Divorces cost Malaysians millions of ringgit every year, and for those parties involved, the devastation goes beyond the financial. Whether you are the one cheating or the one being cheated on, the emotional strain of legal paperwork and battling in court with your former spouse might have you wondering if it is worth all the trouble.
Relationship experts have identified a few categories of affairs. According to Frank Pittman, author of Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy, there are four key types: accidental infidelity, philandering infidelity, random infidelity, and romantic infidelity.
There are also other experts who have identified more or slightly different types of affairs, but for those who experience being cheated on, the type of infidelity does not make much difference. Still, if you seek to understand how an affair happened, you have to analyse each case individually to determine what caused the affair.
For a properanalysis, the best way would be to consult a relationship advisor who can help you understand key things about your relationship that caused a breakdown. But before delving into the breakdown of the relationship, it is important to address the myths about infidelity.
Myth #1: Affairs make a faltering marriage better
There is little to no proof that having an affair helps improve a marriage. For the one who has been betrayed, it is an embarrassing and painful experience. Although many marriages survive an affair, and even get stronger, it is not because of the affair, but the effort made by both spouses that improve the marriage.
Myth #2: The love is gone if one spouse cheats
Being disloyal to one’s spouse does not mean that the cheater does not love his or her partner. In fact, it is possible that someone can be in love with more than one person at the same time. Another subset of this myth is that happy marriages never involve problems with infidelity.
Myth #3: The third party is always sexier or more attractive
A man might actually have an affair with someone he does not have any serious intentions towards, to the point that he does not want to be seen in public with the person. Many famous examples of such affairs have come to light, like Tiger Woods, Jesse James and Gavin Rosdale who both have beautiful wives.
Myth #4: It is human nature to cheat
Past polls have indicated that adults generally believe infidelity is wrong. Adultery is actually punishable by death in some countries, but to say that having an affair is human nature and that we cannot help it, is not a good excuse.
There are many human acts that are considered inappropriate in society and we have successful-ly learned to control our urges, even when there is no threat of legal retribution.
Myth #5: The spouse who was betrayed is the cause of the affair
If you have been betrayed, rest assured that you did not cause it to happen. The choice to cheat was entirely that of your wayward spouse. No matter what the state of your marriage leading up to the affair, cheating is never a way to improve the relationship.
Rest assured that the cheater is the one that allowed the affair to happen and many things could have been done to prevent the affair if they had chosen to act on those things rather than to cheat.
Myth #6: If an affair remains undiscovered, it will not impact a relationship
The obvious reasons for keeping an affair secret is to avoid being judged and reduce the possible fallout in one’s personal life. Part of the excitement in having an affair is the secrecy surrounding this illicit relation-ship. An undiscovered affair almost always involves lying to one’s partner and creating justifications for having the affair.
The deeper the web of lies, the greater the betrayal, and when it finally gets discovered or the burden of keeping secrets from one’s partner becomes too much, the consequences become amplifi-ed, potentially to the point of no return.
Myth #7: Divorce is inevitable in cases of infidelity
Every couple is unique in handling their marital problems. An affair does not necessarily mean that the marriage is over. A spouse who has been betrayed has a few options on how to proceed and one of them includes trying to patch things up with your spouse.
While it is certainly possible to recover from having been cheated on, it will take quite a significant amount of time and conscious effort if you choose to pursue that course of action, rather than jumping to file for divorce immediately.
No matter how bad the situation is in a marriage, having an affair in Malaysian culture is not a commonly accepted form of behaviour. If there is a failure to meet each other’s expectations, or worse, abuse, the spouse who is considering being unfaith-ful should realise that there are other options besides straying from the marriage to find a quick fix.
Unfaithfulness will do nothing to fix a marriage if it has run its course, and in cases of abuse, can even make things worse. Consider also the consequences it may have on young children, who may be traumatised by the experience of seeing their parents splitting up.
However, if a marriage is beyond repair, then it is best to bring it to an end. Do not think of it as shameful to walk away. The sooner you settle your marital issues, the sooner you will be able to move on in life and make choices that will make you happy, as well as put you in the right state of mind to take care of your children’s wellbeing.
Cheating is never the way to go, as it will only trade one set of problems for another, or perhaps even add to your woes.
The star malaysia JULY 10, 2016
BY DATUK DR NOR ASHIKIN MOKHTAR