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Unfaithful: Marriage and Infidelity

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    This critical analysis paper focuses on the film, “Unfaithful”, starring Richard Greer as “Edward Sumner” and Diane Lane as “Connie Sumner”. I will briefly summarize the movie, as well as give a literature review on sexual infidelity, analyze characteristics of dysfunctional sexual relationships as well as who infidelity affects. I will also explain the consequences of engaging in such relationships. Movie Summary The movie “Unfaithful” starts with Connie (Diane Lane) going into the city of New York, when she finds herself caught in a windstorm.

    While in the city, Connie bumps into a man name Paul Marten (Oliver Martinez), who buys and sells used books. They both fall leaving Connie with a scraped knee. When Paul invites Connie to his apartment to clean up her knee, instead of declining his offer, and heading home to her husband and son, Connie accepts Pall’s offer and goes into his apartment. While in the apartment, Paul begins to make small gestures and comments toward Connie, which made her, feel uncomfortable. Connie decides to leave. Before Connie left, Paul gives her a book of poetry as a gift.

    Later in the day when Connie get home, she tells her husband Edward Sumner (Richard Greer) about the incident but does not go in details. The next morning Connie decides to call Paul from the train station. He invites her to his place again. Instead of declining Pall’s offer, once again Connie accepts. While in the apartment, Paul makes small gestures again, which makes Connie leave again. Whether Connie realized or not, this is how her obsession with Paul began. It is like she could not stay away from him. As time went by, Connie slowly loses interest in her husband, while she gained interest in Paul.

    She would constantly go back to Pall’s apartment. This time, Connie felt more comfortable being around Paul. While in the apartment, Paul asked Connie to dance. While dancing, Paul and Connie both Start flirting with each other. Meanwhile, Connie realizes she was making a mistake being With Paul. By Paul being a man, and doing what men do, he replies, ‘There is no such thing as a mistake. There is what you do and what you don’t do”. Though Paul was giving Connie excuses on not leaving, she still knew she could not stay. At that very moment, Connie followed her instincts.

    But not for long because, when Connie came back to get her coat, Paul immediately grabs her and kisses her. Shortly afterwards, Connie and Paul began their passionate sexual affair. When the affair begun, Connie would lie to her husband constantly about her whereabouts, just so she can be with Paul. It didn’t really bother Connie if anyone saw her in public with Paul. She was becoming so obsessed with this guy, that she didn’t care how it would affect her family. She let her selfish ways get the best of her. Sconce’s husband Edward soon became suspicious when Sconce’s visits to Manhattan increased.

    Again, Connie would use her work on a charity event as n excuse, but Edward would find holes in her stories when he spoke with mutual friends. He then hired a detective to follow Connie. After following Edwards wife, the detective returns with pictures of Connie and Paul that devastate Edward. Sconce’s emotional behavior really gets out Of hand when she sees Paul with another woman. But her furious behavior quickly turns into passion. Meanwhile, after Edward finds out about the affair, he ends up murdering Paul in his apartment, by fracturing Pall’s skull with a snow globe that Connie had given him.

    Though Edward knew of the affair, he still never mentioned it to Connie. When Connie finds out about the murder of Paul, Edward decides to turn himself in, but Connie declines. In the meantime, the last scene of the movie didn’t really say as to what Connie and Edward did about the murder of Paul Marten. Literature Review By examining infidelity, it is defined as not being loyal to your spouse. Vanderbilt (2004) and Duck (2004) define adultery as going beyond your marriage. According to Buss (1992), Larsen (1992), Western (1 992), and Sommeliers (1 992), sexual and emotional are two types of infidelity.

    Sexual infidelity is having sexual intercourse with someone besides your partner or posse, whereas emotional infidelity is falling in love with someone besides your partner or spouse (Shackled & Buss, 1996). In today’s society, people, especially married couples, engage in infidelity all the time. Sometimes they participate in these acts, not realizing they are engaging in infidelity Brown (2001). Pitman (1989) indicated that different types of infidelity include: one- night stands, long-term relationships, and emotional connections. These types of infidelity can really mess up a person’s life physically and mentally.

    According to Rococo (1 988), Caving (1 988), and Kennedy (1988), other hypes of infidelity may include: dating or spending time with someone other than your partner or spouse, kissing flirting, and petting someone other than your partner or spouse. Some major unfaithful behaviors include: passionately kissing sexual fantasies, and falling in love with someone other than your partner or spouse (Yard 1 988), (Shenanigans 1988), and (Auger 1988). According to Scarf (2004), using people’s dreams is a good way to treat infidelity, or couples with dysfunctional relationships.

