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The Big Answer


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Affairs and Infidelity

an article by our site

In several reported studies, 40 to 50 percent of married men report having one or more affairs. There are several contributing factors. (1) Twenty percent of all women have no potential mate, due to relative scarcity of unmarried men and there are 34 million unmarried women in the U.S. (2) More single, career-oriented women are in the work force and, therefore in daily contact with married men.

While there are no specific figures on married women having affairs, it's assumed to be considerably less than men. However, recent polls show that women are just as adulterous as men are. (Source: Fisher, Dr. Helen, "All About Relationships," Bottom Line Personal, March 30, 1991)

Almost half of people admit to being unfaithful at some point in their lives, according to the MSNBC.com/iVillage Lust, Love & Loyalty survey. The survey also found that married folks with kids, including women with very young children, are nearly as likely to be unfaithful as childless couples.

Almost half of people admit to being unfaithful at some point in their lives
Almost half of people admit to being unfaithful at some point in their lives

Many (30 percent) like the excitement they get from a fling, but men and women are generally looking for different things. Men (44 percent) want more sex, with 38 percent seeking more satisfying sex, and 40 percent out for variety, findings that closely resemble the 2006 MSNBC.com/Elle magazine survey on monogamy. Women's motives range from the need for more emotional attention (40 percent) to being reassured of their desirability (33 percent) or falling in love with someone else (20 percent).

More than three-quarters of participants say they are too much in love to be unfaithful and 68 percent don't want to risk losing their partner. Love of one's partner was also one of the main reasons why people stopped cheating (20 percent). Even among couples that have been together for more than 30 years, four-fifths of women and two-thirds of men report being faithful during the entire relationship. (MSNBC.com/iVillage survey)

In MCs, affairs have little reason to occur. MCs are set up so that there are 12-40 other people to relate to, all of whom are your best friends or their kids. So you and your spouse will have friendship, nurturing, socialization, and emotional needs filled. You and your spouse will not need to sexualize or romanticize your emotional needs. You and your spouse's needs are well filled, as are all MC members' needs. Including children.

41% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but MCs preclude most such possibilities due to the need-filling situation of lots of nurturing friends
41% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but MCs preclude most such possibilities due to the need-filling situation of lots of nurturing friends

And the P.E.T. rules in MCs ensure that people learn effective relationship and communication methods. When someone feels lonely, s/he has lots of people to be with, so there's no need for tomcatting around projecting needs on prospective lovers. And if there's a sexual issue between a couple, they will use sensitive P.E.T. methods like active listening, I-statements, and problem solving with each other rather than acting it out outside the MC. If a couple has difficulty getting to positive resolutions to problems, they have plenty of available friends to talk to, all of whom will try very hard to help because MC members truly care for each other—which is why they chose one another to be together in a microcommunity of friends.

So relationships are empowered and strengthened both between couples and among MC friends intrinsically—as part of the natural functioning of the MC. In The Adjusted American: Normal Neurosis in the Individual and Society, you will learn the unfortunate realities of most romances and most marriages. Most MC couples will not have much of these neurotic relationship dynamics to frustrate them and prevent need fulfillment. The way MCs are set up is to be optimal nurturing environments—ones that empower growth, self-actualization, autonomy, and relationship excellence (even if the specific MC member came into the MC lacking such wisdom and maturity initially). See also Flat gradient Nurturance versus Steep gradient Nurturance.