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Definitions, Statistics, and Ideas on Working with Infidelity in Relationships


Depending on who you talk to, and what research you rely on, infidelity is either a growing epidemic that threatens to shake our society to its foundations, or it's a predictable and regularly occurring part of human romantic relationships. If there are any universal truths to be told about infidelity, they may be that context always matters (one relationship's infidelity is another relationship's sexy night out) and that there will always be people ready to tell you what you've done wrong, and how you should fix it.

At About.com, we'd rather support than preach, so below you'll find articles that explain the various ways people have defined infidelity, answers to some of the common questions people have about infidelity, and thoughts on where to begin to talk about and work through an infidelity you have experienced in your own relationship.

Infidelity Definitions

There isn't a single definition of infidelity (even the dictionaries differ on the details). Here is a survey of some of the different definitions, as well as related terms that are helpful to know when talking about infidelity:

Questions About Infidelity

Everyone who has ever been in a relationship has questions about infidelity. It's important to think critically about any answer you get to a question about infidelity. There's no such thing as an unbiased answer, and while it can be helpful to learn how others understand infidelity, the answers that guide your actions should always reflect your own values and beliefs, not simply what someone else tells you is the right thing to do.

Working Through Infidelity

Many relationships not only survive an infidelity, but improve after it. Which isn't to say that infidelity is good for relationships (although in some cases, maybe it is) but usually it's the work that couples do after an infidelity that improves their relationship in the long run. Here are some ideas on disclosing infidelity in as respectful a way as possible, and what to do after you've had the first conversation.

Share Your Thoughts: Infidelity and Monogamy

Readers share their opinions on infidelity, cheating, and monogamy. Read their responses and contribute your own perspectives.
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