Challenge Infidelity Misconceptions
That Fuel Jealousy
By Susie and Otto Collins
Angela has been miserable lately-- and this should
be the happiest time of her life.
She and her husband Cal have a beautiful 6 month
old baby who is healthy and full of smiles and coos.
While Angela is enjoying being a new mom, she is
Those extra pounds that Angela put on while pregnant
with the baby have not come off. In fact, in this
busy transition time learning to care for a growing
baby, Angela has put on even more weight.
On the surface, Cal doesn't seem to mind Angela's
heavier body. But Angela is convinced that Cal will
inevitably have an affair with a younger and more
fit woman if she doesn't lose weight soon.
As a result of this belief, Angela has become
fearful and jealous. Whenever Cal has been out for a
business dinner with clients, she grills him when he
gets home. Angela has even started to check in about
Cal's workday activities with his assistant.
Many women and men assume that their spouse or
partner will cheat because another person is more
attractive, thinner, more fit or for another
There is a common misconception that infidelity
happens when one person already in a committed
relationship is lured into an affair by the physical
attractiveness of another.
There probably are cases in which the decision to
cheat is primarily motivated by the way another
person looks-- but, we have to tell you, this is not
When a person has an affair, it is almost always
because there is disconnection in his or her
marriage or relationship.
Particular needs are not being met and so the person
looks outside the marriage to fulfill those needs.
If you feel insecure about your physical appearance
and body and you believe this infidelity
misconception, you might become jealous.
As you probably know, jealousy is absolutely NOT the
way to move closer to your spouse.
Make connecting a priority.
Angela realizes that her jealousy and the belief
that Cal will cheat with a thinner woman is not
helping her relationship and it's certainly not
In fact, she realizes that since she's felt such
intense jealous fear, the time that she does spend
with Cal is not enjoyable like it used to be.
Because, with a baby, time together is limited
anyway, Angela acknowledges that it's time for
Whether or not you are jealous, we highly recommend
that you and your spouse make connecting a priority.
Even if your schedule is relatively free and you
don't have young children that need your attention,
be sure to make time for quality connecting with
We're not just talking about having a weekly movie
night or regular dates out-- though these can be
connecting as well.
Be sure that you and your partner are truly
connecting whenever you are together.
Some of the time this might involve fun activities,
other times it may be more passionate. And yet other
times you and your spouse might connect by talking
about difficult topics that have been coming
If you have a jealous habit, take steps to question
your beliefs and assumptions. Become clear about
what you know to be true so that when you do
communicate, it is as open as possible.
And, above all, do whatever you can to cultivate
more connection with your partner.
Talk about needs.
As we said above, in many cases, people cheat
because some particular need (or more than one) is
not being met in their relationship.
Does this mean that the affair is actually the
spouse's fault because he or she wasn't meeting the
needs of the one who cheated?
Of course not.
What it does mean is that if you are honest with
yourself and with your mate about what you need in
your marriage, you can deepen connection and prevent
While the baby naps, Angela sits down with her
journal. She writes about how she's feeling,
including her jealous fears.
Angela realizes that she has been feeling
unattractive and uninteresting since becoming a
She is happy to be home with the baby for a year or
two, but Angela realizes that she doesn't feel as
valuable now that she isn't bringing in money from a
Her weight gain has only intensified her feelings of
When Cal comes home from work, Angela shares with
him what she discovered while journaling. She even
admits her fears about him having an affair because
of her body size.
Cal is able to really listen to Angela and he also
shares with her about how much he misses being close
and making love as often as they did before the baby
Although it is a difficult conversation, Cal and
Angela are really able to hear the needs and
emotions of one another.
more connected than they have in a long time.
Together, they brainstorm some ideas about possible
changes they can make.
Taking the time to touch in with the unmet needs you
have and then talking about it with your partner
might sound like a lot. But it's worth the stretch.
You can ease jealous fears, move closer to your mate
and possibly prevent infidelity when you make
quality connecting a priority.