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Home » Sexual Resources » Sex Articles » Relationships

When is Infidelity Okay?
Looking At How To Approach Betrayal

Infidelity is one of the most common ways relationships fall apart. So when is it okay to be unfaithful in a relationship and when is it not?

Personally, my husband and I have a monogamous relationship that includes only one another and we are perfectly happy with that. We are also accepting that others are happier with open relationships.

In fact, some of our friends have open relationships and we embrace the right for them to make decisions that are different than our own. After all, who is in the position to say what is right for them is right for everyone? The real answer is no one.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.


There is NEVER a time when cheating on your spouse or significant other is healthy, noble, good for your integrity, or the right thing to do. Sorry, we know we may offend some people here, but we believe there is never a reasonable excuse for it under any circumstance.
Infidelity is a betrayal and we all know that it is not the right choice based on the very simple golden rule of treating others as you would want to be treated.

What prompted this article was when we were watching a show that discussed web sites that market to those looking for extramarital affairs. The man running one was in silhouette as he did not want his wife to learn of the long term affair he had or his secret web site business promoting others to do the same. We were appalled that anyone could justify a web site promoting extramarital affairs.

If a person is unhappy in their marriage, they should try to work it out (via: communication, counseling, etc.) or leave the marriage by having the courage to say to their spouse their reasons for doing so. When we lower our integrity, lie and cheat to avoid dealing with emotional challenges then there are more serious issues at hand then having an affair. A person who cheats on their significant other is really cheating themselves as well.

This is because the cheater is not standing up for themselves. They are not expressing their true feelings, they are hiding who they are, they are unable to live their life in a manner that shows respect not only for themselves but to others by being upfront about their feelings and needs.

Many say to themselves "... my significant other will leave me if I said this... or did this..." Yes, that may be true, but then why are you with them? Why would you deceive someone so that you can 'get away' with lowering your integrity? Is integrity that easy to compromise? At what point do we just say to hell with trying to be a decent and respectable person? At what point do we think it is not damaging us emotionally and mentally to do that?

If a cheater thinks there will be no repercussions if they do not get caught, they are wrong. The simple fact remains that they have resigned themselves into believing the lies that come from having low self esteem. Such lies include that they must be dishonest to get their needs met, that they can not be loved for who they really are, that they can not be respectful to others or themselves to be happy, that they can not stand up for themselves, that they must sacrifice their integrity to get what they want. How can we honestly have a chance at loving and respecting ourselves completely when we violate our integrity like that?

It is not to say that in order to have self love or respect for ourselves that we must be perfect saints. But it is worth striving to be a good person every day, even when some days we feel like we did a miserable job, we must get up the next and try again having learned from our past mistakes in order to have self love and grow as a person.

It is when we hide from consequences behind lies, manipulation and cheating that we are acting as a coward. Whether you believe in karma or not, it seems very interesting the way that issues in people's lives are cyclical and will come back to haunt you if you have not dealt with them.

It is somewhat like an analogy to a wall. A person's issue can be seen as an obstacle, one that they must overcome to grow emotionally and mentally much like a wall that must be scaled to get over it. However, most issues don't start off being a large wall, usually they are a small little flower-bed wall that can easily be overcome with some integrity and courage.

For example, a woman who feels she is not getting her needs met in her marriage begins to find herself attracted to a coworker and begins flirting with him at work. It seems harmless at first, but then she begins to find herself constantly thinking of this coworker.

Here she can step over her flower bed sized wall if she acknowledges her feelings and tries to communicate them to her husband by letting him know that she is not feeling her needs are being met in the marriage and it is making it more difficult for her to put her energy into it. She can explain that she is finding herself attracted to other men and she does not want this to go any further. She can suggest that they communicate about ways that she can feel more satisfied in her marriage or even go to counseling to see if that helps.

So, our hypothetical woman ignores the opportunity to face this issue with honesty and integrity and continues on her current path. She continues to flirt, and fantasize about how much more fulfilled she would be if she were with her handsome coworker (usually a huge let down in reality over the long-term because unlike her fantasy he is human with warts and all). She even begins to think of how she might ask him out for coffee or even drinks.

A couple of weeks later, she does just that and during their evening out she finds herself giving her male coworker the typical 'poor me' talk about how terrible her marriage is and how here husband does not meet her needs. Yet she has done nothing to try and correct this and takes no responsibility for her own contribution to the problem. Also, drinking alcohol is a common way many people allow themselves to lower their inhibitions and numb themselves to all the warning signs that they need to address an emotional issue.

Soon an affair begins and she finds herself torn as she still loves her husband, but now she is having feelings for her coworker and feels like she is trapped. Could she end the affair, until she figures out what she should do for her highest good? Yes, she has opportunities every step of the way to deal with this in a honest and courageous manner, but she does not and the wall has now grown to be 20 feet high.

To boot I have yet to hear of a relationship that started out based on an affair that ultimately did not result in one or both of the people having another affair. When we do not address our issues they will present themselves again and again and often in more severe ways.

What is remarkable is that people actually think that they don't have to deal with their issues... that if they numb themselves enough through denial or a coping skill like drinking, drugs, compulsive eating, etc. that their problems will just go away.

We all know they don't, yet like an ostrich we often want to stick our head in the sand and hope that maybe this time we will get to be excused from our life lessons. Yet, isn't that why we are here? Isn't that the whole point of our existence... to evolve? Not just in a physical or mental sense, but in an emotional one too?

In order to evolve we must live by a code of ethics, and when we stray from that we must ask ourselves how we can learn from our mistakes. We believe there in one very simple rule in life that must always be held up and striven for-

The Golden Rule- Treat others as you would want to be treated.

After all, if you treat others with disrespect, dishonesty, and infidelity what does that mean you believe yourself to be worthy of?

 

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