Is fidelity an idealistic concept? Household computers and the Internet, individual cell phones, busy schedules of career couples, ATM access to money, and easy, speedier travel -- the opportunities to have an affair are many.
A recent Loveology University survey conducted by Leanna Wolfe, Ph.D., reports: "Our survey attracted a very large percentage of people who had participated in the cheating triangle (being a cheater, cheated upon and/or a secret lover). Random sample surveys report about 22 percent of married men and 14 percent of married women cheat, while 67 percent of our male respondents and 59 percent of our female respondents who were either partnered or married report having cheated." More than 1,000 men and women participated in this survey voluntarily. Founded by Dr. Ava Cadell, Los Angeles-based Loveology University is an interactive resource for online training in all aspects of love, relationships, intimacy and sex.
The definition of cheating may mean different things to each partner. Men often feel that the lack of a physical relationship negates the act of cheating, whereas many women feel betrayed if there is an emotional commitment (such as Internet sex or clandestine meetings with a "friend"). Men and women also cheat for different reasons, such as the desire for increased sex, lack of emotional warmth, and even anger and retaliation against a purported betrayal. According to Wolfe, 72 percent "of people who cheat have also been cheated on." Female cheaters tend to be younger than male cheaters, ages 24-45 and ages 36-55 respectively.
Some of the commonly accepted telltale signs of cheating include abrupt secretiveness (such as leaving the room for a phone conversation); sudden changes in bathing, toiletry and dressing habits; sudden and unexplained withdrawals from the bank; defensiveness when a comment is made about the whereabouts of the individual; unfamiliar odors (e.g., perfume, smoke and sweat); secret bank accounts or unexpected bills; the opening of a post office box so that mail is rerouted; and frequent late nights.
If you have serious reason to believe that your partner is cheating on you, make sure you have some kind of proof before confronting him or her. You don't necessarily have to hire a private investigator to tail your partner; there are other methods you can use to "catch him in the act." If you believe that cybersex is the "other woman," you can check the Web history and cookies on the computer. There are also devices that can record keystrokes. If the car's mileage seems to increase suddenly or the passenger seat's position has been moved and you think that might be the site of a mysterious rendezvous, a small voice-activated digital recorder hidden under the seat certainly will catch any nefarious activities. Using *69 on your phone lets you know who is calling your home and then hanging up when the wrong partner answers. Driving by his or her workplace during yet another late night can let you know whether there is really work going on.
You can make use of the latest technology and go "high-tech" in your quest to find proof of infidelity. Small GPS tracking devices can be concealed somewhere on a car to keep track of where your partner might be meeting someone else. A Cell Phone Spy, which looks a little like a thumb drive, reads and edits private data and deleted texts from any cell phone SIM card or smart card. A Stealth iBot Computer Spy takes only about five seconds to download information from your computer. Sound amplifier systems let you listen in on even whispered conversations.
Cadell says that monogamy "is a choice that we make when we want to make a commitment to someone. Infidelity is not the end of the world. As heartbreaking as it can be, I believe it is a wound that can be healed and relationships can survive." If you have survived an affair, you can put your relationship back together. Spend quality time together; communicate openly and freely; touch frequently; hold hands; caress; respect each other; and be interested in your partner's life.