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Elda M. Lopez
Author: THE (IN)FIDELITY FACTOR: Points to Ponder Before You Cheat, e-book & print available @ Amazon & Barnes & Noble,
Author: THE (IN)FIDELITY FACTOR: Points to Ponder Before You Cheat, e-book & print available @ Amazon & Barnes & Noble,

Elda M.'s posts

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A question was posed to Jamaican women:

Why do so many women settle for cheaters?

And wouldn't you know it, the answers turned out to be universal. All seven of them. Is this surprising? Nope, not at all. If anything it's confirmation that no matter where you are in the world, there are certain global views that transcend cultures and countries. And since infidelity is global, it all makes sense.

So what is about women that allows this acquiescence? Then again, maybe I'm speaking too soon, as one of the answers exemplifies some weren't so reluctant to settle. It was premeditated, based on the fact they had met their mate while cheating. They understood the possibilities, and accepted--out of love.

I can understand if a mutual "understanding" is in place. If that's the life you want to lead, so be it. The other answers were a bit more of, you say? Rationalizations and good intentions. We all have our personal emotions, thoughts and mind hurdles regarding relationships. And of course: humans will do, what humans will do.

Not being familiar with Jamaica, or its people, I can only speculate that there are certain cultural specifics that guided some of the answers. No matter what, we can all learn from each other. Often times, more than we ever thought.

"Some women are willing to sacrifice their own happiness, even turn a blind eye to the hurtful things that are happening in their relationship, in order to maintain a stable family unit."

* the irony being, if the father is off cheating the home environment won't be stable.

Some infidelity stats from around the world. The Pew Research Center did a survey of 40 countries regarding a variety of moral issues. Of course I'm highlighting extramartial affairs, but you can click on the country name to see the other issues at hand.

This survey was done in 2013, and although it's been a few years since, I'd venture to say the stats haven't changed up too much. Statistics are tricky business, especially when it comes to infidelity. Since this topic is such a touchy one, you're never quite sure if the responses are ideal. I know when I've done surveys regarding infidelity, I do count on the honesty of the people participating. You want to believe, so that you can do your best to present valuable information and share a credible outcome that could prove to be educational. Not always the case perhaps, but nonetheless, surveys do help to inform and gauge the climate. A good thing.

FYI--The Palestinian territories and France came in at number 1 and 40, respectively. The United States? Take a look-see. Here are the questions that were asked:

Do you personally believe that married people having an affair is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?…/globa…/table/extramarital-affairs

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This adulterous husband tried to kill his wife three times via hitmen (poor choice, and very poor performer[s]), in order to be with his girlfriend. We can certainly put a label on his actions as being, at the very least of the least, inappropriate. Also, he's now being assessed for a "personality disorder". A much larger issue. But what about his wife and her response?

"In her eyes, he needed support, not a prosecution. She even tried to take clothes and books to [HM Prison] Belmarsh to check he was OK..."

As we know, love can be terribly blind; if allowed. It seems these two were, to put it mildly, at odds in the interpretation of their relationship. One wanted out, as in permanent lights out, the other saw light at the end of the tunnel. A distinct lack of clarity within the disparity.

So, was her response compassionate, codependent, or just plain crazy? I'm not passing judgment here, just posing questions for examination. Although, you'd think one miss of a hit would be enough to frighten and anger a partner, but three? Words fail. Of course, if mental illness is in the mix, I can understand the compassionate angle to a degree. Although, it doesn't seem she was aware of this possibility prior, in which case, she most definitely wasn't considering her own health and well-being. Not to mention, her husband did have a girlfriend.

It's obvious there are a few blocks here, and not just of the prison kind.

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Who hasn't self-sabotaged a relationship? Unfortunately, it's common until we know otherwise. Knowing otherwise takes a hefty does of self-awareness. The wiser and healthier we become, that elusive loving relationship gets closer to becoming a reality. I, for one, welcome that reality, which is why I continue to further my growth.

So, how do you know if you're self-sabotaging? Mostly, you don't. But, if you find yourself with the same issues and dilemmas within your relationships, you may want to take a closer look at what you may or may not be doing that creates the negative bits. Also, if you're hearing the same feedback from mates who continue to say, Adios!--time to take some serious heed.

Makes sense, right? And if it doesn't, all the more reason to get a few things figured out. Just because you don't get it, doesn't mean it isn't the truth. Yes, the truth can be scary and uncomfortable, but chaotic relationships can be as well, if not more so. Why set yourself up for failure and heartache? If you're feeling unsafe and unsettled in your relationship, chances are your mate is too. Not exactly rainbows and butterflies, now is it?

Do yourself, and everyone else a favor: Be the change-up! Check in here and adjust accordingly.

"You don't feel good enough, so you look to your partner to confirm you are. You must believe in yourself."

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This in from New York, Manhattan specifically. It's no secret the Big Apple is home to tons of people; a good portion are rich. With wealth comes opportunity, and in this case, the opportunity to cheat. The wealthy, it seems, conduct their "affairs" in a different manner than the rest.

Having a good dose of financial means allows for security and freedom. Sometimes those freedoms are loosely translated, such as having (and using) enough money to cover the maintenance of mistresses and boy toys--and their tracks.

