Last update: April 21, 2017
Infidelity is a controversial and painful issue. Although theimmense majority of the population believe it is possible to be faithful to the same partner for lifeparadoxically, 65% consider it feasible to be in love with two people at a time. Furthermore, this percentage is higher among men.
Many will wonder if monogamy has failed, even if from an evolutionary point of view we can say no. Looking at the primates closest to us that do not form stable pairs, we find 150.000 chimps and about 50.000 gorillas against nearly 7.000 million humans. The success of the couple as a reproductive strategy is indisputable.
The prestigious anthropologist Owen Lovejoy, of Kent State University in Ohio, describes a fascinating phenomenon typical of the human being: serial monogamy. It is based on a change of partner after a considerable period of time. The anthropologist admits that our marital behavior is a product of culture, but warns that however, there is a natural inclination to form couples in us.
Let us remember that all human behavior, including fidelity, has three spheres: the biological, the psychological and the social. Therefore, although there may be a genetic propensity to infidelity - the allele 334 that manages vasopressin, named the infidelity gene -, ultimately social and psychological factors can favor or prevent a betrayal.
Why are we unfaithful?
In society the idea of romantic love continues to predominate. The truth is that we live many more years than before and this causes a greater number of changes to occur in our lives than in past eras. A trend towards monogamy continues to exist, but increasingly split and less lasting due to the increase in extramarital relations.
According to a study conducted by the Institut Clínic de Sexologia of Barcelona, starting from the fifth year in the couple the routine takes over and it is then that more infidelities occur. It is important to underline that there is no profile more prone to being adulterous, infidelity brings together very different profiles.
Within the category of infidelity, fantasy would not be among the ways of cheating on our partner. According to the director of the Institut Clínic de Sexologia in Barcelona, infidelity occurs when there are conducts involving other people other than the partner, as happens, for example, when exchanging erotic messages with a third person.
Women tend to be unfaithful when they are not happy with the relationship or if they have poor sexual compatibility with their partner. For men, however, it is usually quite different, infidelity is linked to their propensity to get aroused if they are in a stimulating situation.
It is easier to be timely and ingenious every now and then than every day
Why are relationships with lovers more intense? The answer lies in the fact that relationships with lovers can make us unreasonable people and from this comes a whole fluctuation of immense and out of control emotions and feelings.
The frustration, the jealousy, the constant feeling of loss of the lover, together with very strong and deep-rooted bonds, they lead us to a state of permanent alteration. For this reason, extramarital relationships appear more intense and truer than those of a couple. Somehow, they are reminiscent of the futility and skin-deep emotion typical of teenage love.
Extramarital relationships are usually already more intense than those of a couple, this is because it is easy to intensify something for a few hours rather than for a lifetime. The "unofficial" couple relationships have come to stay and are practically parallel to the history of humanity. However, as pleasant as they may seem in the short term, in the long term they often pose a problem for the three people directly involved.