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Marriage and Relationship Infidelity: The Roving Eye Syndrome

Updated on June 20, 2013


Women are doing it for themselves these days - but does marriage infidelity or relationship infidelity include defraying a loving partner for a few minutes in bed with a sexually skilled partner?

If relationship infidelity didn't happen all the time we wouldn't have women calling into radio shows to bust their partners, would we? They would not dump their men live on air because they want to embarrass them as much as they have been embarrassed. There would not be companies making a killing selling home DNA kits so that men can find out if their children are really theirs. Let's face it, infidelity is a great seller for the media - only because so many people are interested, and have a personal stake in it.

The married women in one survey group seem to take their vows seriously enough not to cheat on their husbands - 96% of those we polled said they have never been unfaithful. Do they think about it? Definitely: 90% of those have been tempted to commit infidelity at one point or another. Why didn't they do it? It all comes down to conscience. "I look at infidelity as something that's relevant to me," said one. "If the thought crosses my mind, then I ask myself, 'Am I being faithful to myself and my principles?' instead of asking, Am I being faithful to him?' It's not about him, it's about me."

We know that sexual chemistry plays a big role in the choice of man that a woman marries, so what if he sucks in bed but is a loving, caring husband in every other respect? "It is so much better to try to work on your deficient love life than to look outside," said another. "Make him feel more confident [about his skills], introduce him to books, videos ... Try and work on it."

Hmm. What if he's infertile and you're under pressure from the in-laws to have a child? That, according to this qualitative group, was the one situation in which it seems all right to have a short, convenient affair - preferably with a man you will never see again. It appears that to women, sexual infidelity is a practical business.

At the same time men should start to worry if their partner becomes emotionally involved with another, because for women, a sexual relationship - even an affair - is an emotional engagement. "Men ought to be more worried about the man your woman is talking to, than the one she is sleeping with," said one. "The one she has a connection with is the one who is the problem."

This is why 52% of single women say they would not commit infidelity with a married man. "You can tell yourself that you're in it because you are getting financial support, but soon you will want more," says one lady. "You will become attached, and then you will get hurt because a married man will never be there when you need him."

Not surprisingly, married women are less willing to tolerate the mistress scenario; 98% of the ones we polled said they hate the idea of a man cheating on his wife, while only 2% said it was a personal choice. With women marrying for love and not for finance or social status, the reasons that glued our mothers to our fathers in the face of marriage infidelity do not bind us any longer.

Meanwhile, single sisters are exercising their right to choose; 50% of them have been unfaithful to their partners in the past, and 80% of those in committed relationships have also committed relationship infidelity. "At the end of the day we are animals, and females are always looking for the fittest male. We want the best sexual partner," explains one.


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