Over winter break, my ex’s wife reached out to me to speak about her relationship with my ex. She was wanting to confer as she was struggling in the relationship over what she called narcissism. I was taken aback and opted not to speak with her, because I did not want to get involved.
In my heart, I suspected she was dealing with what became the core issue that tore our relationship apart, at least from my perspective. My ex was a chronic serial cheater and from his point of view, it was his right, his “entitlement.”
In the beginning of the relationship, I saw it as him modeling what his father did, as I was told. And it wasn’t too much different than what my father (whom I loved dearly) did from time to time. Somehow, these men felt entitled to have “meaningless” affairs when they traveled. They saw nothing wrong with it, because it was allegedly meaningless.
Men Who Cheat
Since my ex’s wife reaching out to me, nearly half a dozen people have come into our practice with the same issue: “chronic serial cheating.” I’m drawn to write this article insight because I’m stunned at how these men fail to acknowledge their ongoing violation to their partners and to their marital commitment.
To this day, I fail to understand how men who cheat don’t recognize the obvious emotional psychological abuse inherent in infidelity. There is an air of privilege entitling them to dip into the sea of available women from escorts to church buddies. It is truly their “right,” so they believe.
Some of these men seek sexual entertainment when they are “lonely.” Some when they are feeling “low.” Most do it to get even when they are not getting their way. Many cheat on their wives when they are holding a belief that they have been wronged, dismissed, neglected or not supported. The adulterous rendezvous becomes a way to regain control.
Healing a Legacy of Infidelity
One couple struggling with this issue had been together for five decades. The evidence of the affairs become known to the wife after 50 years of marriage. Needless to say, this woman was devastated.
It was clear to me that this couple stepped into therapy to save their marriage. And that is essentially what we did. Their process was ever so moving to each of them and to me in witnessing the transformation of their relationship.
If you are struggling with the issue of infidelity in your marriage, seek to understand the underlying dynamics. Recognize the relationship between classic emotional abuse dynamics and infidelity in marriage. For more information on partner domestic abuse dynamics, visit www.innersanctuaryonline.org
Dr. Jeanne King, psychologist and author, helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King, PhD. — Domestic Violence Prevention