We all have someone in our friendship circle who has been unfaithful? But the question is - do we judge them?
In today's world, you'd have to be pretty ignorant to throw a barrage of abuse and make a snap ill-informed judgment if you were to discover a friend, sibling, or colleague's infidelity. How can you possibly know the contributing factors that made this person decide to start an affair? You can't.
Over the years, the dynamics within a relationship can dramatically change. Children come along, and couples can become best friends rather than lovers, making their sex life non-existent. But it is not always about sex. Modern turbulences such as the recession, a rise in depression, and for many - the financial strain of a divorce, simply make it the most intelligent and least impactful choice to start an affair, out of sight from all who it may affect. There is also nothing easy about starting an affair: for some it is the hardest decision they will ever make. But rather than break up a marriage and in many cases, a family, they chose to replenish a part of themselves, privately and quietly away from their marriage.
Thankfully social perceptions of adultery have altered massively in recent years, with a lean towards more understanding on the matter rather than an instant dishing out of cold blame. Seeing things in black and white is fading out, as is the labelling of right and wrong behaviour it comes to relationships. Straying in a committed relationship may have left the adulterer judged by Victorian standards and whiter than white protesters, but as we not longer live in those times, it has no rightful place in modern society.
Music and film heroes, sporting legends, Royalty and President's have long committed adultery, it is nothing new - but what is refreshing is how the A-Lister's of Hollywood now publicly and comfortably talk openly about marriage without sugar coating the challenges. Happily married Actress and Author, Gwyneth Paltrow, recently spoke publicly on her understanding of extra marital affairs. Miss Paltrow said: "I am a great romantic - but I also think you can be a romantic and a realist. Life is complicated and long and I know people that I respect and admire and look up to who have had extra-marital affairs. It's like we're flawed - we're human beings and sometimes you make choices that other people are going to judge.That's their problem, but I think that the more I live my life, the more I learn not to judge people for what they do.I think we're all trying our best but life is complicated."
With wholesome celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow publicly stating her understanding as to why people have extra marital affairs shows just how far society has moved on from out-dated views on infidelity. Hopefully this will continue to grow and stop those who are involved in an affair worrying that they will be cruelly judged by their peers and friends; as we grow in understanding we grow into a more rounded society, as Gwyneth expresses. In an open and intelligent way and with our idols following suit, a more permanent understanding with no need to agree or disagree, is breaking through when views are shared on infidelity, and about time too.