Cheating Spouse? It’s Not Your Fault

If you read my latest post, 5 Compelling Reasons Why Marriage Wasn’t Meant to be Monogamous, you may have had — as many people were quick to fire at me — some questions about the state of my marriage.

And while I can assure you that I am most definitely not in an open marriage and the post was merely meant to be an informative and interesting read — not a permissive prescription to cheat on your spouse (you did read the last slide, right?) — I have to admit that I broke one of the cardinal rules of being a writer.

I read some of the comments on the piece.

As I read through some of the comments, I was simultaneously humiliated and panicked. The message through the majority of them was all the same:

Troubles in the bedroom = asking for an affair.

Maybe they’re right, I thought. Maybe it’s not normal to experience a little bedroom low after three kids. Ohmygosh, maybe my husband wants to cheat on me!

In January, The Huffington Post reported that along with diminishing communication, affection, and attraction, the “loss of sexual pleasure or frequency” does lead to infidelity in relationships. Even more frightening, 71% of men and 49% of women cited sexual “boredom” as their #1 reason for cheating.

With statistics like that and thinking like the comments on my piece displayed, I think it’s safe to say that many of us are quick to judge the woman in the relationship for not “keeping her man happy.”

If either partner is not getting what he or she needs, can we really blame a cheater for seeking consolation elsewhere?

Short answer?

Um, yes! 

The author and her husband.

The author and her husband.

Every relationship goes through ups and downs, especially in the romance department and especially once you throw kids in the mix. And while I’m not saying that every marriage or every relationship from the beginning of time was meant to be, I think a spouse owes it to his or her partner to show some respect. It’s not always going to be a wild ride and (shocker), I do think that’s pretty normal. Sure, it might be easier for a couple, especially if they are dating, to look elsewhere for sexual satisfaction and feel justified because they were “bored,” but in a marriage?

You made a vow. For better or for worse.

Even when the “worse” means, please stick with me while I struggle with the complete loss of sexiness, self-identity, and body image that motherhood has wreaked on our love life.

Even if that means, please, be willing to cuddle with me a little bit and tell me I’m beautiful even when I’m crying over the fact that I still look pregnant.

And especially if that means, if you feel tempted enough to cheat on me, can we talk first?

I totally agree that problems in the bedroom most likely point to deeper problems in the relationship that need to be sorted out.

But I don’t think cheating is the answer to any problem in any relationship.

I think it’s a very dangerous game to play to try to blame either partner for the other’s infidelity. 

And on that note, I’m off to schedule a date night.

With my husband, of course. 

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