Divorce, spouse battery and the likes are common occurrences among married couples today and the cause have been been traced majorly to infidelity.
So, how can married couples as well as intending couples avoid infidelity? A clinical psychologist, Adedotun Ajiboye, believes that an understanding each other’s character, is the surest way.
Ajiboye, who works with the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, defined infidelity simply as marital unfaithfulness, adding that it was an attempt to compensate for unmet emotional, psychological, material and physical needs.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, he advised that “before a couple gets married, they must understand that marriage is a journey and each party must understand the character of the other party.
“A man must understand that women are more emotional while a woman must understand that men are more physical.”
Ajiboye advised women to ensure they take proper care of their physical look by dressing, smelling and appearing well, keeping in mind that men are moved by what they see.
The psychologist advised husbands to strive to meet the emotional needs of their wives, bearing in mind that women were more emotional than physical.
His words: “Marriage is not for boys but for men and maturity is not a matter of age but the ability to have emotional intelligence by understanding the makeup of your partner.
“Husbands and wives should understand the mood of their partners.
“For instance, if a wife knows her husband likes watching news at a particular time, she should try not to approach him, especially to complain about something, until he is through.
“If the husband does not answer the wife at that time, that does not mean he is not meeting her emotional needs.”
He added that spiritual leaders should also ensure proper counselling for intending couples, adding that it would help them to handle issues that arise in marriage.
Ajiboye added that the media also had a role to play by creating platforms to discuss issues such as marital infidelity.
The psychologist identified the factors driving infidelity to include personality, relationship complex and social risk factor.
He said: “Under the personality factor, people have different personality traits.
“Someone who is selfish or exhibits high psychosomatic traits such as undue suspicion, anxiety or low self-esteem could easily become unfaithful to his/her spouse.”
On relationship complex, he said sexual dissatisfaction from either party, recurrent sources of complaints or nagging can lead to infidelity.
He said: “Also, lack of emotional intimacy, lack of partnership, feeling of being ignored and craving for closeness could also lead to infidelity.”
Ajiboye identified the social risk factors to include childhood sexual abuse, history of promiscuity before marriage, family history of promiscuity and infidelity, and promiscuous friends.
Others are alcohol and drug abuse, sex and love addiction, closeness to the opposite sex and retaliatory infidelity.
He said: “Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol always makes the user do the wrong thing and this is one of the greatest factors of infidelity.
“Retaliatory infidelity is when the one spouse decides to start cheating because the other spouse is unfaithful.”