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Infidelity Risk Factors

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Husbands sometimes feel they are being spoken down to, as if they were children or less intelligent, by an unyielding aggressive wife.


While it is true that the wife must respond to her husband differently, let us first deal with the husband’s role -passivity.

Other factors within a marriage that directly lead to the development of infidelity are low levels of positive communication and high invalidation. An example of low-level positive communication is if one spouse does not provide feedback during a conversation or is dismissive. An example of invalidation would be if one spouse does not offer reflection or acknowledgment during emotional exchanges.


There are many factors which may put marital couples at a higher risk for infidelity, separation, and divorce. Some of these include sex, with men being at greater risk over women. This may be the result of cultural saturation of female sexual images and cultural choices. While men still report greater rates of infidelity, the rate of women who have reported cheating has substantially increased.

Additional risk factors include those who are employed in the fields of education, medicine, entrepreneurship, information technology, and trades. These careers often require long and irregular work hours, while allowing less time for spousal connections. Younger couples, and those who infrequent church are also among those with higher risk factors.

To avoid infidelity couples need to experience secure bonds with each other. Secure bonds help during conflicts, where couples with secure models of attachment will exhibit more positive behaviors such as validation, empathy, interest, and humor. These characteristics are contrasted against negative communication behaviors like criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and withdrawal.

Other areas of focus should be on problem-solving and building communication skills. These skills teach couples how to make use of contingency contracts, allowing for the negotiation of persistent problems, and learn how to gain resolution. For example, couples who go through patterns of demand and withdrawal, where one spouse may demand change, while the other ignores or avoids, may benefit in this area in that it focuses on communication building skills, and implementing new behaviors.

When we embrace our roles are in our marriages, we respond from a place that offers reason and wisdom, contributing to God’s plan for your marriage and family.

With infidelity being one of the most difficult marital problems to treat and one of most damaging problems to the family, it is important that couples are aware of risk factors and are making intentional efforts toward marital satisfaction.

Infidelity is a challenging issue for couples and families to experience. Seeking counsel early is an important preventative step, as well as, addressing any risk factors that a couple may be experiencing which can lead to infidelity. Lastly, while in counseling avoid inconsistency and remain steady until your counseling goals are reached.

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Forgiving an individual who has hurt you grants them the freedom to give new meaning and definition to their actions; it frees them from the past. When you stop the ‘re-membering’ process you no longer respond from a place of hurt and disappointment, you respond from a place of hope and optimism.