There has actually never been one definition to what counts as marital cheating, however regardless of how you would define it; porn, sexting, fantasizing about other people or a full-blown romantic affair, I do not believe it starts there… the story of most infidelities starts waaaay before that.
In marriage we tend to turn to this one person to fulfil an endless list of needs; a friend, a lover, a sexual partner, a co-parent, an emotion companion, an intellectual equal, a confidant… etc (unfair, but true) and we in return try to be the same. Not only that, we go into marriages with certain expectations, certain said and unsaid promises, a vision of what this relationship will be. Consequently, when these expectations or promises are unmet, we feel neglected and disrespected and yes, decieved… This is not what I signed up for! so to speak.
Infidelity, I have come to believe is actually betrayal on so many different levels. It’s broken promises and unfulfilled needs… It’s lack of love and passions… It’s neglect, hurt, contempt, violence, rejection to our true self, indifference and sure, of course, sexual unfaithfulness… and when one experiences that from a person they have entrusted with support and happiness and intimacy and passion, it makes sense, to reciprocate.
For sometime now I have been thinking how and what drove me to being with someone else… how do I not feel bad or guilty about it?… How did I legitimize this for myself?… How come it feels natural and rightful?…
Although I wasn’t looking for revenge or an affair at all and I was merely drawn to fulfilling my expression of longing and loss and hunger for intimacy… not just sexually, by being honest and true about who I am, what my mind thinks and what my body needs and lost utterance of emotions, but it makes sense now why I did/do not feel guilty about it and why so many others do it. I was not the only nor first person to cheat in this relationship; in fact I have been the one at the receiving end of betrayal long before I have allowed myself to be intimate with another. Why would I feel the need to be loyal towards someone who has broken the true vows of marriage way before I have? Actually, it feels natural and empowering and comfortable and probably long over due… . My husband, supposedly my life partner, the person I chose years ago to be with, has managed to shatter my grand ambition of love and replaced that with hurt, criticism, condemnation, neglect, rejection and abuse… he has been in fact for over a decade betraying me in this marriage, all but sexually.
They say affairs are heartbreaking, like a stab in the back and a crush to the self-worth of the betrayed partner. But what do you think rejection or neglect or indifference does? What do you think abuse does? Certainly with different intensities, but yet all yield similar results.