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Infidelity is a Health Issue.

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Ladyogilvy posted 6/8/2013 00:58 AM

I was just leaving a message on another thread and it got me thinking about infidelity as a health issue. People see it as a morality or ethics issue but it's more than that. I think society should deal with it as the health issue that it is. People need to be educated about the effects of infidelity to prevent the serious fallout from affairs. Think of all the health problems, psychological problems effecting the whole family, missed work, etc... That could be prevented if people had real discourse about the dangers of infidelity.

Right now, it is treated like a personal problem that should be kept private. But, think of the preventative measures we practice to protect ourselves from less serious health problems than infidelity. Everyone knows to wash hands to help prevent colds. Everyone knows to wear seatbelts and helmets. Everyone know to practice safe sex and if they don't the consequences can be serious. Why not start similar educational campaigns to teach people about the risks of infidelity? Not some religious, morality based preaching but hard facts about symptoms caused by infidelity and what it takes to recover.

[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 1:02 AM, June 8th (Saturday)]

silverhopes posted 6/8/2013 01:35 AM

You're absolutely right. People need to know it as the serious, health-impacting issue that it is, instead of just romanticizing it. There should be an international infidelity awareness day - like March 15th or something (Ides of March, betrayal...), where it is talked about and exposed. In addition to making it part of health classes at school. Hey they talk about sex and stress - infidelity should be included.

Sad in AZ posted 6/8/2013 06:50 AM

Mental health issues have always been stimatized, but the world is changing, and we can help further the change.

If we can't get a national day (great idea silverhopes!), we can at least reinforce the idea of faithfulness to our children. By explaining loving commitment in an age-appropriate way, you can reinforce the idea of healthy relationships.

This is one of the reasons I get frustrated when someone stays in a really bad M 'for the kids'. What are we teaching them if we allow them to see us be abused?

PurpleBirch posted 6/8/2013 07:20 AM

I like the idea of an awareness day. Why couldn't we do it? It has to start somewhere with someone. Hmmm. Thoughts are ruminating...

catlover50 posted 6/8/2013 07:27 AM

People have posted here that their children have developed eating disorders, attempted suicide, flunked out of school. Divorced women and their children end up in poverty. Of course the BS develops weight loss, stress induced illness, PTSD, some actually commit suicide. The WS themselves end up miserable in many cases. And yet they have shows like Mistresses. Infidelity is not cute and sexy. It is so very damaging; you are right.

imarriedmymother posted 6/8/2013 08:01 AM

I've been a cigarette smoker since D-Day..............not good

imarriedmymother posted 6/8/2013 08:01 AM

I've been a cigarette smoker since D-Day..............not good

Ladyogilvy posted 6/8/2013 09:02 AM

Anti drug campaigns abound. Not because of morals and ethics but because of the toll on society. I think the issue of infidelity is similar. I wonder, how many people have drug related problems opposed to infidelity related problems?

We have don't drink and drive campaigns. We have AA meetings.

Infidelity is just as much as a health problem as smoking is and look at all the adds against smoking.

Oh, but it's okay to talk about trying to quit smoking or smoking related cancer, drug and alcohol problems now but not infidelity. "Nobody wants to know." "I don't want to get involved." Both things I heard after DD. really callous when you think about the serious health issues involved. I know I'm not the only one who ended up on a heart moniter after the A. There's the risk of suicide. Both physical and mental health issues. I wonder what else the research says or if the research has even been done?

Then there's the work missed, family's financially ruined, homes lost. Damage to the children carried to the next generation.

People need to know this is a health issue that impacts individuals,families and society. It's something there should be societal pressure to prevent, interventions, etc... It's not something to encourage through a conspiracy of silence.

Instead of romanticizing infidelity, instead of men patting themselves each other on the back... Instead of women justifying their behavior...

People should see the true costs of affairs without having to go through it themselves.

[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 9:02 AM, June 8th (Saturday)]

Fighting2Survive posted 6/8/2013 10:12 AM


It is a health issue. A serious one. I had both mental and physical health problems as a direct result of D-Day, and some of those problems took years to resolve. I couldn't eat or sleep. The lack of nutrition cause anemia and some gastro-intestinal issues that eventually landed me in the hospital having surgery. The combination of lack of sleep, high anxiety and lack of proper nutrition caused me to get a respiratory infection that led to pneumonia.

I was so sick for so long that I lost my job. It was just impossible for me to function.

Our oldest son has autism, and the stress of our separation and the chaos within our family as a result of his dad's A was tremendous. He did suffer emotionally and he took many steps back at home and at school. On top of the counseling for me, his dad and our marriage, DS1 saw a therapist for a long time to help him cope.

While I didn't get an STD, it is certainly an outcome that many BS's deal with.

The cost of infidelity is far greater than just a failed marriage. The physical and financial toll it takes is astounding.

