Infidelity / Cheaters

Holiday Affairs

The holiday season brings heaps of things we really do not want or need.  Stress, exhaustion, arguments, and of course the “impossible to please” people.  There is also something astonishing and unexpected that comes with this holiday season of peace on earth and good will to all -- the ‘holiday affair.’

Holidays seem to be the time of year when being unfaithful occurs more often.  If the year has been good for you, you are likely to feel good about the holidays as well. However, if the year has been difficult and unsatisfying (especially in terms of career or finances) the holiday season seems to just make matters worse.  Everywhere you look you see happy people, glitzy commercials, and smiling faces, but you feel left out and miserably unhappy.  Couples may see all the fun they’re supposed to have during this time of year not happening in their own lives. The holidays often remind people of what is missing in their lives and in their relationships. The unhappy spouse may want to get in on the holiday cheer and are open to any possibilities. Being with an attractive co-worker or friend starts to feel the right thing to do.  The end result: a flirtatious moment at a holiday party can turn into a mini-affair.

A study on holiday depression from Bowdoin University reports that 56% of men and 42% of women will cheat on their partners during the holiday season. The study also goes on to report that once the holiday season ends, so does the affair with most partners never even knowing their spouse has strayed.

Similar to most ongoing infidelities, the holiday affair is not simply about sex. In the infidelity, you often get what you have been missing in your own relationship: you feel appreciated, you feel needed, and even feel loved.  The attraction is not purely physical or emotional; it is more an issue of self-esteem and self-worth.  The added mood of the holiday season brings a temporary feeling that you are now part of the festivities and part of life – that you’re someone.

Unlike happy holiday movies and television shows, real-life and relationships can suffer during this time of spending and shopping frenzies. The notion that you are supposed to have fun and be surrounded by loving, joyful family, friends, and expensive gifts is a media dictated myth.  Often feelings of loneliness and sadness over what you do not have leads some to make the decision to cheat.  And unfortunately, it seems that the holiday affair is becoming an unwelcome tradition.