Nellie, you have nailed it.

And know what? As a result of thinking pretty much along the same lines (also as a result of "research" I've done on infidelity, both by following people's stories on MBF and by reading books on the subject), I've concluded that infidelity is a problem of epidemic proporations. Many statistic seem to indicate that after several years, one or both partners cheat in over 90% of all marriages.

I also feel that infidelity is probably the root cause of the great majority of troubled marriages and that most couples counselors fail because they haven't even begun to realize this, and so fart around with a lot of side issues. (I'm speaking from bitter experience here.)

Not very hopeful, huh? I don't know what to do about this either, except, in the future, avoid long-term commitments. I'm more and more coming to think that if you want an intimate relationship, do try and make it eternal. Accept it for what it is.

My W and I had a great, wonderful, exciting courtship for about 6 months after we met. We went out together on weekends, sometimes took trips together and had a great time. Things started going downhill when we got engaged and really began to nosedive when we started living together and got married. (I know some marriages at least go for a few years, maybe even a decade or so, before they hit the wall, but mine didn't, maybe because it's the 2nd for both of us, I don't know.)

But I think that if we'd just been content to have a great short-term romance, and then stayed friends and maybe occasional lovers living apart, we would both have been much, MUCH happier in the long run. (It was my fault. I wanted to be with her all the time. Now I don't think that's good for people.)

The institution of marriage has got to change and I predict that it will, drastically, over the next couple of decades. I certainly go around recommending against it to all my younger colleagues, not that they listen.

Regards and blessings,

--Wex