Learning your spouse cheated is emotionally very tough to deal with. In some cases, couples are able to move on past the transgression, but for many other Maryland couples, infidelity is just inexcusable. In these cases, instead of seeking out forgiveness, one or both spouses seek to legally end the marriage through divorce.

Part of what makes dealing with infidelity so challenging is the common misconceptions that other people may have. Infidelity, and what causes it, was the recent topic of a TED Talk by Esther Perel, a renowned therapist who focuses on relationships.

According to Perel, while many people often think that someone cheated because of issues in the relationship or issues with their significant other, the truth is that many people cheat for issues related to themselves. There may be nothing wrong with the actual relationship. Rather, the cheater is not turning their back on the relationship, but is turning their back on the person he or she has become himself or herself.

As a psychotherapist, Perel said many of her clients admit to cheating after the death of a loved one, or learning of negative health results. Often, she said, it’s these types of life events that lead someone to question: Is this really it? Or is there more to life? Can I continue like this for the next 20 or 30 years?

For the spouse who was recently cheated on, the message here is that regardless of whether or not you pursue a divorce — as this is something that is entirely up to you — know that just because you were cheated on, it does not mean that anything is wrong with you. While there is a stigma associated with cheating, the truth is that infidelity is complicated and complex and one should not be shamed into taking all of the blame.