Internal Look into Infidelity and the Outcomes

Infidelity can happen at the blink of an eye, especially if a person is not aware of their current relationship standings with their partner. A partner may display two types of infidelity, emotional and sexual. Each type of infidelity is seen differently by men and women on an opposite scale according to (Buss, Larsen, and Westen, 1996; Buss et al., 1992; Buunk et al., 1996; Trivers, 1972). The causes for infidelity are somewhat the same for men and women; however, there are a few differences that vary between the two groups. When infidelity has happened the decision is ultimately whether a couple will either focus to stay together or dissolve the relationship. Through a deeper look between the two types of infidelity, along with the perception men and women have about its outcomes, a definite understanding is very clear why and how infidelity usually happens in the first place. Although many relationships survive infidelity, “The trust is gone, completely gone,” says Michael Baisden, relationship counselor and author of Never Satisfied: How and Why Men cheat. “And trust is the most important thing in a relationship.” The decision will vary from person to person on the continuance with a relationship after the other partner cheats.

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For myself, it depends on who the person is, my standards often change from partner to partner. Infidelity defined is an action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or another sexual partner. According to the most prevalent study using the framework of evolutionary psychology a study used by Buss, Larsen, Westen, and Semmelroth (1992), individuals where asked whether they would be more upset or jealous, if their partner had sexual intercourse or formed a deep emotional bond with someone else. Men and women were very different in their answers.

Emotional infidelity occurs when a partner gets involved with caring deeply for a person that that is not their significant other. An emotional infidelity can hurt just as much to the other person as if they had already had sex with the other person involved. Sexual infidelity is the actual act of having sex outside of a person’s current relationship or marriage. When this action occurs, it is almost certain that the relationship will have troubling times ahead. How these two types of infidelities are seen by both men and women vary greatly on the scale. Men are very likely to become upset and end a relationship if their girlfriend or wife were to have sexual encounters with another man vs. an emotional connection. The same cannot be said about women. According to (Buss, Larsen, and Westen, 1996; Buss et al., 1992; Buunk et al., 1996; Trivers, 1972), women tend to overlook a sexual infidelity but, are more affected by emotional bonds their boyfriend or husband acquires with another woman.

Men tend to have a fear of uncertainty with offspring if a woman commits sexual infidelity that in turn tends to make him more susceptible to leaving a relationship. On the other hand, women are more invested in the emotional stability in her partner which in turn makes the woman more angered and upset over an emotional infidelity. The perceived outcomes for the two different types of infidelity are total opposites between men and women whereas the causes for infidelity is somewhat similar. The causes for infidelity are almost the same for men and women. Jennifer Harman, PhD., a professor of psychology at Colorado State University, stated “People do not just cheat for no reason. It used to be perceived that men were the bigger cheaters, however, according to the National Opinion Research Center study found that women having affairs rose from 14 percent to nearly 40 percent over the past 20 years. Women are in need of passion from their partner. Even the small things from walks in the park to a wine tasting can fulfill dissatisfaction.

Petty arguments that hold insecurities and grudges is common for most women to experience. A need for her partner to understand and talk openly about problems and solutions is key for some women to feel connected. Women are also more attracted to men who are confident and ambitious which can sometimes lead to dissatisfaction with their partner if they are not in a manly position. Men also tend to have the same outlook when cheating comes to mind. If a man succeeded in filling his ego tank up an affair would make him feel powerful and desired. Sometimes men cheat because they are not being understood by their partner. If men were more open in communicating feelings freely, this would not be an issue. When men cheat the difference to theirs actions is a need to escape the reality of home rather than leave their relationship. Women, however, are typically silent in their actions but tend to plan an escape route out of the relationship after they begin cheating. The solution to ending a cheating cycle is to either dissolve the relationship or work on overcoming the struggles infidelity has caused on the relationship. Though people sometimes choose to work things out, many ultimately work together for dissolving the relationship. Overcoming infidelity is very difficult task.

Trust is compromised and very hard to regain on many levels and often takes years to rebuild. Without trust in a relationship, it is almost inevitable for disaster since trust is the viewed as the core for holding a relationship together. To overcome this is sometimes not worth the stress, time and patience, especially if this is just a romantic relationship with no children involved or when a marriage is at stake. On the other hand, long term relationship and married couples will often try to work through these troubling road blocks. When a person has more time invested or other things at stake, the decision is more comfortable to make when working things out. Some of these relationships and marriages last after infidelity but half do not. When a couple comfortably communicates and understand the deepness of how infidelity affects a relationship before, they agree to commit the partnership will be more successful. The most important factor is understanding to what extent infidelity can occur as both male and female have shown different tolerances for emotional and sexual encounters. Just having a deeper look into how differently men and women think help to understand their actions.

With the listed information in mind, it is just as important to remember that women enjoy time with their partner, openness with information, and a man that is confident in himself. Men have a larger ego that needs to be stroked often, just saying how good he looks, or less nagging by their partner and more open communication they tend to have their needs met. When infidelity occurs because none of these needs is fulfilled, it is almost certain the relationship will not last. Just by knowing these things should make any male or female want to rethink actions or even the possibility of starting or moving ahead in a relationship.

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