Is It Cheating? The Sexes Often Disagree

Is It Cheating? The Sexes Often DisagreeAlthough the percentage of women who cheat on their partners has grown in recent years, men are still more likely to cheat overall. Differences in the way that men and women define infidelity partly explain why men and women cheat at different rates.

The most recent information from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy suggests that approximately 25 percent of married men have had sex with someone who isn’t their spouse, compared to about 15 percent of women. Results from the General Society Survey reveal that men also tend to have more liberal definitions of what constitutes cheating. Many smaller sample surveys over the years have found similar differences in attitude. (more…)

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Cyber Relationships Can Damage Marriage

Cyber Relationships Can Damage MarriageInternet accessibility creates efficiency, convenience and entertainment for consumers. But for many, constant access dooms relationships. Uninterrupted social media, texting, online gaming and streamable movies and music can lead a person to become more engaged with virtual worlds than with the people around them.

A Huffington Post article discussed the fallout at family law courts that are seeing increased references to Internet addiction, cybersex, sexting and other marriage-damaging activities.

Relatively innocent online games like Candy Crush, FarmVille and World of Warcraft have resulted in some married individuals ignoring their responsibilities, causing spouses to count the hours that the game is dominating family life and resenting the effects. (more…)

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Are Extra-Marital Affairs Really Worth It?

Are Extra-Marital Affairs Really Worth It?Relationship problems come in many forms, but one of the most ubiquitous is in the form of infidelity. An affair is a fling – sexual or emotional – with any person outside of the marriage, and we regularly hear statistics like “half of all people in a relationship have cheated” that make it seem like the problem is everywhere. However, according to research, there is infidelity in only up to 25 percent of committed relationships, but it’s much less likely to have happened in the previous year. The figure is still pretty high, and it raises many questions about the nature of human sexuality, and whether it’s really worth risking a long-term relationship by engaging in an affair.

Are Humans Supposed to Be Monogamous?

The question that’s really at the heart of this issue is whether monogamy is something we’re supposed to do as a species or whether it’s merely a sociological invention. Some psychologists like Dr. Himanshu Saxena argue that men are, by nature, polygamous, like more than 95 percent of other mammals. However, there is an important distinction to be drawn between social monogamy and sexual monogamy. Sexually monogamous animals have sex with only one partner (geese, for example, don’t mate with another partner even if their chosen one dies), whereas social monogamy only requires a bond (to raise offspring), with sexual flings still being acceptable. Under this definition, a man or woman who has an affair but returns home to fulfill familial duties is still monogamous, but only socially. (more…)

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Emotional Shock of Affair Can Trigger Illness

Emotional Shock of Affair Can Trigger IllnessMost people would agree that being cheated on is a miserable experience. It can make anyone feel awful, but can it actually make a person ill?

Research over the past couple of decades has provided evidence that suggests infidelity can, in fact, lead to illness. This research suggests that infidelity can be a factor in the development of mental illness and can also have consequences for a person’s physical health. (more…)

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The Emotional Affair: Is it Cheating?

The Emotional Affair: Is it Cheating?On the surface, it sounds like a compelling topic for a café conversation: can it be called cheating if there is no physical intimacy? The question gets at some of the most challenging issues for couples: after the teenage dreamy romance stage is over, to grow with someone into a rich and fully realized relationship means confronting this issue. And for some couples, doing so happens too late, after a boundary has been crossed and feelings are terribly – sometimes irrevocably – hurt.

For most, physical intimacy (including sexual intimacy) is a line in the sand not to be crossed. But what if there is no physical contact, yet all the other trappings of an affair are involved? Is that cheating? (more…)

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Is Cheating Abuse?

Is Cheating Abuse?Cheating in a relationship is as common as it is unpleasant. I am rapidly headed for my 50th birthday and can’t name a single friend or acquaintance who has never experienced this dynamic in a relationship. Personally, I have experienced cheating in different ways: I have cheated, I have been “the other woman” and I have been victimized by a cheater. My cheating happened when I was still in college and created a chain of events so powerfully bad I never cheated again. I felt horrible about what I’d done and truly horrible about who I had become. It was a long hard climb to get out of that hole.

But when I was on the receiving end of infidelity, I was a mom, almost 40 years old, and the notion of commitment had altogether different meanings and importance to me. It wasn’t about just him and me – we had children who became ensnarled in the web of lies and hurt. It was much uglier and much more destructive than the teenage drama I had unwittingly perpetrated decades earlier. (more…)

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Millions in Work Productivity Lost Due to Online Cheating

Millions in Work Productivity Lost Due to Online Cheating Adultery can damage marriages and friendships, as well as being destructive to children’s psyches. Another less obvious cost are the employee work hours spent looking for something on the side when they should be working.

A Swedish-based online cheating site surveyed its users, estimating that employees were costing their businesses over $17 million in unproductive wages. The site offers users a way to have discreet extramarital affairs and it appears that business is booming. (more…)

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How Much Porn is Too Much?

How Much Porn is Too Much?For most people looking porn is a relatively benign activity, turned to as a quick and convenient form of sexual pleasure when a real-world partner is either not available or not desired. For some, however, porn use can become an emotionally crippling sexual compulsion. The question, of course, is how do you know if porn use has crossed the line from pleasurable distraction into addiction?

It would be nice if there was an easy and reliable mathematical formula we could rely on, such as X number of videos plus Y number of still images equals addiction, but there isn’t. As is the case with alcohol and drug addiction, the determining factor is subjective rather than objective. In other words, it’s not how much alcohol you drink, how much methamphetamine you smoke, or how much porn you look at, it’s how the booze, meth, or porn is affecting your life. (more…)

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Love: Healthy Sexual/Romantic Attraction vs. Addictive Sexual/Romantic Attraction

 Love: Healthy Sexual/Romantic Attraction vs. Addictive Sexual/Romantic AttractionRomantic love has always been something of a mystery, especially to sex and romance addicts, who tend to mistake the intensity of both sexual activity and new romance for something deeper and more meaningful – i.e., love.

But what, exactly, is love? Does it really exist? Can it be measured? And can it really become an addiction?

Poetically and philosophically speaking, love exists in the heart. And it is rather obvious why poets and philosophers tend to believe this. After all, our hearts beat faster when we experience love (or at least when we experience the first rush of love/attraction), and our chests tend to ache when the process goes awry. Of course, poetry and philosophy are not exactly hard science. What hard science tells us is that love lives not in our hearts but in our brains. In fact, thanks to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, we even know where in the brain this ephemeral emotion resides. In fact, using fMRI brain scans, tracking things like love, romantic attraction, and sexual attraction is actually a relatively straightforward process.

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Digital Technology, Reality, and Relationships

Digital Technology, Reality, and RelationshipsWith all of the incredible recent advances in digital technology, the line between fantasy and reality has grown somewhat blurry. For instance, when we see a model on the cover of a magazine, it’ a safe bet she’s not as perfect in real life as she appears in print. With reality TV, it’s an equally safe bet that the drama unfolding onscreen is not nearly as unscripted as the producers would like us to believe. Etc. These days our music (digitally enhanced voices, lip-synching performances), our visual entertainment (reality TV, cinematic special effects), our sports heroes (steroid-driven performances), and even our love lives are routinely enhanced through various technologies.

Our love lives, too? Yes indeed. (more…)

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