Why some spouses cheat

Posted at 05/23/2014 3:35 PM | Updated as of 05/24/2014 2:27 AM

MANILA – A marriage counselor shed light on some of the reasons why a number of men and women cheat on their spouses.

This after several people continue to relate to the story of the ABS-CBN primetime series “The Legal Wife,” which tackles infidelity.

According to marriage counselor Pilar Tolentino, some people tend to cheat on their spouses for two reasons – personal issues and problems within the relationship.

She said that for one, some spouses barely have any time for each other as they spend too much time at work or taking care of their children.

While there is nothing wrong with focusing on career or family, Tolentino stressed that couples should still make it a point to spend "quality time" with each other.

“Dalawang aspeto ang dapat nating tignan. Una, tignan natin ‘yung dynamics nila bilang mag-asawa. Minsan kasi may factor na pumapasok… maaaring tignan ‘yung way of communication nila.

“May oras pa ba sila sa isa’t isa? Marami sa mga asawa minsan napapabayaan na ang isa’t isa. Especially ‘pag may anak na, ang focus lagi nasa anak,” she added.

“Napakaimportante ng relasyon ninyong dalawa na manatiling matibay despite all your responsibilities. Dapat binibigyan ng oras at atensyon ang relasyon ng mag-asawa.”

The other reason has a lot to do with the “weakness” of the cheating spouse, said Tolentino, who noted that some men or women may have issues about self-esteem or self-control.

A troubled past may also haunt a person, causing him or her to decide to cheat.

“Pangalawang aspeto ‘yung indibidwal mismo. Minsan ‘pag kinakausap ‘yung mga ganyang tao, ang kaso usually may kahinaan. Sa lahat ng pagkakataon, dapat i-address din ‘yun. Ano ‘yung need mo at that moment kaya ka nahulog?” Tolentino explained.

Tolentino stressed that it is not always the other spouse’s responsibility to fill the needs of his or her cheating partner.

“Minsan ikaw lang talaga mismo eh,” she explained. “Minsan may mga cases tayo na may insecurities, na doon lumalabas o nagma-manifest, by looking into another relationship.”

“Importanteng i-address ‘yun… kung hindi, malamang mahuhulog ka ulit,” she added. “Ikaw as an individual, meron ka ring dapat i-manage sa sarili mo so that if the temptation comes again a second time, you can already avoid it.”

What to do

While a lot of people can relate to the reality of infidelity, Tolentino stressed that the situation is different for every married couple.

Instead of prescribing a single way as to how spouses can handle the issue, the marriage counselor threw a question to those involved: “Ano ba ang gusto nilang ma-achieve sa kanilang relationship?”

“Gusto ba nilang mabuo ulit ang kanilang relationship? Gusto ba niyang makausap ang kanyang asawa para iklaro kung ano ang nangyari? Gusto ba niyang malaman kung ano ang pwedeng gawin para sa kanilang relasyon? Ano muna ‘yung goal bago natin pag-usapan ang kanyang options at kung ano ang pwede nilang gawin,” she said.

If the couple still wants to save the marriage, it is better for the cheating spouse to give his or her partner some time to “take things in.”

“Yung sa nangaliwa, intindihin muna niya na hindi agad-agad matatanggap. Masakit ‘yun para sa asawa at natural lang na magalit siya. Ang galit ay napakanatural lang na reaksyon sa ganoong sitwasyon. Dapat tanggapin ‘yun at bigyan niya ng panahon ang asawa na maproseso ‘yun.

“Minsan kasi nakakarinig tayo na, ‘tanggapin na natin, nandiyan na ‘yan.’ That is going to be unfair to [the one who was cheated on]. Masakit ang pinagdadaanan niya at kailangang irespeto siya.

“Of course, ultimately, we hope darating ‘yung pagkakataon na magiging payapa ang lahat. Pero to force the spouse to immediately accept everything is not fair.”

Tolentino said the cheating spouse should also exert effort to assure his or her partner that he or she will never do it again.

“Ang forgiveness ay hindi immediate. Importante na tinutulungan niya ang kanyang asawa, i-assure niya na hindi na ito mangyayari. Alagaan ang relasyon,” she said.