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

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?

The Voice of a Cheater

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

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.

Infidelity Vs Addiction: What Is the Difference?

Is your partner a sex addict, or just a cheater?

Four Reasons Women Cheat on Their Partners

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.

How Likely Is Your Partner to Cheat on You?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on August 14, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Are you concerned your partner may be seeing someone else when you've agreed to be exclusive? Researchers continue to study infidelity to better understand when and how it happens.

The Irrationality of Marriage

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on August 06, 2017 in Trust
How can we commit whole-heartedly, when we know divorce is so common?

What Keeps Partners From Cheating?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on August 04, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Infidelity generally leads to pain and suffering for all involved, and is the most common factor in divorce. How do we resist temptation, making it more likely we'll stay together?

Facebook Infidelity: 10 Safeguards Your Marriage Needs Today

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on July 18, 2017 in Clear Communication
Most Americans now consider this cheating. Do you? It's time to fight this marriage cancer. Here's how...

Polyphobia

This blog explores discrimination and prejudice against polyamorous people in loss of social ties, housing, child custody, job loss, and selective enforcement of rules or laws.

Why Women Have Affairs

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on July 12, 2017 in Love, Digitally
Engaging in infidelity might increase a female’s perceptions of her self-esteem.

Coming to Terms With Infidelity: Men Versus Women

Why do some but not all relationships survive infidelity?

A Better Understanding of Betrayed Spouses

Do therapists sometimes treat betrayed spouses in unhelpful ways?

Twins With Two Daddies

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in How We Do It
Paternity suits triggered by strikingly different fraternal twins have revealed bizarre cases with two different fathers. Split paternity is the visible tip of a sizeable iceberg.

How Partners Flirt (and Cheat) Online

When your partner is a friend, fan, or follower of a romantic rival, how does such divided attention impact your relationship?

Are You at Risk for an Emotional Online Affair?

Committed partners should not seek emotional fulfillment online. Telling yourself you are “just looking” online puts you at risk for becoming emotionally attached to what you see.

How to Recover From an Online Emotional Affair

Recovery from an online affair requires disabling more than an Internet connection. To rebuild relational trust, a straying partner must disable online emotional connections.

4 Things Guaranteed to Turn a Healthy Relationship Toxic

Coupling up and committing can bring enormous joy and wellbeing. When done poorly however, what once felt like closeness can easily turn toxic. Here are four traps to avoid.

Freedom in Forgiveness

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on June 13, 2017 in Clear Communication
Forgive and move forward.

Three Nonverbal Behaviors That May Damage Your Marriage

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in Clear Communication
Are you potentially asking for an extramarital affair without even knowing it?
Karpova/Shutterstock

Attitudes Toward Infidelity

Research has shown that those who have been cheated on are more likely to view a variety of behaviors as cheating, perhaps because they fear the past will repeat itself.

Why Couples Stay Together After Infidelity

Surviving an affair involves active strategies of recovery. One of the most powerful is a faithful partner actively demonstrating forgiveness through acts of grace and kindness.