“A thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.”
There is a palpable space between the first word of disclosure and/or discovery and the beginning of the crisis of Infidelity in marriage. This is not just happening for the one who has been betrayed but also for the one who betrayed.
It is that moment where life, as the couple, is suspended. Any move or action seemingly makes the couple feel everything will shatter or fall apart.
There is a frenzy of feelings and thoughts that follows the discovery of Infidelity in marriage:
- What is going on? What needs to happen?
- Who are they, or who will they be during/after disclosure and transparency.
- Will we make it through this? Do I want to make it through or walk away?
This is when the phenomenon of past, present, and future comes crashing together because of the specific inquiries:
- How did this start/I don’t know how this started. (Past)
- Are you still seeing this person? Who is this person? (Present)
- What does this mean about our marriage here on out? Are you going to leave/divorce me? (Future)
The start of these types of questions emphasize for both the husband and wife that fait accompli has entered their marriage, their family, and has disrupted their expectation of “happily ever after.”
Cheating in marriage or cheating in a relationship is a difficult reality for any affected couple to endure. It may feel unbearable as if it were seemingly the end of the world.
Nevertheless, fait accompli can become the end of the old marriage and, if the couple is seeking restoration, the beginning of a new one.
As a couple or individual, how does one navigate the fait accompli of Infidelity in marriage? What are the difficulties in dealing with betrayal in a relationship?
What is the one question that needs to be asked to know at this time to better understand where you are in this beginning stage of Infidelity in marriage?
One of the biggest and concerning questions each participant in the betrayal story tends to ask: What does Infidelity mean?
As the couple, individual, and the affair partner figures out the part they play, they also begin to define and interpret the actions of Infidelity in marriage to either save the marriage, break up the marriage/affair, and to figure out what each other’s roles are in the betrayal/marital story.
Infidelity in marriage
When Infidelity interrupts a marriage, the need to understand the aspects of betrayal and how it caused the altering of the covenant relationship becomes a prominent moment-by-moment thought in their daily life.
The affected couple struggles to explain or to receive what it means to be unfaithful, and getting educated in knowing why it is can be a problem.
People have their definition of what Infidelity is or what it could be that can persuade the couple and affair partner to incorrectly justify, minimize, or assign what betrayal is accurately.
Many times, people will believe that Infidelity in marriage is subjective rather than an absolute action—which causes some of the initial disagreements and confusion for both spouses, the affair partner, and for society in general.
According to the dictionary, Infidelity consists of:
- Marital unfaithfulness; adultery.
- A breach of trust; transgression
- Lack of faith or constancy, especially sexual unfaithfulness
- Lack of religious faith; disbelief
- An act or instance of disloyalty
The next section provides an exhaustive list of what is considered Infidelity, as suggested by Dave Willis, a pastor, author, and speaker on marital life.
12 forms of Infidelity in marriage
- Hiding the fact that you are married—a projection of “availability” (flirting, removing wedding ring, acting single).
- Primary loyalty to someone or something else other than your spouse.
- Porn, erotica, and graphic romance novels. Acting out sexual fantasies apart from a spouse (mental Infidelity). All true intimacy and all Infidelity begins in the mind.
- Checking out other people.
- Keeping secrets from your spouse
- Threatening divorce
- Emotional Affairs—emotional intimacy+secrecy+sexual chemistry (Note: I will include cyber Infidelity as an addendum to emotional affairs–social media interactions, Second Life simulation games)
- Refusing to admit fault or sincerely apologize
- Not showing up when your spouse needs you withholding help
- Trying to “win” an argument with your spouse—trying to win at your spouse’s expense; a form of broken trust and loyalty (You’re on the same team)
- Sexual Affairs (in all sexual forms/behaviors)—the ultimate act of broken trust and loyalty
- Giving up on each other
We will continue to address this subject by using interrogative words to dissect, identify, and understand the inner workings of marital betrayal. In the next article, we will focus on how Infidelity enters the marital relationship.