The professional literature in the last couple of decades has provided increasingly helpful information and assistance to therapists by presenting statistics and data, mapping the complexities of marital infidelity and articulating helpful models to assist couples through the crisis.Many authors in this area ground their work in Systems Theory, Family Systems, sex research, personality theory and Social Psychology.
Similarly, there is some confusion between infidelity, an affair and extramarital sexuality.
Many couples in many cultures seem to accept infidelity as part of the culture and unavoidable aspect of marriage.
These couples do not face a crisis when the infidelity is exposed.
Some couples have reached a consensus regarding extramarital sexual relationships, as is the case when one partner has decided to pursue gay relationships with the consent of the partner.
Consent to extramarital sexual relationships can be passive or active; it can implicit or explicit.
Barash & Lipton poignantly wrote in their book Clinton's assertion that he did not have sex with Monica raised the question of not only what sex is but also how marital affairs are defined and whether sex or intercourse are the defining factors in infidelity.