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How to Understand Physical Infidelity

Learn what physical infidelity is from Dr. Paul Hokemeyer in this Howcast video.


Infidelity is a phenomenon that's very real, and has a very destructive effect on relationships. The key with infidelity is, in physical infidelity, there's a breach of an agreement of monogamy between partners. So the parties agreed that they would remain physically faithful for one another, and not have sex outside the relationship.In physical infidelity, the party, one of the parties unilaterally decides to breach the agreement, and go outside of their relationship, and have sex with somebody else. It has a profoundly negative effect on the integrity and the quality of their primary relationship, because there's this profound breach of trust. We know that intimacy is a function of vulnerability, which is a function of trust. So if you breach trust in a relationship, you're gonna shut down a person's capacity to be vulnerable with the other person. And you're gonna have a negative effect on the intimacy that's allowed to be experienced in a relationship. This doesn't mean to say that physical infidelity means the end of a relationship. Physical infidelity in a relationship can be the beginning. It can be the beginning of partners coming together to explore what's happening in their relationship. What are some of the fundamental problems in their relationship, and figure out healthy ways to address those. So, while physical infidelity does exist in our world, what also exists are solutions to physical infidelity, and solutions to keeping parties together, keeping relationships together. They don't necessarily need to break apart just because there's been a physical infidelity in the relationship.

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