Is infidelity a type of abuse?

There are always two sides to a story – his side and her side. But when it comes to infidelity, the only side that matters is the truth.

Sonia and Matthew Booth topped the social media charts this week when she revealed his alleged affair on Instagram.

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Posting receipts about Matthew’s “infidelity,” Sonia didn’t hold back, prompting a flood of comments from online users.

With their marital drama playing out in public, the couple became the subject of countless memes and jokes, sometimes to their detriment.

But one topic that kept coming up was the heartache caused by Matthew’s alleged cheating.

The question arises: could fraud be classified as a form of abuse?

“Although I don’t believe cheating is abuse; it’s both psychologically and emotionally destructive to the person being cheated on,” said professional matchmaker and relationship coach Kas Naidoo.

She adds that “cheating happens when a person seeks a sense of adventure and aliveness that a new relationship brings.”

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If a couple wants to protect their relationship, both partners must be able to communicate their needs honestly.

Naidoo explained that couples must commit to consciously creating a relationship that grows and develops.

“Healthy, happy, deeply meaningful relationships in which both partners remain honest and loyal require constant work. It doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a lot of fun if both partners are equally committed.”

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Huffington Post contributor Tracy Schorn tended to disagree. In her 2013 article Rethinking Infidelity, she writes that cheating is assumed to be a minor offence.

She also believed our minimizations of infidelity were “offensive and outdated.”

“People who cheat are making a unilateral decision about their health,” Schorn wrote.

“Cheaters are risking your long-term physical well-being for a side f**k.”

When Quora users were asked: is cheating a form of emotional abuse?

Online user Pavel Ageev has convincingly argued why this is not the case.

Agreev wrote: “Emotional abuse is used on you to control you, to enslave you.

“Cheating isn’t for enslavement, it’s a desire to flirt, love and have sex with someone else.

“In other words, in both cases you experience negative emotions, but an emotional abuser wants you to obey them, while a scammer has a different goal and your negative emotions are the by-product.”

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