Lovers, Partners and Infidelity

· August 22, 2017

Infidelity is a controversial and painful topic. Although the vast majority of the population believes that it is possible to be faithful to the same person all their lives, paradoxically 65% consider that it is feasible to be in love with two people at the same time. In addition, this percentage is higher in men.

Many will wonder if monogamy has failed, but the evolutionary point of view seems to suggest this is not the case. If we take a look at the primates closest to us that do not form stable partnerships, we are faced with 150,000 chimpanzees, and maybe 50,000 gorillas compared with nearly 7 billion human beings. The success of the couple as a reproduction strategy is indisputable.

The prestigious anthropologist Owen Lovejoy, of Kent State University in Ohio has discovered a fascinating phenomenon in human beings: serial monogamy. His argument is based on the fact that we stay together for a remarkable period of time. He admits that our marital behavior is a product of the culture we live in, but he points out that, inside of us, we have a natural inclination to have a partner.

Let’s recall that all human behavior, including fidelity, has three spheres: biological, psychological and social. Therefore, although there may be a generic tendency to be unfaithful – which may be seen in the 334 Allele gene that administers vasopressin, dubbed the gene for infidelity – social and psychological factors may ultimately favor or prevent infidelity.

“Choose your partner very carefully. 90% of all your happiness or sadness will depend on this decision; but once you have chosen carefully, the work has just begun”

H.Jackson Brown


Why are we unfaithful?

In society, the idea of romantic love continues to prevail. The reality is that we live much longer than before and this causes more changes in our lives than in previous times. There is still a tendency towards monogamy, but this is increasingly fragile and not as long lasting due to the rise in extramarital affairs.

According to a study by the Institut Clinic de Sexología in Barcelona, couples usually enter into a routine from the 5th year of their relationship, and that is when more infidelities occur. It is relevant that there is no one type of person more likely than another to be an adulterer, this is because more and more people with very differing profiles are being unfaithful.

In what we call infidelity, fantasy is not seen as a way of deceiving our partner. According to the director of the Clinic mentioned above, infidelity arises when there are certain types of behavior that involve someone from outside of the relationship. For example, when erotic messages are exchanged with a third person.

Women are drawn to infidelity when they are unhappy in the relationship or when they have poor sexual compatibility with their partner. For men though, the motivation is usually different and has to do with their tendency to get excited if they are in a stimulating situation.

“Love for lovers is like a war: simple to start, but very difficult to stop”

It’s easier to be on the ball and witty every now and then rather than every day

So, why are relationships with lovers usually more intense? The answer is that relationships with lovers can turn us into irrational beings, and hence all the flux of out of control emotions and feelings.

Frustration, jealousy, the constant feeling that we could lose our lover, combined with very strong and ingrained bonds, lead us to a permanent state of change. This is why extra-marital relationships are often considered more vivid or more real than the relationships in couples. They in some way remind us of the futility and excitement of adolescent first love.

Extra-marital relationships tend to have a more strengthening effect than relationships in a couple. This is because it is easier to be on top form for a few hours than during a life time. The “unofficial” relationships are here to stay and run practically parallel to the history of humanity. But, however pleasant they may be in the short term, in the long run they often end up creating terrible problems for the three people directly involved.

“When you are in a bad relationship, a lover can become the most irresistible thing in the world”