    Sometimes, people just need a little push to help them with their problems. Anybody who engages in sinful acts must suffer the consequences. Some may include: divorce, low self-esteem, or torn families. Infidelity is infidelity. It does not matter if you are having sex or not having sex with your mistress. As long as you are married, these acts should not be happening with someone else other than your partner or spouse. Critical Analysis During the movie “Unfaithful”, it showed that the Summers were suffering from a dysfunctional sexual relationship.

    Some characteristics that could trigger this may include: age, genetics (Hannah 2008), loss of erection, and jack of concentration (Masters &Johnson, 2008). These characteristics could have been the reason why Edward and Iconic?s marriage was falling apart. Sconce’s husband was not pleasing her sexually, so took the opportunity to go out, and have an affair with Paul. Because Paul was young, attractive, and energize, he was able to please Connie sexually, as well as mentally and physically. Although Edward was not pleasing Connie the way she wanted him to, this does not give her permission to cheat on her husband.

    Not only can infidelity ruin marriages, a sexual dysfunctional relationship can too (Masters Johnson, 2008). Sex is a big part of a relationship, especially a marriage. Not only do people want to be satisfied mentally and physically, but sexually as well. People especially women, who are not happy or satisfied sexually, usually interact in extramarital relationships (Wiggins & Elderly, 1993). Edward was not pleasing Connie sexually, so she felt like the only way for her to be satisfied sexually, was to have an affair.

    Sconce’s attitude was very permissive towards infidelity (Treat & Ginseng 2000) because, she wanted to be satisfied sexually. Connie let her selfish ways get the best of her. She was not thinking about how having an affair would affect her marriage or child. All she wanted was to be satisfied sexually, and Paul was the man to give it to her. Not only can infidelity ruin a marriage (Pitman & Wagers, 1995), but it can also cause a person to lose his or her mind. When Edward found out about Connie and Paul, his anger and frustration caused him to murder Paul.

    Not communicating enough can also break up a marriage. That is exactly what Edward and Connie were lacking in their marriage. They did not communicate enough. When Edward found out about the affair, instead of keeping it to myself, he should have confronted Connie. Children are also affected by infidelity (Washman, Dixon, & Johnson, 1997). Though the movie did not really show how Sconce’s affair affected her son Charlie, it can still have a big impact on children. Some example may include: becoming stressed or depressed, getting bad grades, and lashing out.

    People who engage in infidelity are bound to reap the consequences. Some of the consequences may include: lack of trust, low self-esteem, torn families, and losing custody of children. A lot of people in the world do not realize how serious infidelity is, or the consequences that come with it. Connie knew what she was getting herself into when she started messing with Paul, but she did not care. All she cared about was being satisfied sexually. According to Anonymous (2009), people realize their wrongdoings and they realize what they are getting themselves into.

    They just choose not to care. Connie realized her wrongdoing but she did not care. Because of her selfish ways, she indirectly caused the murder of Paul Marten. Summary and Conclusion The movie “Unfaithful” mainly deals with a middle age couple, whose marriage slowly goes wrong because of the infidelity caused by the wife. Connie felt like her husband was not pleasing her sexually. In order for Connie to be sexually satisfied, she participated in sexual infidelity with Paul Marten. During the movie, Connie would make excuses just so she could see Paul.

    She lied to her husband about her whereabouts and everything. But eventually, Sconce’s lies caught up with her. When Edward found out about the affair, he murdered Paul, not even thinking about how it could affect him in the long run. The moral Of the movie is centered on sexual infidelity, and how it can really be the cost of somebody marriage or relationship (Pitman & Wagers, 1995). Not only can sexual infidelity make a person lose his or her mind, but it can also make a person do things he or she never thought they would do.

    Edwards intentions were not to kill Paul, but he let his anger and frustration get the best of him. Any kind of infidelity is a serious issue, and if it is not handled properly, it can cost you your marriage, relationship, or your life, or someone else’s. Personal Thoughts and Opinions “Unfaithful was an interesting movie. It is a movie that people in society can relate to. Not only do people want to feel loved and appreciated, but they also ant to be pleased sexually. That is exactly what Connie wanted.

    Though she loved and cared for her husband, he just could not give Connie the satisfaction she needed. At times, Edward tried his best to please Connie, but it just was not working. That is how society is today. People feel like if they are not being pleased sexually, he/she will be sure to get sex from someone else. People should really think twice before they do such sinful deeds because, it can really mess up your life physically and mentally. If your partner or spouse is not pleasing you correctly, then talk to that person. Find out what the problem is.

    Participating in any kind of infidelity act does not just come with consequences, but it is also a sin against God. This seductive film portrays a lot of sexual infidelity, as well as dysfunctional issues that goes on in today’s society. Not only does the movie show dishonesty and unfaithfulness, but it also showed how sex is a big part of marriage. If he or she is not getting sex from the partner or spouse, then he or she are abound to suffer the consequences. Infidelity is really an issue people should think twice about because, it can really tear your life up.

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