Actor Ben Affleck (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Is Infidelity Catchy?

Was an extramarital affair at the root of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s pending divorce? Did Tiger Woods step out on former longtime girlfriend Lindsay Vonn? Is Kardashian beau Scott Disick a serial cheater? If you couldn’t care less, you might be the only one. Americans are endlessly clamoring to know the ins and outs—especially the outs—of their favorite famous-people romances. Nothing makes us feel better about celebrity success, apparently, than celebrity tragedy.

But what about when such scandals hit closer to home? Unlike the high profile, high drama stories we read about, when actual people we know cheat, few of us want to savor in the gory details. Our friends, after all, aren’t so removed from our own realities. And when they betray the ones they love, it’s easy to wonder if they’d do the same to us—and to question our own circumstances, too. We start to wonder: Is my partner happy in the relationship? Am I? Could we be next?

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