Emotional disconnect in married couples key cause of infidelity: Study

18 August,2023 04:38 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

The chances of infidelity exist when there is an emotional detachment between spouses. Partners frequently drift emotionally apart as a result of the hectic modern lifestyle, changing societal conventions and growing expectations of people

By placing emotional connection at the core of relationships, individuals can make an effort to bridge gaps, develop trust, and eventually overcome the allure of infidelity.Photo Courtesy: iStock


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For many decades, people have been fascinated and alarmed by infidelity. Although several elements contribute to this complex phenomenon, one important but frequently ignored factor emerges: emotional separation.

To examine the online dating behaviours of Indians going through a midlife crisis, Gleeden, the top discreet dating app in India, commissioned a thorough study from IPSOS, a renowned worldwide market research expert, in February 2023. For the study, 1,500 people were polled from Tier 1 and Tier 2 Indian cities, including Bangalore, Kochi, Hyderabad Delhi, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Patna, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Guwahati and Jaipur. According to the survey, the majority of them stated that they were emotionally unhappy in their marriages and emotional disconnect was one of the factors contributing to infidelity.

Understanding emotional disconnect
The chances of infidelity exist when there is an emotional detachment between spouses. Partners frequently drift emotionally apart as a result of the hectic modern lifestyle, changing societal conventions and growing expectations of people.

When it comes to communication, quality time spent together or rising emotional gaps, this divergence may at first seem modest. 26 per cent of the population claims that they are partially happy in their relationship, 6 per cent from Ahmedabad, 4 per cent from Indore, 8 per cent from Guwahati and 6 per cent from Patna claim that they are facing emotional disconnect from their partners.

Motivation behind infidelity
Even though it is generally frowned upon, infidelity can be a seductive means of escape for those who are experiencing emotional emptiness. This is especially true in a society that is still developing free discourse on emotional discontent in partnerships.

Tier 2 cities are feeling an emotional disconnect as compared to Tier 1 cities (1 per cent from Kolkata, 1 per cent from Delhi, 0 per cent from Mumbai, 2 per cent from Bangalore, 6 per cent from Ahmedabad, 4 per cent from Indore, 8 per cent from Guwahati and 6 per cent from Patna). The attraction of finding emotional comfort and belonging outside the primary connection can be potent in such a situation.

"The preservation of social and familial ties holds great significance in the deeply traditional Indian civilisation. However, under these structures, personal goals and emotional needs can occasionally take a back seat. This creates circumstances where people, particularly women, may look for emotional fulfilment in relationships other than their primary ones. Women are frequently expected to take care of others, which leaves them with few opportunities for emotional expression and personal development," says Sybil Shiddell, Country Manager, Gleeden, India.

Emotional infidelity in the digital age
According to the survey, more females are left emotionally unsatisfied as compared to males (36 per cent of females and 32 per cent of males). The emergence of the digital age has altered the nature of relationships, allowing for the development of emotional ties beyond geographic boundaries. Online communities, messaging services and social media sites provide avenues for people to create emotional connections with others outside of romantic partnerships, which can lead to infidelity. The strength of the emotional bonds formed through these platforms can be on par with those formed physically, illustrating how technology can amplify emotional isolation.

The way out
A crucial first step is to have an open conversation about emotional needs, expectations and objectives. To keep emotional closeness as a cornerstone of their relationship, both partners must consciously work to comprehend each other's emotional landscapes.

According to the survey, 33 per cent of respondents believe that one of the main factors contributing to infidelity is emotional separation. It is crucial to comprehend the complex facets of infidelity as relationships change and society evolves. Emotional remoteness, which is frequently downplayed by more evident reasons, can have a big negative impact on relationships. Recognising and addressing these emotional gaps could result in stronger collaborations in the Indian context.

By placing emotional connection at the core of relationships, individuals can make an effort to bridge these gaps, develop trust, and eventually overcome the allure of infidelity.

Also Read: Betrayed in love: Emotional cheating leading to heartbreaks in couples

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