Unconditional love: no room for cheating or insecurities

John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were doing it in the 60s. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky did it in the 90s. Steve Phillips and Brooke Hundley did it this year.

They all have “it” in common: All of the couples were having an affair.

While looking for statistics on how many marriages end in divorce due to infidelity, I start to type “divorce due to …” and an auto-complete window pops up with a list of what I might be searching for, with “adultery” as the first available completion.

Bill Mitchell is an author who specializes in solution-based investigative strategies to marriages facing infidelity. In 2008 he compiled a list of statistics on his blog that he had been collecting since 1971. According to Mitchell’s statistics, 60-70 percent of adultery victims are women, while 30-40 percent of the victims are men.

I am a part of a very committed relationship with a wonderful man, and we will be celebrating our fourth anniversary at the end of January. We trust each other completely, and we don’t worry about each other cheating.

But, we have the understanding that if ever there was a desire to be with someone else, we both would much rather know about it up front, rather than find out later after the cheating had taken place.

It’s very easy not to cheat. I haven’t cheated on anyone in my whole 22 years in existence.

One thing that has helped me is this thought: How would I feel if my boyfriend was doing the same thing? I believe strongly that if more people in relationships brought this simple piece of strategy into their lives, a lot less cheating would take place. All I have to do is put myself in my boyfriend’s place, and think about how upset I would be if he did certain things behind my back.

How would I feel if I found out my boyfriend had just kissed another girl? How would I feel if he had slept in someone else’s bed, even without any sort of physical connection?

What a person considers cheating is really up to them. But the “it doesn’t matter as long as you come home to me” concept is total crap, and really just a result of complete insecurity. Find someone who loves you unconditionally, to the point that they know how much it would hurt you if they cheated on you.

No one deserves to be cheated on. Whether the significant other decides to forgive the cheater is up to that person, but consider the loss of trust in that relationship. I don’t think it would be worth it to cheat, for even if my boyfriend forgave me afterward I probably wouldn’t be able to handle him never trusting me again.

What may be worse than cheating is thinking marriage will solve the problem. He’s not going to stop cheating just because you slide a ring on his finger and force him to say “I do.”

This is in no way meant to be a man-bash of any sort. Women are as capable of cheating as men are.

Then there is the person who finds themself involved in an affair with someone that is married when they themselves are not. Those people are usually viewed as “home wreckers,” even though it’s not entirely their fault. It’s just another example of people not being able to take responsibility for wrong doing.

When a person cheats, they’re dealing with multiple issues of insecurity. For a person to be in a committed relationship, they need to be able to love themselves entirely before they give love to another.

• 10-20 percent of cheating begins in online chat rooms or game websites.

• 10-25 percent of affairs cause financial ruin in the marital home.

• 10 percent of infidelities involve physical abuse with the spouse within the time the affair takes place.

• 50-75 percent of affairs take place with someone from the workplace.

•10-20 percent of the victims of cheating claim to be Christians, and that their spouse also takes part in church or religious activities regularly.

Source: Bill Mitchell,  author of The More You Know