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Infidelity and Motherhood

  • By: Marcella Bush
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Infidelity is a breaking of the bond of trust between two partners in a relationship through emotional and/or sexual betrayal with another person. Infidelity can occur over varying time periods, from a one-night stand to a long-term affair, and can occur with both married and unmarried couples. Infidelity within marriage is also known as adultery. Studies have shown that marital infidelity is relatively common and that more men than women commit infidelity. By the late 20th century, however, women were committing infidelity in ever-greater numbers due to social, cultural, and legal changes. The stresses of infidelity and its aftermath affect a mother's emotional and physical health as well as that of her children, often straining the mother-child relationship.

The Rise in Female Infidelity

The increasing likelihood ...

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