Chat with Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of Make Up, Don't Break Up

Pammypanda: Is adultery a form of abuse?
DrBonnieWeil: Pam, yes. It is emotional abuse. Anytime you hurt another person -- that is a form of abuse. The trouble with any kind of addiction, which adultery usually is, is that it is not necessarily a malicious type of abuse, but it's an addiction most of the time. It takes over all reasoning, consideration and such, and becomes 'number one' instead of the partner.
Pammypanda: I have taken a stand against abuse.
DrBonnieWeil: Pam, that is why we say you have to set your own limits and be prepared to give an ultimatum to an adulterer. That is why you must have a commitment from that person to stop. Because there can be no change in a relationship if the person is still cheating. I often make people write contracts for fidelity. If you want to know the details, they're in the book Adultery, the Forgivable Sin. I put an example of a fidelity contract in there.
Pammypanda: I feel any abuse should not be tolerated -- we as women have put up with enough.
DrBonnieWeil: Pam, that is exactly why you must take a stand and not allow it. Remember that it's a wakeup call and a cry for help. Not usually meant as abuse, although it comes out as abuse. It's not okay, and it's not necessarily only men, in fact 50 percent of women commit adultery. But a relationship takes two.

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