New Yorkers are unique, and so is their approach to infidelity. Because of the landscape and circumstances, hiding a betrayal is workable, of course, until it isn't. This article spills some least 20 of them.

"High-net-worth people very rarely gravitate to other high-net-worth people for affairs..."

Which gender is most surprised by infidelity? Men or women?

To be fair, we all have certain blind spots, but infidelity is in a category of its own. No one wants to be caught unawares: a double entendre of sorts. Hubby at home doesn’t want to be blindsided by his beloved’s indiscretions, nor does his beloved want to be found out.

So, who is more susceptible to wearing blinders or remaining completely in the dark? For the answer, I went to my local LMFT, Cathy Chambliss. I figured she’s probably heard a few of these cases, and I was right.

My query:
Who turns a blind eye more so to infidelity: Men or women?

"...don’t pay as much attention to what their partners are doing, or if there is a change in their behavior."

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A question often asked: Is my husband having an affair? (Of course it works both ways, but we're talking about men in this instance.) A therapist weighs in with more information than you probably ever thought to consider--but probably should. There are ample benefits to receiving new knowledge, even if the benefits aren't immediately evident.

This therapist goes into many facets of mates; their attitudes, unspoken thoughts, and behavior when it comes to infidelity. Cheating includes a multitude of angles, and then some. Believe it or not, this isn't just about someone wanting a bit on the side, or a cheap, new thrill. FYI--infidelity doesn't come anywhere near cheap, nor is it a one-note circumstance.

There are many layers to betrayal. Imagine an onion (crying included), you know, all those layers that sometimes readily fall off and others that need prying? That's analogous to infidelity, loosely, but you get the idea. The underlying reasons, perhaps not even known to the offender(s) are varied and complicated, as this article illustrates.

Even if you don't agree, that doesn't mean the reasons/thoughts/insights aren't true. It just means you don't have all the information yet. This article brings it...

"...shift your thinking just enough to help you see your situation from a slightly different angle."

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The lengths people go to when infidelity is in the mix are never-ending, creative, and at times, very unhealthy. This article is a perfect example.

Emotions running high after an infidelity are liable to trigger all kinds of knee-jerk reactions. On the other hand, some people take the time to premeditate a thing or two, or in this case, a few thousand. It takes thought to consume money, literally consume, as in: eat. Revenge is an interesting motivator. The intestines were not happy.

I'm not posting this because the headline is sensational, but because--it's reality. It may seem unbelievable, but this, and many other examples (which I plan on posting more of) make the point that: cheating is not a good thing. That is an understatement of the highest measure, but hopefully this incident will make an impression.

You just never know what mates will conjure up when they've been hit by a relationship indiscretion. There are serious consequences to be paid. This particular woman paid herself while she could. The straying husband definitely didn't see this coming...

"After discovering his infidelity, she swallowed thousands of dollars that they'd saved up after she learned he was going to use the money to leave her."

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So where are the most likely places to encounter a potential paramour? A bar, night club, etc.? Not so much. Some locations may be surprising. A few caught me off guard; they seemed so innocent! But I guess there's potential everywhere.

Whenever someone is feeling unloved, underappreciated and over stimulated, the possibility of infidelity looms right around the corner. May that particular corner not be on your path. If you see it on the horizon, do your best to step away. Make a quick, fast U-turn and head to a safe place. Hopefully your safe place, even if you're not feeling it in that moment, will be closer to your mate: literally and figuratively speaking. Get home, get a discussion going, and be as honest as possible. Your mate may not like it, but no one said easy, carefree conversations were every committed relationship's birthright. Get to talking.

One conversation at a time is a good start. You don't have to jump into everything at once. That would be extremely overwhelming for both of you. Start slowly and thoughtfully. It may be hard to withhold emotions, but understand this could be a turning point in your relationship. Think before you speak. And remember, you may hear a thing or two that doesn't sit well with you either. Keep breathing...repeat.

At a volunteering gig
"People may bond over a common cause while volunteering...anytime you’re working toward a common cause or objective, you may start to feel a sort of energy that leaves you more vulnerable to this attraction."

Volunteer gig...

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In case you were wondering, here's what cheating looks like to some women in India.

Spoiler alert: it's comparable to what many of us might think, no matter where "us" might be. Since infidelity is universal, I find it valuable to get other cultural perspectives. And when opinions are similar, it definitely drives the point home: infidelity is on the radar. A good thing.

It's no secret that in some countries infidelity punishment can be harsh, like death to the cheater harsh. I'm not a proponent of that, but I do think there should be some penalties applied. Some that could actually do good, such as: impose 6 months of mandatory therapy. Even if the relationship doesn't survive, at least core issues could be revealed and possibly dealt with. Granted, some mates may just show up and go through motions, but hopefully via osmosis, an enlightening nugget will be unearthed. If someone comes away with a modicum of growth, it's well worth it.

Also, there are now clauses in legal marriages that state if one partner cheats, that partner doesn't receive "x" amount of money, or forfeits their rights to property, etc. I rather like that idea. It holds people accountable, instead of cheat, defeat, repeat. That particular runaway, crazy train needs to be slowed way down.

So, let's see what India is up to...

"You are in a relationship but you occasionally stalk your ex on social media because you are curious."
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