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What does unfaithful, a perfect murder and the dilemma have in common?

February 4, 2016 4:36 am | Published by | Leave your thoughts

‘Unfaithful’, ‘A Perfect Murder’ and ‘The Dilemma’ are titles of top movies in recent history covering the delicate subject of infidelity. Just to jog your memory here are the scenarios in the synopsis of each movie:

  • A New York suburban couple’s marriage goes dangerously awry when the wife indulges in an adulterous fling – Unfaithful (stars Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan).
  • A husband carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B – A Perfect Murder (stars Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen, David Suchet).
  • A man discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair – The Dilemma (stars Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly)

Interestingly the top 3 films depict the woman as having the affair – is this total coincidence or are we less likely to be intrigued by a story about a man having an affair? Would that scenario make a block buster movie?

Well Hollywood usually gets it right – women having affairs makes for a better story…However, most estimates indicate that around 60% of men and 45% of women are willing to report that an affair has occurred sometime in their marriage.

It’s not just Hollywood cashing in on the topic either. For example Ashley Madison, the website which facilitates infidelity, now gets 1 million visitors a month from Australia. More than 910,000 of those Australians are members of a service whose motto is “Life is short. Have an affair”. They also report that the percentage of women members (40%) in Australia is greater than anywhere else (30%).

The category of adultery in films (and media coverage) is popular because affairs touch so many people’s lives. Some studies suggest affairs will affect 70 per cent of Australian marriages.

While some adultery based movies can be comedic or cute, they are best served gloomy, tortured, and dramatic. It’s a strange observation of society through the movies as quite often we actually sympathize with our dishonest lovers – dare I say it ‘cheer it on in fiction’. In real life, we’re crushed when we’re cheated on (and we feel vexed for friends and family who are betrayed).

Infidelity is a huge problem in our society today. An affair is simply where there are intimate secrets kept from one partner by the other, normally involving another person.

Finding out that your partner is having an affair can be devastating. The pain and hurt is gut wrenching and a wide spectrum of thoughts and emotions will flood your mind and body. What do I do? Do we break up or do we work through this? This is a very complex time and heightened emotions cause people to react in ways that they would never have done before

In today’s modern age of technology, a computer or phone generated affair is becoming more common. This unquestionably causes confusion and uncertainty within the relationship. This is still an emotional affair and inevitably can cause as much pain and distrust as physical infidelity.


“The best proof of love is trust.”

Dr. Joyce Brothers

I offer specialist counselling to help people work through this to explore and understand what has initiated and contributed to this type of affair.

Call me on 0415 392 009 to find out more.

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