4 Lies You Believe about Infidelity

Depending on what survey you read, anywhere from a third to over half of all relationships will suffer infidelity at some point. With so many of us getting naked in someone else's bedroom, you'd think we'd be pretty clear on cheating. Still, several myths persist.

Infidelity Fiction #1: Cheaters Are Unhappy in their Relationships

"Contrary to popular belief, many men and women who have affairs are happily married," says Dr. Salvatore Cullari, professor emeritus of psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa. People usually claim their marriage was unhappy, but after closer inspection, almost always realize the relationship was just fine before the affair. Usually the decision that they were not in love with their partner comes later to justify the infidelity.

Infidelity Fiction ##2: It's All About the Sex

Most marital therapists agree that hot sex in cheap hotel rooms doesn't undermine your relationship nearly as much as keeping secrets from your sweetheart. Cheating does generally involve some sex, but usually just enough to make the relationship seem dangerous and exciting. And for the record, monogamous couples generally have more — and more satisfying -- sex than people who are fooling around.

Infidelity Fiction ##3: The Betrayed Did Something to Deserve It

A frightening amount of people think that having an imperfect relationship makes it okay to cheat. They give all kinds of good reasons for being unfaithful, like that their partner drove them to it or that the relationship was to blame. It's an excuse, a way to escape taking responsibility for your actions, and not a very good one at that.

Infidelity Fiction #4: Breaking Up Is the Only Solution

You'll never forget, but you can learn to forgive. Most relationships can be saved, provided you're both serious about doing it right; one of you is appropriately guilty and sorry; and you're both willing to work at figuring out just what went wrong. While some statistics say close to 65 percent of affairs end in divorce, it doesn't have to be that way.

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