to her, “Please do not use the big ‘D’ word or entertain a thought of temporary separation”. We get to the edge of the cliff sometimes out of exasperation. Hers from my lack of affection / attention. Me from feeling like I just can’t win. Just cannot be what she wants / needs me to be. Like her standards changed and I can never achieve them.
      But… I tell her that I will NOT initiate a separation, I will NOT come home one day and say, “your right, let’s end this thing.”
      It is day-by-day, some better, some much worse than others, but I have to believe that the EA was revealed, and did not go any further for a greater purpose that God has for us.

      • Domini

        Ceeg,
        I just had this opportunity arise with a younger couple…he’s always at work and then “blowing off steam” because he works so much and she’s at home all day with 2 small kids….I watched it. It was gut wrenching because I could see it happening and heard a very specific tone in her voice when night when she simply asked him to bring diapers home from something my husband, me and him had to go do. On the way home, he didn’t stop and I was going to call him and tell him not to forget but I didn’t. Within a couple of months she had left and taken her kids to “stay” with a friend. I wish I had warned him, buit I didn’t. You never know when it’s just not your business. Ya know? Fortunately, I got the chance to make it right when they seperately asked for help, knowing that my husband and I have had almost 20 years of ups and downs and a lot of heartache along the way simply because of the hurt feelings that come from getting too caught up in your own chaos to think about what your spouse needs or wants…..I think that this is the core issue. Unless your just selfish, why would you look elsewhere for something you get at home from the person you loved enough to marry? Now, I know some people can and do just that, but how many EA or PAs stem from hurt feelings and disregard that goes untended for years? I know that’s exactly what happened in my marriage, and I was really grateful to try and help a young couple going through a similar situation. Often, I actually feel gratitude, and that may sound silly, but I love my husband, and I forgot that until he was not mine anymore. If having suffered like this leads us to become wiser, why shouldn’t you pass it on and maybe save someone the same pain? This is what this website is about right?

    • Jennifer

      My husband’s long-time best friend is dealing with infidelity on his wife’s part. She is pregnant with another man’s baby. She filed divorce papers and a restraining order on my husband’s friend and it has been a huge mess. My husband keeps updating me on the situation for some reason. In this friend’s case, I sense that the wife is not willing to work on the marriage at all. She is only 22 and I’m sure doesn’t understand how much hard work love and marriage are. I feel so bad for the husband. It really breaks my heart and like someone else said here a day or two ago, I have mini panic attacks when I hear of marriages falling apart. I also wonder how much of his friend’s situation my husband is relating to OUR situation. I wish I had the guts to ask him. He and I both agree that what is happening to his friend is a huge mess and very sad. I wonder if he keeps ‘updating’ me about this to gauge my response to divorce and such.

      On another note, I saw a commercial this morning (on ESPN, incidentally) for ‘mymarriagematters.org’ They mentioned how awful sites like AshleyMadison.com are and how we need to get rid of them. I haven’t visited the website yet, but I thought I’d throw it out there as another ‘research’ tool.

      • Doug

        Jennifer, I would ask him how he feels about what is happening to his friend. Linda asks me that sort of thing all the time, especially in light of all these people we know who are splitting up. When in doubt–ask!

        How can your husband ever think about another woman? After all you watch ESPN! 😉 I saw the same commercial about a week ago and that site just replays the commercial and then asks you to sign a petition.

    • maryanna1962

      Hey Linda, I know exactly how you feel. I am involved in Real Estate and I do lots of what we call Family Law valuations and it breaks my heart to hear the stories and I always ask (which I should not) is there any chance of reconciliation and the answer is always “No”. I’m astounded at their reply. Then I begin to question myself and my marriage and how hard I’ve worked these past months to deal with my H’s affair. I know I’ve come a long way in the last 8 months but there are times when it feels like I’ve been kicked in the gut and my H’s affair comes storming back and boy what it doesn’t do to my head and my self confidence. I get what you call “triggers”. My H said a few weeks if he had one wish in life it would be to eradicate what happened with the OW, he said it will be the one regret he will take to his grave. Too this day he said he cannot understand how he left his guard down. I just wonder will it ever get easier for us, is it possible that I can jump out of bed one morning and think hey, that was a bad dream. There have been so, so many obstacles in our path in 2010 but I think we’ve dealt with them amazingly as a couple, we are certainly on a deeper, more spiritual and emotional level together than we ever were before . I see the OW every so often and BOY do I want to PUNCH her lights out !
      Linda I also read an earlier blog of yours a few weeks ago when you purchased all the “nice” lingerie, I got such a kick and a laugh reading that cos I did exactly the same and you know what my H told me that he loved me for what I was not for what I thought he wanted me to become. Yeah, it just seems that couples are not taking the marriage vows seriously anymore. Marriage is a partnership and it takes two to make it work and sometimes marriage can be damm hard work (as we know) but there is nothing like having that special bond. I read the posts every couple of weeks, I stopped for a while cos I was finding it too upsetting. Take care. Love you all and keep on doing what you all do best. x

      • Doug

        maryanna1962-thanks for the nice comment. I agree that sometimes it can be too upsetting to constantly log on, but as heartbreaking as some of the comments are it is always comforted to read someone that is progressing forward and has reinvented a stronger, more intimate marriage. Linda

    • maryanna1962

      Thanks Linda

    • R

      Reconciling and working through infidelity is definitely not the easy way to go. Right after D-day I immediately started trying to think of someone I could talk to who had been through this and survived, and out of all of the people I work with that I knew had been through infidelity, all of them had divorced! I only knew of one lady I go to church with whose marriage survived, but I can’t say that she has a marriage I would want to pattern mine after. It is really sad. I don’t just want my marriage to survive, I want it to thrive, and amazingly it has! I decided that just because my husband didn’t keep his marriage vows didn’t mean I didn’t have to. When I made my vows before God, there were no conditions. Obviously if my husband hadn’t straightened his act up we wouldn’t have survived and thrived, but he did, and our marriage is better than it has ever been as far as communication and closeness. If a spouse who has strayed is remorseful and willing to work on the marriage, I would say it is well worth it. I get really ticked when I hear of people divorcing because they “just can’t get along”. HELLO, experience what we have, and that sounds like the most pitiful excuse ever!!

    • Recovering

      I have become jaded about marriage and ‘love’ because of what happened with my husband and I, and because it seems like I cannot escape it! Every day there seems to be some new ‘star’ that is exposed as a cheater because the person that they cheated with decides to tell all!! When did it become socially acceptable to BE the whore who slept with someone’s husband? Why do we CARE what this person has to say? She clearly KNEW that he was married, yet society is on pins and needles to hear all the sordid details, and then next is right in line to criticize the woman for staying with her cheating man, or criticize her for acting crazy!! Thank goodness WE aren’t famous! What a mess!!

      I don’t want to hear about it anymore unless it is going to be the REAL truth! How these people are sick, selfish people who did a CRUEL thing to someone else! Until these people are PUNISHED for what they have done, either through public shaming or better yet, JAIL for breaking their legal contract with their spouse! Yes, I am angry that I had NO recourse… I just had to take it all and be the better person! Which I was, despite my devious fantasies of revenge…. I shared these with my husband, who never seemed surprised at them, though they disturbed me because they were NOT who I was!!!

      Stop glorifying cheating! It is a sick, twisted, cruel and selfish thing that people do that other people pay for! Turn off the TV, and stop talking about sex in all the music and the radio talk shows! My children listen to that – and it is giving them a twisted view of the world no matter how much chatting we do about it not being real!!

      Cheating is WRONG! Cheaters should be ASHAMED, and cheaters are NOT special!

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