Infidelity and The Fear of Commitment

There are many possible causes of infidelity, and one of them is fear of commitment. In scientific terms, such a fear can be called a type of phobia. One could call it the commitment phobia, which describes someone who is afraid of being "locked into" any type of task, project, responsibility or intimate relationship. Perhaps you know someone who has such a fear. This type of problem is very common. Men, despite their efforts to put on a brave face, may be particularly susceptible to this type of phobia.

Fear of commitment can cause one to have difficulty in deciding on the simplest of things. Such men can find it difficult to choose what to eat while dining out. They may have difficulty in deciding on what movie to see or even what to wear. Worst, they may never have been in a serious, committed or faithful relationship, even though they are in their thirties, which, for men, is the ideal marrying age.

Let's take the case of a man who will call Philip. He is a bachelor and makes a good income. Women come into and out of his life, but none of these relationships seem to last, even those you might think would last.

Although he shows all the classic signs of a fear of commitment, he won't admit it (which is, in fact, another sign of a fear of commitment). A conversation with him might go something like this:

Chandler: Have you ever been in a serious relationship?

Philip: No.

Chandler: Why not?

Philip: I'm not ready for it.

Chandler: What do you need to be ready?

Philip: I'm afraid to commit to any one woman. I like to keep my options open. Even though I have been in an extended relationships, I have not shown fidelity to my partner. I have the fear that I am unable to accept the responsibilities of a long-term, committed relationship or marriage.

Chandler: Then are you not one of those who is afraid of commitment?

Philip: Well, I wouldn't say that.

The fear of commitment can make it difficult to make necessary decisions about your future. Such a fear is unhealthy and can limit you and hold you back, because it is only by trusting what life has to offer that you are best able to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Several factors can cause a fear of commitment. It can start it childhood from, say, a traumatic experience such as the separation of one's parents, death or divorce. It can also stem from poor role models or from the witnessing of dysfunctional relationships. These can obviously end up victimizing the child.

Seeing the worst that can happen can sometimes trigger a fear of commitment. Why make a decision if it can turn out so badly? The key to overcoming a fear of commitment or fidelity is not so much to identify the causes but to simply recognize the problem. Usually it stems from what Dr. Albert Ellis called" "awfulizing or "catastrophizing" a failed relationship. By building up the significance of such a failure in your head, you make it all the more terrifying.

Unfortunately, such a fear can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

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