Infidelity in the relationship

Infidelity in the relationship

The infidelity is by definition, lack of fidelity, of accuracy, and a person who does not profess true faith, who is lacking in fidelity or who is lacking in accuracy is considered unfaithful.

In the relationship, there are multiple considerations regarding infidelity from those who believe that one can be unfaithful even with thought to those who believe that extramarital relations can be established without being unfaithful, establishing a dichotomy between biological impulses and feelings ("the genitals are unfaithful the heart never is").

When infidelity occurs

It can be considered as an infidelity the fact of establishing emotional and carnal ties with another person outside the couple and in the author's opinion, it is preferable to consider infidelities rather than infidelity because it is a phenomenon with various forms of presentation.

Infidelities can be of various types and occur in heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual couples.

In various cultures, infidelity is considered sinful, especially among Catholics whose Decalogue states: "You will not desire the wife of your neighbor." In others it constitutes a mode of marriage in which the man shares with several wives those who have knowledge of others and even live under one roof.

Although it is more frequent among men, in various territories it predominates in women such as Malabar in southwest India, noted by Santha Rama Rau in his book "Holiday", who points out that until the fifties of the last century This Hindu region was governed by a matriarchy system and women could have more than one husband. In front of the houses, some benches were built in which the husbands sat waiting to be ordered to enter the home and the arrival of the husband had to be announced in a very striking way so that the wife was not surprised while she was with her lover .

Currently, women in some countries have increased these practices as a distorted way of achieving equality with the male sex.

Why are we unfaithful?

The genesis of infidelities can be very diverse, including the following:

Infidelity as an expression of an emotional mismatch

In these cases the person suffers from a mental disorder that contributes to the emergence of this behavior, such as an individual carrying a bipolar affective disorder in the manic phase with hypererotism, in which the subject can have sex with various people to satisfy that symptom. One of our newly married patients had a first manic episode with marked hypererotism, performing in a night no less than thirty sexual relationships with strangers who were staying overnight in a railroad terminal. She was admitted and required the use of genitals to reduce edema in the vulva. Other times infidelity can be the expression of a persistent delusional ideas disorder in the form of erotomania, but in these cases it is more frequent that such infidelity is at the level of the content of thought with delusional ideas of erotic content, such as being a lover of a famous character.

Infidelity as an expression of the indecision of ending an unhappy relationship

This infidelity is the way to seek well-being that is not enjoyed in the relationship. Who commits it is unable, for various reasons, to culminate in the relationship, among which is the presence of children, common goods, the social impact of that possible separation, fear of facing a new relationship for that of “is better bad known than good to know ”, etc.

To complement the sexual satisfaction that is not achieved with the couple

This infidelity occurs when one of the partners' components needs a type of sexual stimulation that they do not receive from their spouse, sometimes because he has not communicated it and hopes that he will detect it, mainly when it comes to unusual caresses for the relationship, or when, despite communicating what is desired, those demands are not met. Then the unsatisfied part can look for who satisfies these sexual requirements, without having to leave their partner, with which they can feel fulfilled in many other aspects of the relationship. (love, tenderness, company, communication, emotional support, economic security, etc.).

Identification of the lover with the absent partner for a long time

This infidelity can occur when one of the components of the couple is absent for a long period of time and some of them meet another person whose psychological characteristics are very similar to those of the absent spouse. Infidelity is the symbolic surrender not to the person himself, but to what she shakes, which is the absent loved one. This extramarital relationship can bring serious problems to the relationship of origin, due to the confusion that comes with being with a lover whose personological attributes are very similar to those of the spouse but with whom you have the possibility of sharing the time that is not shared with the absent person If the infidelity is discovered by the absent spouse who decides to end the relationship and feelings of guilt arise in the person who has committed the infidelity those who may predispose to the performance of a suicidal act.

In spite of feeling hurt the self-esteem on the part of the couple

In these cases, spite is accompanied by various emotions such as resentment, animosity, hatred and resentment, which, as the name suggests, is to feel again and in this situation one of the components of the couple reexperies unpleasant emotions due to situations that damage your self-esteem and because of this he may wish to take revenge for the purpose that the spouse experiences the suffering she is experiencing.

As an expression of bad learning by imitation or identification

"What is inherited is not stolen," says an old saying. Infidelity here is conditioned by aanomalous learning in the children of parents who practice infidelity and who serve their children as a model of inappropriate behavior. This does not mean that all children of parents who have practiced infidelity necessarily have to be unfaithful when they are adults, but are more likely than those whose parents have not performed such practices.

As an expression of tiredness in the couple

The monotony can destroy any interpersonal relationship, subtract enthusiasm, vitality, creativity. And that can happen in a loving relationship by encouraging some of its components to look for "something new," "something different to get out of the routine." Sometimes this routine in the relationship can be the result of adverse socio-economic conditions that prevent the necessary recreation and distraction of the spouses. It can happen then that one of them establishes a relationship with a person who satisfies these shortcomings. Infidelity also happens when the woman mistakenly considers that the time for sexual intercourse has passed and does not carry them out with her partner who still feels fully empowered to have them. A similar situation can occur if the woman is too young for the husband and he is unable to satisfy their sexual and spiritual needs or when one of the partners, usually the woman, suffers from any mental or physical illness that prevents her from having an active sex life and the man begins to have sex with other people by not being able to satisfy himself with his sick wife.

As an expression of a limited sex life

This infidelity occurs mainly among men who have not had an active sex life and encounter a woman who surpasses her spouse in the art of courting and in the way of performing the sexual act, which can cause a dazzle in this inexperienced spouse by making him experience sensations until those moments not felt, which becomes extremely dangerous for the conservation of marriage. Something similar can happen but in the opposite direction when the wife of an inexperienced husband finds an experienced man who manages to arouse female curiosity and manages to make her feel like never before.

As an expression of a macho culture

Infidelity in societies with a high sexist component It is considered a symbol of economic power since it means that whoever does it is able to support his wife and the lover with his financial resources. But it is also synonymous with masculinity, of "having an angel" for women, of being "Golden Peak" or "Conqueror", highly valued attributes in macho societies where man must resemble his relatives in the animal kingdom in which he does not It is monogamy precisely what characterizes them. In these cases it is very unlikely that an act of suicide is committed because both parties are, implicitly or tacitly, according to the following rule of the game: "Man has to play his role as man."


The infidelity in the couple's relationship responds to various causes in which the spouses themselves usually have different doses of responsibility.


1.- Small Larousse Illustrated. Revolutionary Editions. 1969
2.- The Latin American Bible. Pastoral Edition Paulinas editions 1986
3.- Perez Barrero S.A. Psychotherapy to learn to live. Oriente Editorial.
2nd Edition 2004
4.- Perez Barrero S.A. Confessions to a psychiatrist. Bayamo editions (In press)

Author: Prof. Dr. Sergio A. Perez Barrero
Founder of the Suicidiology Lesson of the A.M.P.
Founder of the World Network of Suicidiology.

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