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Avoid Infidelity: Respect your relationship – Part I

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I was recently asked the question, “Can you stop someone from cheating on you?” The person intimated her resolve and total acceptance of the ‘cheating nature’ of men, and highlighted that these days, one just merely had to learn how to co-exist with the other woman or women in their partner’s life and encourage them to be safe. I must admit that after listening to the view point of this young lady shy of 30 years old…my heart was truly saddened at the harsh reality that stood before me. What I heard and saw was a young lady who was comfortable in selling herself short; one who felt that she was not deserving of the respect to be treated like a Queen. It made me question whether she was accepting of this because in truth she may also be an unfaithful partner… I wondered, when in her life cycle she was taught to accept less? Could it be a generational curse, where mothers instill such a low sense of self in their daughters? Or is it a representation of the modern world, where persons learn norms and values from social media; music and the dictates of immoral celebrities or persons of influence both near and far.

When we hear of parties dubbed “Matey vs Wife” or “Cheater’s Paradise; the Unfaithful Playground”…It surely does not lend to much imagination the message that is being promoted. How comfortable we have become with Infidelity…Even the youngest child in preschool boasts about having multiple girlfriends or boyfriends. These are things many deem innocent and we laugh dismissively about it. But if such a mindset is not filtered and changed, these preschoolers will grow to carry on the legacy reflected that to be a BIG man, you have to entertain multiple women at the same time. or that to be deemed a HOT girl, you must know how to accept favors and turn a blind eye to infidelity….Both realities psychologically damaging and dangerous.

I would like at this juncture to provide some useful tips which can help in the avoidance of infidelity in your relationship. It is important that both parties make sure they are on the same page about the relationship in terms of what it represents at this point and time and to decide where they would like to end up as a couple.

I will reference the work done by Dr Shirley Glass, who did extensive research on the topic of infidelity. She posited that, “approximately 46% of men and 25% of women will engage in an extra-marital affair during the lifetime of their marriage. Affairs, both physical and emotional, are devastating. The damage done after the discovery or revelation of an affair can destroy a marriage and family. Rebuilding a relationship after an affair, while certainly possible, can take a long time, and in some cases, may be unattainable. It is generally far better to prevent an affair from happening.”

Now while her work focused on persons who were already married, the same can be assigned to persons in common-law relationships or intimate romantic relationships but unmarried. It is important to condition one’s mind to understand that your relationships are usually the practice ground for marriage and if you are unfaithful in your relationships prior to marriage; once this habit is not addressed it will undoubtedly trickle over into marriage.

TO BE CONTINUED
 

Dr Miller is Health Psychologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

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