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Causes and effects of infidelity Essay

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Updated: Oct 26th, 2019


Infidelity is perhaps the greatest challenge facing families in the contemporary society. Virtually all divorces are due to, in one way or another, cheating spouses in a marriage. Infidelity and divorce are very old yet their levels seem to increase with time.

One wonders why man has been, apparently, unable to learn from the past and eradicate infidelity in marriages which would, in turn reduce the rates of divorce. This paper deeply analyses the problem of infidelity by looking into the possible causes of the vice, its effects on families and the possible measures that can be taken to curb it.

Causes of infidelity

For people whose marriages are on the rocks due to infidelity, an understanding of the reasons why people cheat in marriages can be very instrumental in helping them salvage their marriages. One of the main causes of infidelity in marriages is the inability of one person in a marriage to meet the needs, expectations and desires of his/her spouse (Pawlik 1).

This makes the spouse to seek satisfaction elsewhere. Some other couples get into or remain in a marriage that is not based on love. This is also a major reason why people become unfaithful in marriage since relationships and marriages are founded on love. Another leading cause of infidelity is the habit of spending insufficient time with one’s spouse (Sanford 1).

This may be due to commitments at work, other social commitments or even addiction to drugs. Infidelity can also occur in cases where partners in marriage have unrealistic expectations regarding marriage. In such a case, the couple may get bored in the course of their marriage since marriage has its flaws and anyone with unrealistic expectations will indubitably get disappointed at his/her spouse.

Effects of infidelity

Infidelity is one of the main causes of serious upsets to family bliss and thus its effects to the family are innumerable. The effects are also so immense that they can, possibly, ruin the family completely. When one partner in a marriage learns of his/her partner’s unfaithfulness, this may completely crush her emotions that he/she cannot continue relating normally with his/her spouse.

There are even cases where people go to the extent of killing their spouses after learning of their infidelity. In most cases however, the affected partner quits performing his/her matrimonial duties (Archer 1). This may eventually lead to a divorce. Whether the divorce occurs immediately after infidelity or after some time, it affects the couple’s children greatly.

Children may be forced to live with one parent and have minimal contact with their other parent. This means that the children will not be raised with the loving care of both their parents and thus they will be lacking a very important part of their family. An obvious effect on infidelity in marriage is the fact that the habit may prove to be very unhealthy.

A married couple in which one partner is unfaithful will have a very high chance of contracting venereal diseases such as gonorrhea, HIV and the like. Some of these diseases like HIV/AIDS are terminal and they may even be passed to children. Whether or not the diseases are passed to children, they affect the family adversely since parents will have a hard time coping with them, both emotionally and financially.

How to avoid infidelity in marriages

It is very hard to rebuild a marriage if it is not based on trust. Thus being faithful in a marriage and ensuring that your partner is also faithful are very important things that every married person should embrace. One way to ensure that the chances of infidelity in a marriage are minimized is ensuring that individuals get married to people they truly love (Long 1).

Otherwise there will be a lot of cases of infidelity due to a loveless marriage. Couples should also ensure that they adequately spend time together and communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings which could lead to infidelity. Each of the spouses in a marriage should also avoid keeping close and secret friends of the opposite sex since this could fuel infidelity.


Infidelity has been and it remains to be one of the greatest problems facing marriages. It is estimated that 40% of people’s wives and 60% of people’s husbands have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage life. Research also suggests that 15%and 25% of these extramarital affairs involve sexual intercourse. No matter the motivation for infidelity, people in marriage should ensure that they stick to their spouses and avoid temptations for infidelity as much as they can since infidelity has a lot of bad effects on families.

They should also be keen to notice when their partners are cheating and take appropriate measures to ensure that the habit does not continue since the faithfulness of their partners has a direct relationship with their happiness and health. In a nutshell, infidelity is a very huge vice that should never be tolerated and which should be avoided with all efforts by married people.

Works Cited

Archer, Alex. “The Impact of Infidelity on the Family”. 2008. Web.

Long, Heather. “”. 2003. Web.

Pawlik, Laurie. “Causes of Marital Infidelity From a Psychologist”. 2008. Web.

Sanford, David. “Maintaining Marital Fidelity”. 2004. Web.

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