Infidelity: An Opportunity for Marital Truthfulness

Fidelity is the spoken and unspoken rule of most marriages. There are the vows at the beginning of the marriage. There are ongoing promises of fidelity. Fidelity is required by the culture of marriage, especially here in the United States.

Spouses fear infidelity, and for good reason. They see other marriages dissolve as a result of it. Infidelity seems to always have the effect of a fire — uncontrollable and unpredictable. It often destroys a marriage. But does it have to?

When I work with marital mediation clients, infidelity is often the precipitating factor that brings them to my office. One of my approaches is to “normalize” my clients’ situation. I call it the “you’re married, not dead” technique. What that means is infidelity, in thought or in action, is an issue that likely affects all marriages, whether acted upon or not. That’s why President Carter’s comment in 1976 — “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times…” — continues to reverberate throughout the national consciousness.

Married couples need to accept this truth and not pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. The question is not whether you feel attractions for other people at times, but how you decide handle it. The other issue these attractions raise is what is missing in your marriage, and what can you do about it. Generally the problem is faulty communication — not sex, which people commonly assume.

For the rest of the article posted on Huffington post, click here. There are 483 comments so far.  The comments vary widely and are quite thought-provoking.

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