What Is Infidelity?

Infidelity is breaking a promise to remain faithful to a sexual partner. That promise can take many forms, from marriage vows sanctified by the state to privately uttered verbal agreements between lovers. As unthinkable as the notion of breaking such bonds may be, infidelity is common. And when it does happen, it raises thorny and painful questions. Should you stay? Can trust be rebuilt? Can you and should you forgive and move on?

Recent posts on Infidelity

Ten Tips for Preventing Infidelity

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Emotional Fitness
Preventing infidelity isn't something you have to worry about, as long as you and your partner stay communicative about your desires, your dreams, and your devotion.

Love, Trust, and Sexual Infidelity

By Eyal Winter Ph.D. on December 09, 2017 in Feeling Smart
Can a medication based on oxytocin treat sexual infidelity?

My Parents Cheated. Does That Mean I Will Cheat?

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 08, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Infidelity is of constant interest, especially during the holidays when intimacy reigns. New research sheds light on how our parents' behavior affects our relationship decisions.

Sixteen, Going on HPV 16

By Mark Borigini M.D. on November 30, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
HPV, oral sex, oral cancer, anal cancer, other cancer, fingers, sex toys, oh my.

Checking Out Others? You Probably Think Your Partner Is Too

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on November 11, 2017 in Close Encounters
New research examines whether we project our own wandering eye onto our partners, and how that affects the way we treat them.

Insecurity May Enhance Your Ability to Detect Dishonesty

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Insecurity is related to the ability to detect dishonesty. Your suspicions about your partner´s dishonesty may reveal the honest truth about you.

How to Love Someone Again After Infidelity

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on November 08, 2017 in SexualityToday
Couples that stay together after infidelity fall into three categories: sufferers, builders, and explorers.

Is Your Partner Lying to You? How to Tell by Looking

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 06, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Research indicates that contrary to stereotype, liars often do not present themselves as a fidgeting bundle of nerves; they often appear cool as a cucumber. Here's why.

8 Great Books on the Evolved Psychology of Sex and Passion

By Kevin Bennett on October 22, 2017 in Modern Minds
Every intensely emotional thing you do is inked to an adaptive problem and solution. These books will open doors.

The State of Affairs

By Mark Matousek on October 20, 2017 in Ethical Wisdom
"An affair upsets the status quo by not only bringing the subject of sexuality to the forefront, but every other aspect of their relationship as well," says Esther Perel.

We Project Onto Romantic Partners Our Own Desires to Cheat

We are often convinced that mistrust of our romantic partners is well-founded. Sometimes it is, but research suggests that suspicion also comes from our own attraction to others.

Is Monogamy Still a Thing?

Sexual fidelity and emotional fidelity have typically held different meanings and values for romantic partners based on gender. Is this still true today?

My Partner Cheated on Me — Should I Try to Make It Work?

How do we decide whether to stay or go after someone cheats on us? New research sheds light on the decision-making process and helps us understand our own relationships.

Harvey Weinstein Proves Sex Addiction Doesn't Exist

By Marty Klein Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in Sexual Intelligence
Labelling Harvey Weinstein a "sex addict" allows us to confidently say "I'm not like that," rather than encouraging us to look at our own pain.

7 Infidelity Preventatives Your Marriage Needs Today

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in Clear Communication
The best defense is a good...defense.

My Daughter Found Out About My Affair

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on October 11, 2017 in The Teen Doctor
Should you tell the truth about an affair?

Do Cheaters Repeat?

People expect their partner to be faithful, married or not. But what are the odds that once a cheater, always a cheater? A new study gives an answer.

How Infidelity Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in Rediscovering Love
The 5ive most common re-emerging issues.

Sharing the Love: Research Shatters Myths About Non-monogamy

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Standard Deviations
New research employing personality theory and moral psychology shatters myths about consensual non-monogamy.

I Should Never Have Trusted Him (or Her)

If you have been deceived for years, you may have this same reaction. But should you?

Why a Cheater's Voice Can Give Them Away

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on September 14, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
New research suggests we can tell whether someone has a history of infidelity just by listening to their voice.

Reasons Not to Date an Attractive, Masculine Man

By Madeleine A Fugère Ph.D. on September 14, 2017 in Dating and Mating
The benefits of dating an attractive man are clear, but have you considered the drawbacks?

Revisiting Berne's Theory of Sexual Frigidity

By on September 13, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
Are you living in a sexless marriage?

Why Luann de Lesseps is Now Luann de Divorce

Why she should have seen her divorce coming from a mile away.

Game of Cheating

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on September 07, 2017 in One Among Many
When you cheat, know what you can get away with and whether your conscience will trouble you.

Caught Between Two Loves?

By Alexandra Solomon Ph.D. on September 01, 2017 in Loving Bravely
Love is messy and sometimes it pulls our hearts in two directions at once. A couples therapist offers three questions you can use to resolve your love triangle.

Discovering Infidelity on Facebook

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on August 29, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
How do men and women react when then discover their partner is cheating on them on Facebook?

Why Adultery Is Harmful Even Before It's Discovered

Kai Cole uses her experience of her marriage and divorce from Joss Whedon to show that the saying "what you don't know can't hurt you" is wrong.

1-on-1 Opposite Sex Friends: A Blind Spot Threat to Marriage

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Clear Communication
Check your mirrors. Giving up friendship freedom may save your marriage. Here's five tips on how to manage friendships with the opposite sex without compromising your marriage.

4 Reasons Women Cheat

Faithfulness to one’s partner is the bedrock of most committed relationships. A recent study shows how women justify the cognitive dissonance caused by having an affair.