Commonly referred to as cheating, unfaithfulness and having an affair, infidelity is the tendency of one partner in such an intimate relationship as a marriage to violate relationship norms creating sexual rivalry and jealous. Such tendencies include such things as kissing, suggestively touching and having sex with other people outside marriage. In the Rose and John case study, Roberta Wilson gives the story of a sweet marriage turned sour. In the story, Rose met 27-year old John at the age of 22. At that time, the two were young, enthusiastic and full of life. Rose developed exceptional admiration for john and shortly after meeting, the two literally moved in. Two years later they got married and all went well until professional and career ambitions turned out to be a stumbling block. For Rose, career and professional life were success stories as she moved from opportunity to the next. When she was Graduate school studying MBA, her husband lost interest in his Graduate school studies in public health. He unsuccessfully job hoped while his wife got a prestigious job as a manager in an accounting firm. Trouble began when Rose engaged in an affair with a workmate – Eric. During that time, her marriage with John was on the rocks with John opposed to the idea of counseling. Rose smartly cheated for three years, a period after which Rose confessed the affair to her husband. While scholars hold varied ideas on the same, staying together and fighting the vice of infidelity together is the most potent option for Rose and John.
The Causes of Infidelity
John and Rose will not be able to remain married unless they can endeavor to fill the gaps in their relationships. According to Wilson (29) even those relationships where the partners think they have the best to offer as far as sex is concerned, cheating could occur because one partner feels empty in an emotional sense. Emotional emptiness occurs where communication is poor. Apparently, poor communication leaves one partner dissatisfied since they usually need a listening ear and a caring person. Wilson clearly says infidelity is caused by a “. . . spouse’s desire to fill a void.” (Wilson 29). Essentially this quote refers to emotional emptiness. Applied to the case of John and Rose, the void or emptiness is seen on Rose’s part. Apparently, Rose needed a listening and caring person at the end of each working day. Unfortunately, John was so much lost in his depressed mood that he could not fill the gap, which drove Rose into cheating on John with her work mate Eric. As a matter of research, the biggest cause of infidelity is the effort to fill a gap that exists in a relationship. In the contexts of relationships, such gaps are usually emotional in nature. Contrary to common misconception, a gap could exist even in those relationships that the partners deem perfect. Wilson notes that the first and most important solution is for the two individuals to reassess where their relationship presently stands (30). They should endeavor to reassess where they are as individuals, and partners, both socially and professionally. The couple should then assess their feeling together, with mutual feelings being given a significant degree of attention. Spouses should as well endeavor to understand how work and career affect their feelings for one another. This way, they will be able to rectify any potential problems.
Lack of understanding and support is another reason of infidelity in the case of Rose and John. From Wilson’s narration, Rose complained and was indeed unsatisfied about John’s depression, negative attitude and unemployment status. Rose didn’t give any comfort and support to John when he was not successful with his career achievement. Apparently, Rose was dissatisfied because there was lack of understanding she was supposed to have understood the fact that John was in a state of denial because he had not managed to make it in his career. He had not found his place in the corporate world. According to Wilson, Rose initially made attempts to help John through asking him to go for counseling classes with her (29). Even so, the husband did not buy the idea, and the wife, Rose, did not take into consideration the fact that she was supposed to have pushed the husband into understanding that counseling sessions were the way out of the difficulties they were in at that time. In suggesting solutions to such a cause, Wilson says “it’s critical for couples to know the importance of constantly reassessing where they are as individuals and partners, and what they feel about all aspect of their lives together-from work to lovemaking to aging (8). What this means is that the couple should always seek to establish their feelings for one another before making decisions as to what the next step should be.
John and Rose will not be able to remain married unless they can resolve communication issues. In point of fact, john and rose are not in a position to communicate well as to the extent of letting one another know what the impeding problems are. John and Rose will not be able to remained married unless they can resolve communication issues. According to what John Narrates, Rose suggested counseling when they had problems. However, John refused to go and Rose began going by herself. This is a serious manifestation of communication problems. These problems create a form of emptiness which drives one away from the relationship which turns to be less interesting. In suggesting the solution, Wilson says “knowing the different goals and achievement in work and how couple would like to allocate power is advisable” knowing where the problems come from and knowing what the spouse’s need is important to maintain relationship.”
In conclusion, it is quite clear that, as per the explanation of Wilson in Rebuilding Relationships, cheating is not solely connected to sex. Cheating and other extramarital affairs are purely done to fill gaps in the relationships of the spouses. Such gaps may be manifested in such things as differential growth rates as seen in the case John and Rose. There are many solutions to the cheating menace but the effectiveness of all the solutions revolves around both spouses taking part. Apparently, among the most potent solutions are such things as: honesty and sensitivity, appreciating growth, avoiding blame games, owning up to mistakes and having the willingness to forgive and rebuilding to broken bonds. The bottom line is that the spouses should work together in rebuilding the relationship. The duty of rebuilding should not be left to one spouse.
Wilson, Roberta. “Rebuilding relationships.” Essence. 1997. Print