We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Think all affairs happen for the same reason? Scott Haltzman debunks the most common myths about cheating and cheaters.
Knowing the truth can help you get back on the path to healing.
An affair could happen to anyone, from the local politician who gets caught with his pants down to the next-door neighbor who sleeps with her kid's karate teacher. When people find out about infidelity, they often make all kinds of assumptions about why people are having affairs. Even if someone cheated in your life, you may have thought you understood what affairs are all about.
We live in a hush-hush culture when it comes to infidelity, and it's not so easy to sort fact from fiction, and many of the common beliefs about affairs are wrong. Here are the 10 most common myths and the truth behind the scenes:
1. Most people who cheat are looking for an affair when it happens. In fact, the majority of time, an affair happens to people who aren’t looking for it. This is particularly true in cases in which a partner had only cheated with one person. Affairs often begin as friendships, which are followed by intimacy, which can then shift into a full-blown tryst.
2. Most people drift from their spouses toward someone younger or more attractive. Think of the Arnold Schwarzenegger affair with his housekeeper. While in some cases, the chronically philandering corporate CEO might seek out younger sex mates, typically paramours are no younger, richer, or more attractive than spouses.
3. Affairs almost always spell the end of marriage. More than 50 percent of marriages can survive infidelity. Although the relationship may break up because of other issues in the future, many couples are surprised when they find that they can stay together after an affair.
4. Once a cheater, always a cheater. While it is true that some individuals have repeated affairs, many affairs are a once-and-done thing. What happens after the affair can set a marriage on a course for stability or blow it out of the water. After ending the affair, the person who cheated must be completely honest for healing to take place.
For six more myths, head to YourTango: 10 Common Myths About Infidelity Debunked!
Check out more great stories from YourTango:
- Understanding Infidelity: Why We Cheat
- How to Move on From a Painful Breakup
- How to Overcome Your Fear of Infidelity