Of all of the problems that can afflict a marriage, infidelity is one of the most common and regularly destructive. Discovering that a spouse is cheating can feel like the world crashing down, as years of commitment and devotion come to seem to be repudiated and scorned in an instant. Many people, then, view such events as necessarily signaling the end of a marriage for good, wanting nothing more to do with the unfaithful person at all.

Others adopt a different outlook. While discovering a partner's infidelity is almost always painful, some people get over the initial sting quickly enough to realize that the harm done does not warrant ending a marriage altogether. In many cases, a marriage has enough to offer outside of the promise of romantic devotion that even a cheated-upon partner can feel like it is worth preserving for other reasons.

Some of those who realize they have cheating wives or husbands, then, simply take that discovery as permission to go out and enjoy such activities themselves. This sort of reaction, in fact, is probably more common now than at any time in history, partly because there are so many opportunities for the affected persons to covertly start their own extramarital relationships.

The wide availability of free chat lines devoted to singles and others looking for new romantic partners, for example, makes it easy for people in this situation to quickly and conveniently see what kinds of opportunities are out there. A simple call to a particular telephone number or anonymous visit to a website can connect a person to a great many willing partners in his or her area, and from that point on the possibilities begin to multiply.

Given the ease of getting involved with such opportunities, as well as the simplicity of concealing it from cheating spouses, then, an increasing number of those who are cuckolded or cheated upon are simply responding in kind. In some cases, reactions of this sort are likewise discovered before long, often leading to a new stage of marriage development where both partners carry on affairs with the knowledge of the other. Some marriages, in fact, can prove to be able to withstand such arrangements for decades.