Infidelity in the Modern Age -All you need to know
"It's easy to assume that infidelity will automatically lead to the demise of a romantic partnership; however, several factors such as greater social equality between men and women, the rise of relationship and sex experts, and diminishing stigma about going to a therapist have led to couples seeking solutions that go beyond the 'stay together or break up' formula that once followed betrayal," says Dr Nahid Dave, a psychiatrist at Insight Clinic, Vashi.
Infidelity In The Modern Age
With changes in societal norms, the definitions of what constitutes cheating have also changed, says Dr Dave. She outlines the following types of infidelity:
. Situational, or infidelity that arises whenever the individual is faced with a particular circumstance, such as an outstation trip or when (s)he is in the company of certain friends. . Individual, or infidelity that occurs whenever the individual is in contact with a particular person. . Infidelity as a personality trait.
Dr Nahid Dave
When love fails Whether or not it is realistic to try to build bridges with your partner after an affair depends on a few factors, says Dr Dave.
1 Your core relationship:
Before moving forward, take a minute to analyse whether your core relationship is built on the right foundation. Is there mutual respect? Is there passion, companionship and reciprocity? Are both you and your partner on the same page in terms of exclusivity?
2 Why it happened If the affair has spanned a few days, weeks or years, the concerned partner will have encountered different cues that led him/her to realise that s(he) was doing something wrong. "Ask yourself what made you go on with the affair? Was there a physical need? Was it because you pitied yourself for being stuck in an unhappy relationship? Were you attracted to the other person?" says Dr Dave.
Should you decide to continue working on the relationship, she warns that you be cognisant of the following challenges: 1 Rumination: Memories of specific events, dates or instances when you were lied to will keep resurfacing, bringing with them feelings of guilt and pain. 2 Paranoia: Until trust has been rebuilt, you will find it difficult to trust your partner. You may struggle with trying to come to terms with what could happen if your partner cheats again, or is currently continuing the affair. 3 Cues: Certain movies, restaurants or other external elements in your daily lives may remind you of what happened to you, in your personal life. The past will keep influencing the present, for a while.
"Honestly ask yourself whether or not you have the mental capacity to deal with these challenges.
Also, be aware that every person has different needs and expectations from relationships, which are governed by their own personalities and, to an extent, their gender — these could range from companionship and emotional support to physical intimacy or financial support. If the core relationship fails to address these needs, it is unlikely that it will be able to bear the brunt of infidelity. Also understand that if your partner's personality is promiscuous, easily influenced or hypersexual, the chances of further infidelity are much higher," she advises.
It's important to ask yourself why you want to stay with a cheating partner. "If your core relationship is strong, your partner genuinely expresses remorse or guilt and both of you are willing to take the help of a therapist, the chances of your relationship surviving the infidelity are stronger," says Dr Dave.
She adds that it is important to accept the path you choose and stick to it. "The trouble begins when the partner goes back and forth on his/her decision, begins asking questions that they have no answers to or tries to seek a perfect solution. If you choose to continue the relationship, don't backtrack. Instead, work on making changes to your equation so that you do not get hurt again," she says.
Quoted in Mid-Day on 16/12/19 on Infidelity in a beautiful article by Anindita Paul