When I hear about couples that are cheating on their spouses, my first instinct is to feel for the spouse that doesn't know. You know, the one that is living their life in a utopian-type of existence, misled by the assumption that their spouse is as devoted and faithful to them as they are.
It's a cozy feeling, seeing and reading of other couples infidelity problems, not dreaming for a moment that it could be happening to you.
Until reality bites...
If the reality of infidelity or doubt has bitten your 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 out of context by a friend or colleague, a story that doesn't quite add up. But in that brief moment, the foundation of confidence placed in your spouse and marriage starts to crack.
After the initial shock that it could even be happening, many people vow payback, revenge, and one of the more common reactions in terms of payback is the temptation to have an affair in retaliation.
A retaliatory affair would seem the most unlikely thing to do, considering the pain that the first affair caused, but it seems to be an increasing phenomenon, at least from the limited research I have done with members who have kindly offered feedback. To be honest, a retaliatory affair was the last kind of reaction I would have expected.
Sure, the anger is real, as are the feelings of hurt and betrayal, but interestingly many women and men who spoke to me were determined that they wouldn't be seen as victims. Far from it, in fact, and many were determined to retaliate and do it in such a way that their partner may feel some of the hurt that they felt at the time.
Let's be honest. Every one of us have times in our lives when we see someone that we consider to be very good looking, either a beatiful face, a beautiful smile, a beautifully proportioned body, or a confident demeanour that seemed both charismatic and magnetic. Good looking people are all around us. Yet it would never occur to us to take our initial attention or attraction to a person to the point where we would contemplate entering into a sexual relationship with them. After all, being married is a commitment, a promise of fidelity, a vow to honor one another.
We see beauty, but we don't feel the compulsion to act on it.
However when your partner departs from this commitment in such a shocking and hurtful fashion, 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 okay to sleep with someone else to 'even up the score,' so to speak?
That co-worker that has made fleeting eye contact with you at the copier machine, the shop assistant that has inadvertently flirted with you, the friend of a friend that has made a point of talking to 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 playmates. After all, if it's good enough for your spouse to do it, surely there's nothing wrong with you doing it too?
The one determination of people in this position is that if they are going to have an affair they will do it better and with someone hotter.
Now I'm not saying all victims of cheating end up doing this, because many don't. But the knee-jerk reaction to go out and have an affair as well is a common reaction that many people seriously consider and follow through.
Your first reaction should be to eliminate all doubt:
But does sleeping with someone else really make the infidelity hurt less? Does it make you feel better? Or is it one of those things you do at the time that you later live to regret?
I'm not going to tell you if it's right or wrong, as it's a judgment call that each of you are called to make as you comtemplate the reality of infidelity in your marriage.
But if it is something that you are seriously contemplating, have you given it enough thought? How are you going to feel at the moment you are cheating on your spouse? How are you going to feel after? Can you live with the knowledge and the consequences of your actions?
For many, it's a 'yes.' But for many others, it brings a whole new raft of issues to what is already an emotionally-charged situation.
Interesting thought though. Is retaliation in the form of an affair okay or not? Would it make you feel better or worse?
For further advice and information, check out the How to Catch a Cheating Spouse course, by online guru Sarah Paul.
How To Catch a Cheating Spouse product is a compilation of quality ebooks covering tips and methods to uncover your cheating spouse to marital advice for couples in crisis. Also included is bonus tracking software Sherlock Pro, which tracks screencaps, websites visited, and keylogs. This ebook and software package is a comprehensive tool for partners that want proof of infidelity or peace of mind. You can learn more about how to catch your cheating spouse here.
©2009 Sarah Paul
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