Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

What causes infidelity? Where does it start?

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years, the euphoria of love fades. It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship…

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your partner’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage are different with every relationship, but if you think about your relationship, you will notice a big difference between the feelings you had in the initial stage when you fell in love and the place you’re in now. Many people begin to feel unfulfilled in this stage too. They look at their lives, and they wonder what they’ve accomplished. Some blame their spouse for holding them back.

At this point, you or your spouse might start asking, "Am I with the right person?"

As you and your partner reflect on the “ecstasy” of the great love you once had, you may begin to crave that experience with someone else. This is when marriages and long term relationships breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their relationship for fulfilment.

Some find this fulfilment in extreme sports, some find it in TV games and some find it in another person who gives them the feeling that they could “conquer the world”. What most people only realise when it’s too late is that the answer to the problem lies within the relationship, and within themselves.

You will never find someone to ‘complete’ you

You will never find someone who makes you feel fulfilled all the time. You need to be a whole person by yourself. You should never have to rely on someone else to make you feel worthy or valuable.

Find someone who helps you achieve your dreams and live up to your potential, but don’t rely on that person for your ultimate happiness – you will always be disappointed.

Don’t go looking for that ‘in love’ feeling elsewhere. You will probably find it, but it will end in hurt and frustration.

I’m not saying that falling in love with someone doesn’t feel great. It is absolutely wonderful. Temporarily. But you will eventually end up feeling unfulfilled and looking for that same “high” again.

Why?

Because the key to long term relationships is not in finding the ‘perfect’ person. It’s learning to love the person you’ve found, and learning to love yourself.

This takes commitment and compromise. But in the end, it is extremely fulfilling. There are many ways that couples can ‘bring back the spark’ in their relationships, and just because you’ve fallen into a rut, it doesn’t mean that you will never get out.

Being with the same person for life doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel that ‘in love’ feeling again either. By rediscovering your spouse, figuring out your own passions, going on adventures together, and “dating” each other again you will have a recipe for success.

Don’t give up on your relationship too soon. Make sure that you put in a lot of time and energy into making it work before you decide on the final outcome.