What Does Psychology Say About Infidelity?
Infidelity is an act committed by one person in a couple, breaking one of the pillars of a relationship: loyalty. There are many reasons why one person in a relationship comes to be unfaithful, but all of these are explained by personal dissatisfaction.
When a person feels personally dissatisfied because they have unresolved conflicts, be they personal or with the partner, the tendency is to run away or hide. This brings more dissatisfaction and unhappiness and makes the relationship less and less bearable.
What is personal dissatisfaction?
Personal dissatisfaction is a feeling of unhappiness with your own life. Most of the time this exists even before you meet the person you were unfaithful to.
Oftentimes, dissatisfaction is the fruit of fears, insecurities, and indecision, which a lack of personal incentive or purpose, as you don’t have the courage to confront, resolve, and make decisions when faced with situations that make you unhappy.
Other times, dissatisfaction increases in a relationship because the relationship doesn’t work, which is why the relationship becomes more and more distant, cold, and monotonous, leading to the only imaginable solution — avoidance and an increasing dissatisfaction.
What consequences come with infidelity?
As mentioned above, loyalty is one of the pillars of a strong relationship. As such, breaking one of these pillars puts the relationship at risk. Infidelity creates, among other things, a lack of trust, an important and necessary virtue for the couple to feel like they are in a safe place.
In a situation of personal dissatisfaction, the dissatisfied person who ends up being unfaithful is likely avoiding reality. They don’t have the courage to confront their dissatisfactions or the problems within the relationship, maybe out of fear, insecurity, or low self-esteem. They also likely have an emotional dependence on the partner, which is why they don’t feel happy with their partner while also not being able to imagine life without them.
There are particular stages in a relationship that are at particular risk for infidelity, on of which is the stage of self-assertion. This is when crises occur, the greater part of them stemming from old conflicts that have gone unresolved, be they personal or within the couple.
How to prevent infidelity?
It is very important to be conscious of personal dissatisfaction due to unresolved conflicts, sometimes starting before meeting your partner, so that you can finally resolve them.
Or rather, if personal dissatisfaction starts or increases during the relationship, it is advisable to confront and solve this. It may even be necessary to make the decision to end the relationship so that each person can seek their path to happiness on their own, not avoiding reality.
It is also a good idea to seek professional help to address fears, dependency, and low self-esteem. This can help you discover the courage and peace of mind to make decisions that will provide you with a better, happier, and more fulfilling life.
By choosing to confront our personal dissatisfaction, we are both working toward our own personal growth and taking back our own life, as well as avoiding hurting the other person in the relationship, who in many cases is oblivious to the dissatisfaction and unhappiness in the relationship.