Below is an excerpt from John and Paula Sandford, and Lee Bowman’s Keys of Knowledge Series of books entitled “Choosing Forgiveness”. The excerpt adresses why people are unfaithful in marriage (or dating relationship), and the solution to the issue.
Most Marital problems are rooted in unforgiveness of parents. We transfer onto our marriage partner the job of fulfilling needs that were unfulfilled by our parents. We misdirect our angers and accusations that truly belong against our parents toward our spouses.
For example, you may believe in your mind that you have forgiven your parents for their slowness or negligence in complimenting, affirming, or recognizing you as a child. But in your relationship with your spouse, you strongly demand constant presence and punctuality, undivided attention when you are talking, unfailing remembrance of anniversaries and birthdays, and that affections be expressed in just the right way.
This kind of behavior normally indicates lingering unforgiveness of parents who paid less attention to you than you needed. Disappointment and over-reacting when your spouse doesn’t perform according to your expectations usually indicates long-standing insecurity about being loved by parents and siblings.
Inability or unwillingness to forgive also breeds unfaithfulness. Constantly focusing on hurts, frustrations, or disappointments about what we want from our spouse creates temptation to look for needs to be fulfilled by other persons outside the marriage.
This is especially insidious and deceptive in that we may be unaware of unfulfilled needs until someone else unexpectedly begins to fill them. We’re caught off guard and into the beginning of an affair before we’re aware.
When forgiveness is complete, we will find ourselves more at peace about what we did or did not receive in our childhood, and we will be delighted to discover ourselves to be more tolerant, understanding, and accepting of what our spouse and others are able to give to us. (Choosing Forgiveness, pp. 74-75, Forgiveness overcoming blame)