Kierst13 posted 6/8/2013 10:17 AM

The issue is in the disclosure that this has happened. We read every day that people don't want anyone in their lives to know. We keep it a secret, we hide it from friends and family.

We come to an anonymous web forum to discuss among those that understand. I'm not sure I want my family to be the "poster child" for infidelity.

Fighting2Survive posted 6/8/2013 10:29 AM

I told everyone- from day one and I've never regretted it. Not everyone agreed with my decision, but I still feel it was the right one for me.

Aside from making FWH immediately accountable and choking off any possibility of him making up a BS reason for why I left him, the long-term outcome has been helpful. Because other people know, both of us have had couples come to us specifically for advice when infidelity has happened in their relationship.

I'm not embarrassed by the A. It wasn't something that I could control anymore than I could prevent a plane falling out of the sky on my house.

Sad in AZ posted 6/8/2013 10:32 AM

I only kept the A from my family because I had hope of R, but I told many of my friends and coworkers. Once it became clear that we would not stay together, I told everyone--the cab driver taking me to the hotel from LAX, and my new boss in my first meeting with the LA team; she said, "Introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself" She meant professionally...

There is no shame in being cheated ON.

sisoon posted 6/8/2013 12:48 PM

Long ago I read a report of a study of sex after heart attack. It said that sex has a good effect when the partner is the spouse, but a bad effect when the partner was an ap or prostitute.

It was a long while ago - it might have been published in the aftermath of Nelson Rockefeller's death.

catlover50 posted 6/8/2013 15:05 PM

How about "Friends don't let friends have affairs?"

Housefulloflove posted 6/8/2013 15:18 PM

Absolutely. My STBX's infidelity put me at physical risk (dumbass had UNPROTECTED sex with someone he knew had drug abuse issues! ).His lack of empathy and off-the-wall asshole behavior had me at the brink of a mental breakdown. It was my faith, my kids (and eventually knowledge of the disordered mess I was dealing with) that grounded me enough to keep that from happening.

Lord only knows the long-term effects all of this will have on our kid's future. My own father's infidelity against my mother is something that has affected me greatly before I had to deal with it in my own relationship.

Unfortunately a lot of cheaters just don't give a fuck what damage their actions will cause someone else. It's not a lack of knowledge as much as a lack of concern for anyone but their broken selves.

My PSA would basically be "If you know or know of someone who is a cheater or who is thinking about cheating..... punch them in their idiot faces every chance you get"

[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 3:22 PM, June 8th (Saturday)]

Ladyogilvy posted 6/8/2013 17:56 PM

"Friends don't let friends have affairs."

That's good.

IAmPsycho posted 6/8/2013 18:12 PM

It's so true! We need a national day, and people need to know the pain involved.

My dad cheated on my mom with someone younger than me. My mother lost her mind with the pain, and had a nervous breakdown. Even though I watched all of that happen, and I felt bad for her, I never knew how much pain she went through until it happened to me.

So, maybe you could tell people. But I don't know if a person can realize the possible damage unless they've lived it.

silverhopes posted 6/8/2013 18:18 PM

I could see there being a massive effort on many fronts to make the awareness spread... Health classes, awareness day... Also commercials, sort of like the anti-smoking ads, perhaps a special company of lawyers who aid people who have been affected by infidelity in divorce or other legal issues - a group of lawyers specially trained to aid victims of infidelity at affordable prices. I hate to make it a money thing - but they would have quite a market! If enough people used their services or supported the awareness day or implemented lessons in health classes or made commercials, etc etc - who knows, maybe it would even be able to reverse some laws or create new ones or new clauses that are anti-infidelity. Beyond simply voluntary pre-nuptual agreements. They might have to carefully word some of it so as to not prosecute people who have willing, no-betrayal open partnerships (and also to protect those partnerships if one partner might betray the couple's agreements within the open relationship)... But I think it would be worth it. It would make a number of folks think twice before committing adultery, perhaps.

Or maybe an intensive, physiological study on betrayed and wayward partners. A properly conducted, physical science based study on the health effects of infidelity, something that can be widely published or at least used as the standard for all other studies. So far it seems like the studies are limited to asking participants questions and opinions, all of which could be subjective. Might be nice to have some hard exact science behind such research.

Ladyogilvy posted 6/8/2013 18:49 PM

Great ideas Silver. There's so much that could be done, it's hard to know where to start.

One thing for sure... MC's need to get research based training to work with couples dealing with infidelity. We all probably have more applicable experience from living through it and supporting each other on SI than most MC's do.

SBB posted 6/9/2013 00:43 AM

IMO it is a mental health issue - on the part of the WS and the BS. It is a form of abuse - self abuse and abuse inflicted on another.

It is also a health issue from an STD perspective - I've had 'issues' for years. What I thought were yeast infections. I'm having more sex now than I ever did in my M and interestingly I've not had a single 'yeast infection'. The truth is I was most likely getting bacterial infections from his whore self and his whores.

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